8 September 1999

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"-Romans 8:28 I love the things that work together for our good. The sinner may draw great comfort from them because they are unlike the shifting things of this world, things that are prone to change and decay. The things that Paul here enumerates are security and serenity to the sinner. They strengthen our faith and our hope. They nail down our future. These things are Holy things; unchangeable things; things that God has ordained for our "good". We must not take our "things" out of context. The phrase "all things" must be considered in the context in which it is given. Paul tells us precisely what these "things" are and to whom these blessings belong. His eye soars far higher than the mundane affairs of this life. Let us soar with the apostle for just a moment! TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD The things that we shall consider are reserved for a special people: "them that love God". Do you love God? Then you have sufficient evidence that these things belong to you. You have been "called according to his purpose", called from death to life; from Adam's fallen seed to the seed of Christ. His purpose is to bring you home. These people do not love God to get called. They love Him because they are called. And since these special people are the only recipients of these special graces and favors we must know that "all things" does not include the persons or actions of the wicked. Only those who love God will be able to respond appropriately to the apostle's interrogation of the heart, "What shall we then say to these things." What do you say to them today?
FOREKNOWN AND PREDESTINATED The first "thing" on the apostle's list concerns people: "for whom". Whom always refers to people, not places and events. And these particular people are foreknown. God knew them before they were born; before they did any good or evil(Romans 9:11); before Adam's transgression; before time itself. What do you say to this? The second thing that Paul tells us that works for our good is that God has predetermined that these people shall be conformed to Christ's spotless image. What a wonderful image He has: "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heaven"-Heb.7:26. His blood has cleansed them. He did not predestinate Adam to sin. Adam needed no help in that matter, nor do we. Let us not blame God for our failures. Nor did He predestinate people to hell. The Bible does not teach double predestination. But out of all of Adam's race He did rescue the objects of His love. Surely, none that God loves nor any that love God will inhabit that awful place. If you love God, take a look at your future and rejoice in your deliverance. You shall not be alone, He is the firstborn among "many brethren". JUSTIFIED AND GLORIFIED But this is not the end of Paul's list of "things". We have further security. Those who are predestinated have also been "justified"(v30) or made innocent. They did not make themselves innocent. Christ made them innocent by His blood. And they have also been "glorified"v30. This means that they have been highly honored. Not because of any thing that was found in them. His mercy and grace found them in Adam. But because they are found in Christ as He represented them upon Calvary's cross. Could one be predestinated and not called; justified and not glorified; glorified and not predestinated; loved and not justified? Surely, surely, all of these things work "together". They work together for "our good". Today, we must ask the same question to those who love God that Paul asked the church at Rome. "What shall we say to these things?"-v31. What would the apostle say today if he were here with us? His response is found in verses 32-39. Is your response the same? Lord, until we arise in they spotless image we confess that we are sinners. But we rejoice in our security! Amen. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor