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March 31, 2022 12:00 am
Perhaps no verse in Scripture is taken out of context more than Romans 8:28. In that verse, Paul says that "all things work together for good to them that love God," and people take that to mean a lot of things it doesn't mean. So in this message Stephen reminds us of the real meaning and power behind this promise from God.
Those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. That is this mean about consistently love God is not to fulfill his purpose in my life. This is me about never slacken my affection that I don't follow him faithfully if I don't get sidetracked. If I do not fill his purpose in my life that means, unfortunately that is not you love it more today. Perhaps yesterday, maybe that will grow, slacken, you will need reform and repent tomorrow God will move forward in his purpose is in that verse. Paul tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God. People take that verse to mean a one of things that it doesn't mean that God never intended for it to me.
On our last broadcast Stephen Davey began looking at that passage with the message. He called Romans 828 what it is not today. He completely turns that around in the message you're about to hear is entitled Romans 828 what it is.
This is wisdom for the heart. And here's Stephen Davey with today's Bible lesson in her book entitled history on the desert area.
Reisch described a series of strange hills and valleys that created lines on the Earth's surface made by the Indians of Peru centuries ago.
They didn't know what these hills were not. They met in fact for centuries.
They believe that the strange pattern. These patterns alliance must've been the remnants of some ancient irrigation system they would travel a lot for hundreds of yards and abruptly stopped sometimes turn to the left sharply or sometimes rounded to the right and did make a lot of sense. Sometimes just come to a dead end.
Some believe that these alliances made by Earth sod were ancient boundary markers for some sort of mystical religion, some sort of mystical religious practice. The mystery was solved in 1939 by University professor named Dr. Paul Cassatt of Long Island University discovered the true meaning by simply observing the hills from high in the air as he flew over them in an airplane and he discovered that these random, seemingly random hills and valleys, forming lines at times overspray for hundreds of yards and turning left and right were actually forming enormous drawings of word and other animals from pageant creating art that you can fully appreciate on earth you need to have a higher sense in order to see the grand artwork and gain a higher perspective in order to capture exactly what lines of verse met can't help but think that's a great illustration of Romans eight in verse 28. As Paul is in effect telling us that the beauty of our lives the way the liens work out the way they seem to come together while on earth. At times it seems we just hit a dead end. Or maybe we have to turn abruptly to the left or the right and sometimes it's smooth and sometimes fast and difficult. Romans 828 demands of us a higher perspective, a higher vantage point. In order to understand the truth that is before us. And so, as Paul writes to the Roman believers who like us in those believers in any day struggle with the realities of life in the turns and twists of life he is encouraging us as we gain this higher perspective on God's purpose in Romans chapter 8 verse 28. The apostle Paul writes, and we know God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
Verse 29 for whom he foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his son stop there really get much of verse 20 on our last discussion I spent the entire time basically exposing with this verse did not say let me very quickly rehearses four points number one Romans 828 is not a precise explanation for suffering. There are other passages of Scripture that explain the fallenness of mankind and how God allows mankind the freedom to make decisions and those decisions may be good and kind.
They may be evil and cruel. His freedom allows the open door for the freedom to do immoral and evil and violence thing any of us. I'm sure that watch the story unfold in Florida with an 11-year-old little girl was abducted and ultimately killed every mommy and daddy's nightmare came true for that Romans 828 is not averse to quote should you gain their hearing is not an explanation for their suffering. It doesn't explain the eve all of mankind doesn't promise some sort of special protection they had only followed after God it does promises will see in our study today. God will take the evil of man and turn even that into the glory and good of his children and his own name. But what deeply concerns me and I want to address and it is really related to you again is the fact that believers tend to take this verse and turn it into a rabbit's foot. They hang around her neck so they say okay now I've got this special incantation I can where there's superstitiously around my heart trouble is when it doesn't seem know where those believers walk away in disillusionment and despair and maybe even walk away from their intimate walk with God.
It didn't work. Furthermore, this verse is not a prohibition we discussed against sorrow and grief. You are not an embarrassment to God when you cry, you are not frightening him when you ask question when you are troubled when you are filled with that sense of pain and those moments of suffering, God is capable of hearing it all in this verse doesn't act as some sort of Kleenex to wipe it all away. Third, we learned that Paul does not intend this text to become a pretext, whereby the believer can just simply avoid the difficulties and the challenges of life we got to work everything out is audit work out for good.
So why worry. Why sweat why confront why risk my step out in faith, why sacrifice why evangelize. Why worry about where you working on now is what these verses say. Finally, Romans 828 is not some sort of permanent ticket a comfortable living. These are four things this verse is not saying but you know these four things are in effect, they are an attempt by mankind to make sense of the twisting hills in the valleys of Earth's perspective. What we need is an elevation of perspective, we need to see her from heavens vantage and that's where this verse comes in so wonderfully what Paul will do is elevate our perspective. In fact, he will give us is at work in aerial view of the sovereign purpose of God for his children, and we will discover our security not in the events of life, not in the circumstances of life, whether they are good or bad, comfortable, or sorrowful, we will not discover our fulfillment and then necessarily we will discover our fulfillment in our security and the promise. God is sovereignly managing and moving everything to his divine and only see six things in this verse that say just that. The first thing I want to show you is the certainty of God's purpose.
The certainty of God's purpose would you go back to verse 28 and we know earlier in verse 26. Paul had written for we do not know something, for we do not know how to pray as we gotta. We mistake the events of life, we misunderstand the hand of God. We miss his purpose. We don't know how to pray like we offer, but we pray we don't know that what he says here, we now do know something while we don't know how to pray.
We do know the purpose of God.
Would you notice that Paul doesn't begin this verse by writing and we think and we we hope all beloved living in Rome. Oh how I wish.
Notice that what he said.
He said, and we know he didn't say this is what we feel there is a vast difference between what we feel and what may be true, I may be feeling that God is not doing anything when God is doing everything we might not feel that God is in control, but he is sovereign on his throne managing the affairs of life. We might not feel that God is with us. We may feel he has abandoned us, but he has not abandoned us. The truth is is Laufer said we live in a fallen world that we are a fallen people and even our feelings are fall to great truths how we feel is often related to our fallen, say for this we feel, but he said we know.
I'm also glad he didn't say if you begin this text and this is my personal opinion I respect Paul about you if he said this is my opinion. I still would probably listen but I can tell you this, when the clouds of life move in and block out the light of the sun when the pressures come upon you and the tribulations overwhelm you, I and you also do not need anybody's opinion even he said and we know I want to pause a little longer here to tell you there are a couple of different words in the Greek language translated no our English vocabulary is so limited. We use one verdict and mean a married of different things where the Greek language would have averred that specifically relates to exactly what you're trying to say we know it could mean a number of different things.
There is a verb to know that is good. No scout simply means we not by means of personal experience.
We know what we see we know what we've observed. We know by what we are experiencing Paul use that when he spoke to the Philippians and he said listen what I want to do is I want to know Christ. I want I want to know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings was Paul an unbeliever with the thing I want to know Jesus leaves a believer what he saying is I want to know by virtue of personal Internet experience that willing to agree with the same word expressed when a wife might say your husband. I don't know if you really love me and what is Amanda Mance as a way to say when you don't know I seven years ago five years ago 13 years ago. 40 years ago for ice said I would love you for life and she says know what I'm saying is I don't know they don't need a marriage seminar. They just need to know little Greek okay what she's saying is I want to can us go you love me. I want some assurance, see that vacuum cleaner moving across the living room floor only see the trash being taken out why thought of those two things, but they just came to me. So why what it would help is for you to learn a little Greek and for your husband to learn a little Greek. What you're really meaning as I want some reassurance by seeing something so I want to know honey if you can us go.
I need a little bit.
No scout is a word translated no that is the word Lloyd, this is knowledge gained not by personal experience, but gained by propositional truth is just simply stated, and it is true you do not experience 2+2 = 4. You just know you've learned it is true you feel anything about you just have to write it down or test right when you take a test of your students, your you're being tested on your I know they don't care how you feel about that historical event that mathematical formula they want to know if you been listening to what the teacher has been saying about math in history and science and whatever. That's what Paul is using here. He doesn't use the word get us that relates to personal experience uses the word Lloyd we know we know God is sovereign in his management over the affairs of life, not because we feel it, because we have any reassurance of it, but because the teacher said so and we believe it. For we know, and it's true because God cannot lie.
Second want you to notice the controller of God's purpose for we know that my translation includes the words God causes for we know that God causes another words we not only believe, but we believe that God is behind what we believe right.
God is the cause and controller of his divine purposes and because he is behind it all because he is moving it forward.
We can have great reassurance and that the purposes of God depended upon our cleverness to figure it out. Our wisdom, our diligence are strange to make it happen. Our wisdom to see how it ought to happen or desire anything of it all depended on us, his purposes would look a lot like our list of New Year's resolutions open his list, his purposes, his design behind them is the one who will closet to happen. For we know that God calls us the purposes relate to his power and his strength. Third, Paul refers to the comprehensiveness of God's purpose for we know that God causes all things I did a little translation work on that phrase as well. Look it up in the text and discover something really amazing. Get your pencils out. You know what the word all means in the Greek language right in the margin of your Bibles all the Greek language means all the great all means all and that's all all means you can render this God causes everything to ultimately fulfill his purpose.
All things Paul is not saying that God prevents his children from experiencing things that harm them is rather one of her set attesting to the fact that the Lord takes all that he allows to happen to his children. Even the worst things and turns those into pieces that fit within his purposes, so here's the truth. Ladies and gentlemen, when God seems to be doing nothing God is doing every we just can't see we are temporarily handicapped by Earth's perspective.
We get the dead-end in that hill we turn to the left were swooped around to the right and we never think it could be divine art away, but all means all would you notice forcefully the continuity of God's purpose. Paul writes, for we know that God causes all things to work together sooner did I was a wonderful word transliterated gives us our English word synergism. Webster defines synergism as the combined action of two or more things which have a greater effect than the sum of their individual effects. One thing alone isn't as powerful as two things combined. We see illustrations of this in human anatomy nature and architecture everything around us we see synergism at work.
It's a powerful word anyone thing in your life may not seem to work anything out. But Paul is saying look at the individual pieces sooner. Again, he is saying look at how they may fit together so that later. Perhaps you realize one thing, brought about another thing which consequently affected a different thing which ultimately resulted in the final thing working whether we realize it or see it or understand it or not, this is what Paul is saying, and teacher through him is telling us the truth. I read a testimony of the pastor who was away from his pulpit for a few weeks because of the tragedy in his family. His son committed suicide believer believing family and anything that seemed to fit that maybe one of those things that you just can't fit. He returned to the pulpit and with great emotion. He read his text, which happened to be Romans 820 in the article said. He looked at his congregation and said and I quote I cannot make my son's death fit into this passage is impossible for me to see how anything good can come out of this yet.
I realize I only see part I only know in part, he said it made me think of the shipyard.
Almost every part of our great ships are made of steel. If you were to take any single part of that vessel, be it a steel plate from the hall or steal from its rudder and throw it into the ocean. It would what it would sink steel does not float. But when the shipbuilder is finished when the last plague has been riveted in place that massive steel ship floats.
He then concluded by saying, taken by itself. My son's suicide is senseless, throw it into the sea and divorcing. But when the divine shipbuilder has finally finished even this will build together God's unsinkable purpose.
While that is faith in the continuity of God's purpose, and maybe for you that is demanding the greatest withdrawal of faith in the purposes of God today you will buy faith believe with the teacher sent all things work together by means of his causation for your good and his purpose that leads me to the context of God's purpose for fully all things work together for what for good. Now here's where people get tripped up. Paul does not say all things are good. He says all things work together for good. Do you mean Stephen that evil and sin and false accusations and injustice and failure, and broken relationships and cruelty and betrayal and pain and suffering and hatred and jealousy, and abandonment.
You mean even though I was.
I have selected those things that listed them here because every one of those things were part of the last few hours in the life of Jesus Christ. And guess what work together for your good and for his glory or any of those things in your life right now evil, sin, false accusation, injustice, failure, broken relationships, cruelty, trail pain, suffering, hatred, jealousy, would you believe that God would be merging and managing even those for your good, that he would be presently weaving them together for good. Why, what is the good go to verse 29 who were ultimately told the final culmination of his purpose and that would be that we would be conformed to Jesus Christ and of Jesus Christ have those things in his life, would we not in reflecting his life on our own. Perhaps encounter similar thing. Paul says, in effect, and that God will intertwine and merge. He will fuse and blend and mingle and combine everything for your ultimate good, which is reflecting the character of Jesus Christ you know and I'm a step on a limb here, I could be wrong but you know what I think one of those often repeated phrases going to be released in the early stages of our eternal glorified state of heaven. You know what is going to be well when you know what do you know is God. I believe reveals his the intricacies of his artwork in our lives will say all for what you know that appointment at accident that failure and broken relationship that neighbor teacher.
That lesson what you know they are hills and valleys of divine art and I never would've guessed that I will warn you as we come to the end of this text that there is a condition to experiencing this kind of assurance of God's purpose.
He writes that there for 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. That is this mean about consistently love God is not to fulfill his purpose in my life.
This is me and I never slacken my affection and I don't follow him faithfully if I don't get sidetracked. If I do not fulfill his purpose in my life is that what it means.
Fortunately that is not the titles those you love God, and those called according to his purposes are simply two of many titles used in the New Testament for those who are children of God you love him more than a grandson yesterday. Maybe that will grow, slacken, you will need to reform and repent tomorrow, but God will move forward in his purposes. He has his way marked for you and his sovereign purposes will be fulfilled and that is such great assurance when author said it this way. These two titles are somewhat redundant with the written from different perspectives. Those who love God would be written from our perspective, those called according to his purpose would be written from God's perspective. In other words, the condition to being a recipient of God's divine purpose is simply becoming a child of God Patty become a child of God. But as many as received him, son, Jesus Christ, the live gospel word from God, to them he gave the right to be called what children of God, not joining the church that giving money not being a good person. All is a wonderful thing that even being baptized.
It is accepting by faith in Jesus Christ and his cross work on your behalf. Those who come to him find salvation there is salvation by the way, nobody else acts chapter 4 verse 12 there is a growing resurgence right now among theological circles of what is an apparition of universalism and if I told you the evangelical leaders are dabbling and you wouldn't believe it will come out later, believing that if anybody is just content with believing what they believe that there sincerely going to get to heaven as the old heresy called universalism. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved in the name Peter introduced earlier in the text. It is Jesus Christ to Milan, you know what I think the tragedy the unbelieving world. I think the tragedy the unbelieving world to be summarized by this they are people who will never see how God worked it all out received.
Even though we struggle right now. The fact that we can't fully see it they will never see we have the promise that we will call it to the Ephesian believers. After defining salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone. Ephesians 289 verse 10 he says oh by the way you are his workmanship. You are his, pulling transliterated you are his whole. You are the artwork of God. He is even now constructing another stanza that goes into that masterpiece called your life you may not see it now.
It may not seem so much like art to you, but you will see is when the hills and valleys are explained in that final providential glorification when we will say and I believe we will be taught how God worked it all out. In the meantime we follow him and surrendered to him and we take great security in his providence on our behalf and we trust that the promise.
That's Romans chapter 8 verse 20 that we conclude a brief two-part series entitled the misuse and meaning of Romans 828 if you missed yesterday's broadcast and want to hear the first part of this series we posted it to our website.
The series is also available as a set of CDs if that would encourage you to own a copy for yourself.
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