All Things Work Together for Good II
“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 chapter 8, verse 28.
Well, we come this morning to worship the Lord and to hear from Him and so, let’s turn our Bibles to Romans 8. It’s been a long journey and I pray that the Lord will continue to speak to you through His Living Word.
A lady was once asked, do you know the color of your pastor’s eyes. The lady says “No, I don’t, because whenever the pastor prays, he closes his eyes and when ever he preaches, I close my eyes.” (Laughter in the congregation). I hope this morning, in the midst of a very busy Chinese new year, you will not fall asleep, but you will open your eyes and open your ears and open your hearts to the teachings of God’s Word, because this is such an amazing, beautiful, wonderful encouraging words from the Bible today.
In Romans 8:28, we see a glorious promise from God.
Paul tells us,
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his promise.
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.
We had time last week, only to look at the first half of Romans 8:28 and we realize, this is a staggering verse, because, the coverage of this verse is comprehensive, it is all inclusive. When Paul says “All things.” He meant all things, there are no limits, there are no confining factors. He did not say some things, he did not say many things, he didn’t even say most things, Paul says, all things. The big things of your life, the small things of life, the nice things of life and the not so pleasant things of life. All things, everything, work together for good to them that love God. The word, work together, synergia, in the Greek from which we get the word, synergize.
God is bringing all things, good, bad, small, big, all things together for a common purpose, for your good.
A little boy got hungry one day and so, he went to see his mom in the kitchen and he says, mummy, I am hungry, do you have something for me to eat. And mummy went through the fridge and the shelves and brought out a couple of things, several things in fact. She handed him first of all, a teaspoon of sugar. He puts it in his mouth and he says, “Mummy, that is yummy, I love it.”
Mummy then takes out another teaspoon of cooking oil all and he stuffs it in his mouth and says “Yucks, what is this mom?” Well, why don’t you try this instead, another teaspoon of baking soda. He tried and he says “Ee yah! that’s also horrible.” Now, what about this, son, a raw egg, just a spoonful of the yolk and the white together and he says, “Mom, what are you doing to me, I don’t like these stuff.” And he walks out into the living room.
Sometimes, later, a couple of hours, mummy emerges from the kitchen with a beautiful, warm aromatic cake and the son saw it, smelled it and was desirous of it and the son took a bite of it and says “Mom, this is yummy, this is great, how come you didn’t give it to me earlier?” Mummy said “Do you know, this cake is made up of all the sweet and not so sweet things that I gave you earlier and this is the beautiful cake that will bless you.”
I think God is in the business of divine synergy, bringing together the sweet things and often times, not so sweet things, to work together for your good.
And when we recognize the wisdom in the sovereignty of God, it gives us an anchor for the soul, that encourages us and assures us as we go through the storms of life because God is not out of control. He is putting together every element around your life to work for your good.
That’s why today as Christians, we can face up to our past. We don’t have to be a prisoner of the past, we don’t have to be a victim of the mindset that says, I am too embarrassed about my past to face today and to face tomorrow. That’s why a Christian today can smile through the storms of life, that’s why a Christian today can see tomorrow and say “Lord, I know I am secure in Your love because, we know all things synergize for our good.
Some time ago, I was with my son in botanic gardens, one of our favorite haunts would be Jacob Ballas and as we look at the plants, I saw this interesting plague that is in front of a shrub. It is called a miracle fruit, you can check it out in Jacob Ballas. It says, this is a west African shrub with dark red berries. The fleshy part of the berries, contains a special chemical. When the fruit is eaten, bitter and sour food eaten later, tastes sweet. Have you ever tried this, I haven’t. When I got there, I couldn’t see a berry. I think people must have plucked it off and tried it for themselves. But this miracle fruit is quite something, when you taste of it, when you eat of it; subsequent bitter and sour food would also taste sweet.
How is a Christian, a child of God able to sail through the storms of life, how can he rejoice when he is or she is told she is going to have a miscarriage. How is she going to rejoice when the doctor says your child has a permanent genetic abnormality. How are you going to take it when the doctor tell you, you have cancer or you’re going to lose your job or your family is breaking up. How can we face the bitter and the sour moments of life, unless we recognize that God is sovereign and that He is working all things together for our good. Of course, this doesn’t give us the excuse to disobey His Word and to live as we please. But as we obey Him, we can believe that even the circumstances that seem to conspire against us, it’s really working together for us.
I remember the story of William Carey, he said to be the father of modern missions. He labored for 40 years uninterrupted in India, he never went back to his homeland and for this period of time, he labored intensively in the translation of the Bible into the native Indian languages, at least a dozen of them. It is said, one day after 20 years of labor, a fire broke out in the place that he worked and burned up all the equipment and worse still, but of all the manuscripts that he has so labored for the past 20 years. Now in those times, you don’t have backups, you don’t have Xerox, you don’t have photocopies, you can’t scan it, you can’t put it in the sky drive. It’s all lost, 20 years of labor all gone into flames. And this is what William Carey wrote back to his friend Andrew Murray. He said : We have all been supported under the affliction, and preserved from discouragement. To me the consideration of the divine sovereignty and wisdom has been very supporting. . . .
We have all been supported under the affliction, and preserved from discouragement. To me the consideration of the divine sovereignty and wisdom has been very supporting. . . . I endeavored to improve this our affliction last Lord’s day, from Psalm 46:10, ’Be still and know that I am God. In the storms of life, it is important for us to be still and know that He is God, God who is absolutely sovereign, God who is absolutely wise, God who said to us, we know that all things work together for good. So, that is what we really covered last week.
And this week, we are going to look at the second half of Romans 8:28 and it goes like this, it works together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
There are just three questions we need to answer in this part of this verse. The first question is, what is the good that is mentioned here. The second is, who is this promise addressed to and thirdly, why would God give us such a promise. So, three questions, for the what, the who and the why. Very simple, so let’s go into it.
First of all, the what. Paul tells us, all things work together for good. So, what is the good. The good that we think about often are in terms of material gains. Maybe, it’s a nice fancy house or a brand-new car or a good job that pays you well or a bank account that is loaded with cash. Well, these maybe things that we think are good for ourselves. Maybe even our health, our fitness and this is what we yearned for, God, you are working things out for my wealth, for my health, for my circumstances.
Many a times, I give you great quotations from great men, Spurgeon, MacArthur, these are wonderful people in time past and in our times today. But today, I am going to give you a very lousy low class quote, because, this quote is from me (Laughter in the congregation). My quote to you is this “God’s good is gooder than our good.” (Laughter in the congregation). Really low class, because the English it’s horrendous. But I think, theologically it is true that God’s good is gooder my good or the way I see good is so puny and so inadequate and so unworthy when we compare it with the good that God is promising to us.
So, my dear brethren, I am here to encourage you, don’t shortchange the glorious promise of good to you when you say that it is just about the material, temporal, external things of life. God’s good for you is eternal, God’s intention of goodness to you is deep and profound, it is from the inside out. And so you say, what is the great glorious, grand good that is promised in Romans 8:28 ? It is this, none other than this. In Romans 8:28, 29, we are told, what is good would be. How is it, that the event, circumstances of life would work out for our good? It is this, that all these things, will conform us to the image of His Son. The desire, the will of God for your life is that you may be more like Jesus, His precious Son. It’s an astounding thought, that sinful men like as we are, will be one day, totally be conformed to the image of His Son, the perfect Son of God, who we love, who we serve, who we adore.
A man saw a beautiful sculpture of a horse, beautiful, with all the veins and the muscles and the details there and he was amazed at this work of art. He asked the sculptor, who is beside this sculpture and say, how did you do it, how do you make such a beautiful sculptured horse? And the sculptor simply said, “It’s easy, I get a block of marble, and I knocked of everything that did not look like a horse.” (Laughter in the congregation). That’s what life is, that’s what God is doing in your life, he is taking you, this block, this block head and He is knocking, chipping, sculpting away everything that is not like Jesus Christ.
You see, when I am saved, when God called me to salvation, He implanted in me that divine seed, that divine nature. Christ, lives in me and progressively in my journey on this Earth, God is sculpting away everything that is not looking like Jesus. That is the good that God intends for your life. So, don’t shortchange it for what you have in your pocket or what you have as a shelter. God is doing a far deeper, profound and eternal work within you.
So often we sacrifice what is most important for what is superficial. Yesterday, I read in the Internet, this article about a woman who refused to smash the car window, despite locking the baby inside. Accidentally the car is locked, the keys within and the baby has been there for more than an hour and she refuses to sacrifice the window to save her baby. In fact, the baby was crying and vomiting in the car. She refuses to do it. The car and particularly the windows are too precious to her. We all shake our heads and we, zi, zi, zi, zi, zi. But don’t you realize, spiritually that’s how we are too. We fail to realize what is most important is the life of Christ within us and we are so careful to preserve those windows, those external. But, God is not short-term in His view, God is not shortsighted, He sees the real treasure in your life, the life of Christ and He is working for your good, sculpting, knocking, breaking away everything that is not of Jesus. That’s why, suffering come, that’s why afflictions come, that’s why trials come because it is for a glorious purpose.
I like what Tim Keller, a preacher of our day has to say about it “Jesus did not suffer so that you would not have to suffer, but Jesus suffered, so that when you suffer, you will become like Him.” There is no immunity from suffering today, but there is purpose and intention and glory in suffering today, because we know that our Sovereign God is synergia (?), synergizing all things for your good that you may be conformed to the image of His dear Son.
That is the tremendous promise we have in Romans 8:28 when we say, “Lord, what is the good?” What is the good is this, that you would be like My Son.
But secondly, the question we have to ask is this, “Who is this promise address to?” Is Romans 8:28 addressed to every single human being today, is the Bible teaching universalism, is the Bible saying, regardless of who you are, this is what God intends for you?
We would like to think so, but it is not. Clearly, in the Scriptures, there is a difference, for those who belong to Jesus, and for those who would reject Jesus. So, I say to you, this is not a promise to everyone. In fact, if today, you are outside of the kingdom of God, like I was, years ago, if you do not believe in Jesus Christ, you remain unrepentant in your sins, your life is not working for good.
Paul tells us, in Romans 2:5,
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, after your hardeness, your unwillingness to repent, you treasure up, you store up for yourself, wrath, the fierce anger of God because He is holy, against the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
” treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; “
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
God one day would appear in His glory and He will judge and those who reject Him with impenitent hearts will face the full wrath of God. Things, will not work for your good, if you remain an unrepentant person.
In fact, Spurgeon is very bold to say this. He said,
To the sinner, however, all things work together for evil. Is he prosperous? He is as the beast that is fattened for the slaughter. When I think about this, I think about wagyu beef and how the cow is massage, it is able to listen to nice music and it feeds on corn, so that one day, it will become your teppanyaki. You fattened the cow for the slaughter. That’s what he says in jazz.. almost, but it is true. You are merely storing up wrath. I remember the story of Lazarus and the rich man and how God says to him, you have had your time, this is your time for judgment, you have rejected Me.
He goes on, is he healthy ? He is as the blooming flower that is ripening for the mower’s scythe… Everything to the sinner, if he could but open his eye, has a black aspect.
What a sharp contrast to those who believe in Jesus, everything work together for good.
1Cor 16:22 tells us,
If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
What is this? Anathema means to be a curse. Maranatha means when the Lord comes again.
If you love not the Lord Jesus Christ and when He comes, then you will be accursed because you have not received the Only One who can save you from the wrath of God. And so, we know, Romans 8:28 is not a verse, a promise that you can apply universally. It is only to those who belong to Jesus, only those who believe in Him.
But Paul, interestingly, chooses a description that is very instructive for us. But those who believe in Jesus, who belong to Jesus, this is what characterizes them. This promise is given to those who would love God. Wow, just two words, loved God, but it does tell us a lot about authentic Christianity. True believers of Jesus, those who belong to Jesus are those who love God, that is your distinctive characteristics. The question to you today is, “Do you love God?” I am not asking, do you come to church, I’m not asking, even, do you read the Bible, I am not asking even do you pray, I am asking, do you really love God from your heart.
My son, Shaun, he is four years old and he has learned to ask me several questions that he never asked before. Recently, for the past few months, he’s been asking me, “Daddy, are you a pastor?” I say, yes. Daddy, I want to be a pastor, can you teach me how to be a pastor. I say, sure, but Shaun, do you know what is the most important thing about being a pastor ?. Shaun says, “I don’t know”.
Of course, now, if you ask him, I think, he can give you some answers, but, when I first asked him, he says “I don’t know” and so I said, “Shaun, what is most important about being a pastor is that you must love Jesus and daddy loves Jesus.”
I remember what John 21 says:
“Peter, do you love me?” ask the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus said to Peter, “Go feed my sheep.”
The love for God, however is not reserved only to the pastor. The love for God, the love of God in our hearts is a distinctive characteristic of every one who belongs to Jesus Christ and I see that in Gospeliters. Just last week, we were out in the HDB blocks, around about this area, we call this operation Zion, since we are in Zion and we wanted to reach out to the neighborhood. And I was privileged, I was glad that I was paired in the same theme as a couple of ladies in our church. And I am not sure if you’re here, but I will name you, alright. I was with Jennifer and Catherine. Are you here, Jennifer, Catherine. Okay, so I can speak more about them, since you are not here. (Laughter in the congregation) okay, because you’re hiding there all right. Okay, they are super embarrassed now . But, I am not embarrassing you, I was saying, I was really thankful and blessed to see them serve the Lord in this way.
You know, Jennifer and Catherine are so interesting people, they are always happy, go lucky, smiley and, but when I saw them out in operation Zion, they were serious, they were on the go, they were not trying to slack away, er, since I signed up, I myself do it. No, they were passionate, they were on the go, going from house to house, from one block to another and they did it with such joy.
You know, sometimes we go door to door knocking, we can do it with such a laborious kind of mentality, it is a chore. But I saw their joy in their hearts, I saw their love for the people and I know, I saw, I sense their love for Jesus, their love for God.
And I say to you, if you say that you are a child of God, this must characterize your life, that you have a love for God. You see, Christianity is not mere intellectualism. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I believe it is absolutely important for us to know God through His Word. We must meditate on Scriptures, we must be a people of truth.
But Christianity is not merely in the head, it is also in the hearts. Didn’t Jesus teach us that we should love the Lord thy God with all our hearts, souls, minds, strength. My pursuit for Scriptures, my pursuit for truth is because I love God and therefore, I love what He loves and I hate what He hates. I love His truth, and I hate sin. Though I may fall into sin, I am not happy in sin. Why? Because I love God. It is about the religious affections in your soul within your hearts.
Question is, friend, do you really love God from your heart. It’s not about the externality. Paul uses a term that searchers our innermost being, do you love God?
Let me distinguish this even further. The love of God is also not just obedience. Again, I need to clarify. Obedience, is a necessary evidence of love. If you love me, keep my Commandments, John 14:21. But, do you realize, there can be a kind of external obedience without an internal passion for God and what you become is a Pharisee, with a form of godliness, with a kind of hypocrisy that’s all external but nothing on the inside.
My friends, this is a characteristic phrase, do you love God? Can I even split this further, to love God, not His gifts. Oh yes, we should be appreciative of His gifts. We should recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from our Father above. We are thankful that we are blessed. We are appreciative but if these given to us are taken away, will you still love Him?
We live in a day and age when there is a kind of religion that goes on that says, come to Jesus because He’s going to give you goodies, come, because He is going to give you those good stuff. Now, what if the good stuff is taken away, would you be like Job that would say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord”?
You see, true authentic faith is those who will love God, they will love Him, not only if He gives you the good stuff, but will love Him even if I am going through the tough times of life.
You see, adversity shows up what is really within, and I think that’s why, Paul chooses to say, “those who love God and not simply those who believe in God.”
Searching thoughts you see, that’s why we sing that song, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise; Thou mine inheritance now and always; Thou and thou only first in my heart; High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.”
When God appeared to Abraham, He did not say, Abraham, these things are your reward. He said to Abraham, “I am thy exceeding reward”
The psalmist would say, as the heart panteth after the water brook, so panteth my heart after Thee, oh God.
There is a desire, there is a treasuring, there is a delighting, there is a yearning, there is a longing for God. This is what characterizes a child of God, do you love Me?
By the way friends, this is not speaking of a perfect love, because we don’t have it, in this life. We don’t love God perfectly as we should, we don’t. We still robed in this flesh of ours, we still make poor choices in our weakness. We don’t love God as we should but what is undeniable is this, even when you failed the Lord, you know deep in your hearts you still love Him.
A story is told of a lady who went to DL Moody. She was so discouraged and beaten-down in her Christian walk that she said, “Pastor, I like to have my name removed from the church roll. I am discouraged, I just want to quit this whole thing altogether. DL Moody took out a piece of paper from his pocket, a pen and he started scribbling some words and said to the lady, “Lady, if you could just sign your name here, I will remove your name from the church roll.” She opened the piece of paper, she read the words, I hereby confess that I love not Jesus Christ.
She saw this piece of paper, tears began to roll down her cheek, because she could not sign the piece of paper. No matter how discouraged, she was, how beaten-down she was, she knew deep in the heart that she does love Jesus.
The promise in Romans 8:28 is given to those who love God. Because, why? They are born again, they have been given that new nature. That is what characterizes a true follower of Jesus Christ, His passionate heart for God.
To those who are astute in the Scriptures, he would realize then, how can this be possible, how can anyone love God ? Didn’t Paul earlier said in Romans 8:7, that the carnal mind is enmity against God.
In other words, the natural state we are in, is that you never really seek after God. We don’t love Him, we want to run away from Him, so how can we love Him when by nature we don’t, we hate Him.
How is it that Isaiah 53:6 can tell us that all we like sheep have gone astray, we have gone, everyone, to his own way.
How can we reconcile Romans 3, when it says, we don’t seek God, no man seeks after God. So how, you say? Can we really love God. The answer then is found in the second phrase of the “who” of the promise. Those who love God are equally those who are the called. Those who are the called.
You see, unless divine grace is poured out into the hearts of men, we don’t seek God, we don’t seek after Him.
We are so depraved in our nature, we can’t. And that’s why, Scripture tells us, God calls those out and they love Him. Didn’t in Scriptures say “We love Him because He first loved us”. This is the work of the new covenant, the work of the blessed Holy Spirit spoken off in Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Hebrews that God will give us a new heart.
The old heart has no desire for God, but the divine sovereign work of the Holy Spirit through the instrument of the blessed Word of God, gives us a new heart, and when He calls us, we eventually love Him.
So, you see two aspects of a Christian’s life. One is the human aspect when we say, “We love God.” Two, you have the divine aspect where God calls us. One is the effect, the other is the cause. We are called of God.
In the Bible, there are two kinds of call. This is a bit technical, but it may help you, there are two kinds of calls spoken of in the Bible. One is the general call, the other one is an effectual call. A general call is much like what you will be facing today, a preacher preaches the Word of God and everybody in the auditorium, in the room, hears the Word of God. There is a call, generally to us. But out of that general call, God in His mercy in His sovereignity might choose those, who He will call effectually. In other words, God by His Spirit, work in that man’s heart draws him to Himself.
So, you have a general call and then an effectual call. Those who are saved by those who are effectually called. In this verse, which call do you think it would be? Effectual call. How do you know it is the effectual call. Very simply, because in verse 30, we are told that those who are called, are those who would be justified and those who are justified are those who will be glorified.
So, this does not apply to every single person who hears and also reject the Gospel. But this is given to those whom God has effectually called within their hearts. And by the way, what a glorious verse 30 is, isn’t it, we would come to it in due course. But this is the Golden chain of redemption. There is no breakage, it is unbreakable because God is the one at work here. He predestinates, He calls, He justifies, He glorifies. There is no loss, them who is this will eventually be those who will be glorified, no loss whatsoever. You don’t lose your salvation, not at all.
And your glorification is as secure as it is in the past tense. I am not yet glorified, but it is as good as it will be done because God is the one who is at work here. So, this is the golden chain of salvation and it refers to those who God calls effectually. So, who are those who would be given this beautiful promise, those who love God and those who are the called. My friends, there will come a day, that has already I’m sure, if you have believed in Jesus, come a day where God called you. Basically, He interrupted your life in the words of Martin Lloyd Jones: He came into your life and interrupted you, you were going along this course, but there at the call of God, came and disturbed you and there is a struggle from within. In the past, you have no desire for God, no desire for His Word. But there came a day, there is a disturbance within, a struggle, it’s a disturbance with regards to the Word of God, it says, this Word is unique, it seems alive, it seems to speak to me. There is a disturbance about your sins, there is a disturbance about who God is, there is a disturbance about who Jesus is, there is a disturbance about your own helplessness. God called you, interrupted your life and we all who have believed in Jesus, knew exactly or know exactly what it is like.
God stopped us in our tracks and called us within our hearts. He implants that new nature, a new heart, and then, we say Lord, today I love You. I had no love for You, but now I do love You because I am the called, you see. So, this is the “who”. And Romans 8:28 should not be applied indiscriminately, even to those who are yet unsaved. We pray for their salvation and if they are saved, Romans 8:28 immediately applies. But, my dear friends, if you’re here today, don’t store up the wrath of God, turn to Jesus, He came not to condemn, He came to set you free, He came to reconcile you to the good, sovereign and wise God. This is the call of God generally. I pray the effectual call of God by His Spirit in your heart.
But finally, not only must we look at the “what”and the “who”, we look at now the “why”.
Why would God call me, why would God call you, why would God call us? Is it because of anything that we can be doing, is it because of any worth in us? The Bible tells us, “We are called according to His purpose.”
The call of God originates in the purpose of God. You say then, pastor, what is the purpose of God, why would God call me to this redemptive journey, why would God call me to this life of relationship with Him, why would God give us eternal life, why? What is His purpose, by the way it is a singular purpose, according to His purpose. So, why today would God want to save us, why would God call us?
To understand His purpose, you’ve got to go to the heavenly book. There is a book, epistles in the Bible, lofty thinking, profound passage of Scriptures and I think, it helps us as we look at Ephesians 1, 2, 3.
I draw some verses for your consideration. In Ephesians 1:4-6
It says here, According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world (Added by Pastor : You know that God knew you before you were even born and before the world was even made, He knew you, He knew me that there will be some guy called Jason Lim, He chose me before the foundation of the world)……Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will (Added by Pastor : And what is the good pleasure of His will?) ,To the praise of the glory of his grace…
Now, look at this word, the glory, the praise, that would be a commonly occurring theme as we look through the verses in Ephesians.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world……Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In Ephesians 1:11,12, let me just go to the highlighted portion,
“According to the purpose of him” (Added by Pastor : What is the purpose,) …That we should be to the praise of his glory…
Again, it is a God centered purpose, not us. Yes, I am blessed, I am richly blessed in God’s salvation. But the ultimate goal is not you. According to His purpose. Our salvation is intended to bring glory and praise to Him.
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Again, in verse 14, why is the Holy Spirit given to us today, verse 14 tells us, unto the praise of His glory.
It’s a repeated phrase in Ephesians.
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory
In chapter 2, verse seven that in the ages to come, in eternity to come, He might show, the exceeding riches of His grace, through the church, the amazing, the immense immeasurable grace of God, the riches of it would be demonstrated and declared for the ages that is to come.
That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The manifold wisdom of God would be known through the church, to who? To the angelic beings, all creation, would rejoice, would praise, would glorify God for His manifold wisdom, for His exceeding grace, and God calls us to fulfill that purpose for His glory.
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Have you ever wondered why is sin allowed in this world, have you ever wonder why is it that Satan was allowed to tempt Eve. I mean, if you think about it, it wouldn’t be hard for God to strangle the stupid serpent, right, I thing it wouldn’t even be hard for God to put a finger, pzzt, smash its head, I mean, couldn’t God just erect a kind of a fence around the tree of knowledge of good and evil and barred Adam and Eve from coming in? Couldn’t God do all those things, but yet why is it that these sinful things to place on the face of this world? Is it God losing control, did God forget about Adam and Eve and their potential to sin ? Yes no answer apart from this that through His church, the manifold wisdom, the exceeding riches of God’s glory will be manifested through the drama of redemption.
Think along with me, if there had been no sin and by the way, I am not crediting any of the faults to God at all, we can’t, God doesn’t do that, it’s all the devil’s fault, it is all men’s fault, but even in a mess like this, which is allowed by God’s sovereignty and His wisdom, this ultimately work together for good to us who would believe and it works according to His purpose.
You see, if there had been no sin, no salvation, men and angels and all created beings would never know the love of God, would never know the ‘scandalous’- grace of God. We would know His power, we would know of His wisdom, we would know of the creativity of God but we would not know nor appreciate nor praise Him for who He really is, that He give His Only Son, bear and take away our sins.
That’s why we sing amazing Grace, when we have been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun, we have no less days to sing God’s praise then when we had first begun. Eternity would be a chorus of hallelujahs because of He is an amazing grace.
You see, God did not make a mistake, He did not forget about sin, God is sovereign and He is using even the baking soda and the cooking oil and He is synergizing all, He is so sovereign that He even rises above the wickedness that man can have to work all things well for His glory.
You say pastor, what’s the point of all this. Look back at Romans 8:28, it is this. We know today, that all things, not some, not many, not most but all things, synergize together for your good. What kind of a good, that you may be like His Son, why, because you love God, why, because you are called of God, why, because it glorifies God.
And, so this promise of Romans 8:28, is not rooted in your worthiness, it’s not rooted in how we can respond, but it is rooted in the unchangeable purpose of God and therefore, you are on solid ultimate assurance ground, God’s purpose can never, will never be frustrated and therefore you could say with confidence, “I know all things will work together for good, I will be like Your Son God, in His image and I know, through your church, you will be glorified.”
Great thoughts, Paul gives us in this one singular verse. And my friends, the Trinity today is working together for this end, the Spirit of God Is praying for you, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is praying for you, He is the one that holds all things together and let us learn to rejoice in Him. Indeed, we know, all things work together for good to them that love God, love Jesus, follow Him. Tremendous encouragement for us to rest in His divine sovereignty and wisdom. Let’s bow for a word of prayer.
Scripture today’s lifts us up away from our humanistic thinking to the way God thinks. In His mercy, He condescend to reveal to us amazing things of God. It’s cosmic what we learned today, but my friends, I want to apply this very simply and practically to your life. Do you love Jesus, could you say from the bottom of your heart that I love God, or friends, if you don’t love Jesus, it would be Anathema, Maranatha when He comes. Friends, turn from your sins, beg God, pray to Him today, “Lord, give me Your love, tell me to believe in Your only begotten Son. ” Friends, all things would then work for your good that you may be like Jesus. I pray that you would not reject the call of God upon your heart, but that you would turn from sin and believe in Jesus the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Would you do that?
Maybe today my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ , your Christianity has been reduced to intellectualism, to mere outward conformity, to a mere pursuit of the things and the trinkets of life, would the heart of God today call out to you in that you would respond and say “Lord, I want to be in a living relationship with You, that’s what I want more than anything else, knowing Jesus this is the only thing, this is the greatest thing. Draw me back to Your love, Lord, I don’t love you as I should, but give me more of Your love ..maybe today my friends, you’re going through a tough patch in life and it is really hard to put up a brave front in the midst of the storm, but Jesus is in the boat of your life and through the storms God is chipping, knocking, sculpting away all that hinders, fullfilling Christ likeness within you.
Let your thoughts arise, that your faith arise and the whole of the divine sovereignty and wisdom of the Almighty God. My friends, He has a wonderful purpose, a glorious plan, that would work out for your eventual glory and also unto the praise of His Name. This is the God of the Bible, this is the God we worship. Father, We Praise You today that You are wise, You are sovereign and in salvation plan, we see Your deep, profound, amazing love for us, thank You, You gave us Your Son, Jesus. This is our prayer, Lord, regardless the way we are, today, in our spiritual journey, we pray, make me like Jesus, make us more like Him, we love Him, we ask that Christ, will be more and more in us. Indeed, may we said not I, but Christ. This is our prayer, hear Your people, hear our hearts, we ask and pray all these now in Jesus name amen, God bless.