THE PURPOSE OF GOD TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM (ROM.8:28-39)
Using N.A.S.V. (Rom. 8:28) says-" And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose ". Paul begins with a basic self- evident truth : WE KNOW . THEN HE STATES THIS TRUTH : TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, HE (GOD) CAUSES ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD.
Paul puts the phrase - " TO THOSE WHO LOVE GOD", first so that there will be no mistake about who are involved in, "GOD CAUSES ALL THINGS TO WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD". It is for those WHO CONTINUALLY EXPRESS LOVE FOR GOD BOTH IN ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS.
A question may arise. How can we continually express our love for God both in attitudes and actions? We are going to have trouble believing that God loves us ,and we will have difficulty loving God, if we are hating other Christians. The very simple answer to express our love to God is to love all other Christian brothers, by keeping no grudge and hatred to anyone, especially when disagreement accurs. The best way to show our love to Christian Brothers is to tell the truth. We cannot love God if we hate any of our Christian Brothers.
" We love, because He first love us" (1 John 4:19) . And the apostle Peter said: " And though you have not see Him , you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of Glory"(1Pet.1:8). The thing that will bring joy and brightness into your life is the sincere love of God.
These are farther defined as THOSE WHO ARE CALLED ONES IN ACCORDANCE WITH (GOD'S) PLAN OR PURPOSE .
The call and election are put side by side in (2 Thess.2:13,14);(2Pet.1:10).The call may be focused upon the eternal destiny (2 Thess. 2:14) or on the earthly life of freedom and holiness (Gal.5:13 ;(1 Thess.4:7).
Then (Rom.8:29) says- "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the Firstborn among many Brethren". This verse is identical with the Apostle's procedure in (Ep.1:4), where He says: "Just as He chose us in Him(Christ) before the foundation of the World, that we would be Holy and blameless before Him in love". Christ is the Elect or Chosen One. (Luke 9:35) says- "Then a Voice came out of the Cloud saying, "This is my Son, my CHOSEN ONE; Listen to Him! ". (see also Luke 23:35 ; 1Pet.2;4,6) . BELIEVERS- Those who belong to God-are Elect or Chosen Ones in Him(Christ).
The verb FOREKNOW has its basic ingredient knowledge. This Group of Individuals, the members of this whole corporate, are foreknown in what sense? They are foreknown as having a distinct place in God's plan or purpose (Rom. (8:28).
They have a role to play in God's plan. What is their destiny.? Whom (plural) He knew beforehand, He decided upon beforehand to be conformed to the image of His son (v. 29) .God's decision here is that - those composing this group shall be like His Son in form and appearance. The number is not small . God decided this beforehand in order that His son might be the FIRST-BORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS. The term First Born means the highest in rank or position. That Christ is supreme or first, Paul makes very clear in Col.1:18: " He is also head of the body, the Church; And He is the beginning, the first born from the dead, so that Himself will come to have first place in everything". Christ rank as first - born shows that He stands as the exalted head of the new humanity- as the second Adam. ( 1Cor. 15:22) says- " For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive". Read also ( Rom. 5:12-21).
( Rom.8:30) says- " And these whom He predestined , He also called; And these whom He called, He also justified; And these whom He justified, He also glorified".
The stress in this section ( Rom. 8:28-30) lies upon the action of God- His plan and the accomplishment of His plan. The verbs in verse 30: He CALLED, He JUSTIFIED, and He GLORIFIED have to do both with the plan ( eternal council of God ) and the carrying out of this purpose. Because God has a plan, or purpose- to sum up all things, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heaven and things upon earth (Ep.1: 10,11), He is able to work all things together for good to those who love Him.
Paul's emphasis here is on what God does for the many brothers. The only human response mentioned is that of love for God. That is why the bible said- God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Then Paul begins to point out the implication of his teaching, the triumph of believers over all opposition. He started saying- " What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son , but deliver Him over for us all , how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God's elect ? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Jesus Christ is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God , who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation , or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG: WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED. " But all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who love us. For I am convinced that neither death nor
life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(v31-v39).
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado