CAUTION: GOD AT WORK
ROM 8:28-31
NAS
28 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. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God {is} for us, who {is} against us? (NAS)

NIV
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (NIV)

KJV
28 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. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (KJV)

INTRODUCTION

Many people quote this text and really do not study it. The action of this text is not things but God. He is at work things are not. Therefore I want us to focus on God being at work in His world and His people.


1. God Works Through His . .
Promises. v 28



A. The . . Comfort of God's Promises. v 28 a
NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,. . . "

NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, . . . "

KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, . . . "

1. Context of the text. The arrangement of Greek Text is the contributing factor here.

Illustration.
Blackboard Illustration. GODISNOWHERE

(1. GOD IS NO WHERE!

(2. GOD IS NOW HERE!

2. Comfort to Know the . . Positive; God is in Control.

3. Comfort to Know the . . Negative; Things don't Control.

This verse does not say all things work for good.

But God works through all things.

Gen. 50:20
20 "And as for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. (NAS)

B. The . . Community for God's Promises. v 28 b
". . . for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.

1. Those who Love God.

Shown in actions and Deeds.

2. Those who are Called. This word associated with Saints.

GREEK word used 10 Times in the N.T.

Usually refers to the call to salvation.

The word Church means "called out ones" Rev 17:14

"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him {are the} called and chosen and faithful."(NAS)

C. The . . Construction of God's Promises. v 28 a
". . . according to {His} purpose."

Sometimes we think it should be our purposes.

Illustration
Happinessce Jones is a renowned concert organist and teacher at Baylor University. Several years ago she played the first full concert on the new pipe organ at the Crystal Cathedral in California, which cost over $1 million.

At the age of sixteen she was a piano major at the University of Texas. A sprained wrist interrupted her promising career as a pianist. For six weeks she could not touch a keyboard. Not wanting to waste the time, she decided to learn to play organ pedals with her feet, and a new career was born. "God has a way," she relates, "to get your attention and say, 'Hey, I have something better for you to do."'

Application

What experience in your life may very well illustrate God is working in your life according to His Promise.



2. God Works Through His . .
Plan to Conform.
v 29 - 30



29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

A Plan of Conforming through . . His Calling. v 30 a
This word is similar but a little different to the word in verse 28.

The Predestined Call is a conforming Call.

We are not saved just for heaven.

We are saved to be the leaven in this world
We are to be like Jesus.

Rev 19:9 And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited (called) to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God." (NAS)

B. A Plan of Conforming through . . His Justification. v 30 b

He has made the Christian Justified.

He will make them Justified.

Vines Definition: JUSTIFY
B. Verb.
dikaioo ^1344^ primarily "to deem to be right," signifies, in the NT, (a) "to show to be right or righteous"; in the passive voice, to be justified, <Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:35; Rom. 3:4;

1 Tim. 3:16>; (b) "to declare to be righteous, to pronounce righteous," . . . " (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) (Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

C. A Plan of Conforming through . . His Glorification.v 30 c

30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What does it mean to be glorified.

Thayer's Dictionary says: 1392 doxazo-
1) to think, to suppose, to be of opinion
2) to praise, to extol, to magnify, to celebrate
3) to honor, to do honor to, to hold in honor
4) to make glorious, to adorn with lustre, to clothe with splendor
a) to impart glory to something, to render it excellent
b) to make renowned, to render illustrious, to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged

C. We Conform in Glorification to Christ example.
John 17:1 These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, (NAS)

John 17:5 "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. (NAS)

1. We Conform in Glorification as we are to be examples..
Rom 15:6-7
6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (NAS)

Illustration

The following is a wonderful prayer

by Norwegian Theologian Ole Hallesby:

"Lord, If it will be to Your glory, heal suddenly.

Lord, If it will glorify You more, heal gradually;

Lord, If it will glorify You even more, . . .

may your servant remain sick awhile; and;

Lord if it will glorify Your name still more, . . .

take him to Yourself in heaven."

Illustration
George Atley was killed while serving with the Central African Mission. There were no witnesses, but the evidence indicates that Atley was confronted by a band of hostile tribesmen. He was carrying a fully loaded, 10-chamber Winchester rifle and had to choose either to shoot his attackers and run the risk of negating the work of the mission in that area, or not to defend himself and be killed.

When his body was later found in a stream, it was evident that he had chosen the latter. Nearby lay his rifle -- all 10 chambers still loaded. He had made the supreme sacrifice, motivated by his burden for lost souls and his answering devotion to his Savior. With the apostle Paul, he wanted Christ to be magnified in his body, "whether by life or by death."

Application

What experience in your life may very well illustrate God is working in your life according to His Plan for you to be Conformed to the likeness of Jesus.


3. God Works Through His . .
Position. v 31



31 What then shall we say to these things? If God {is} for us, who {is} against us? (NAS)

A. God Works through a . . Satisfying Position. v 31 a

We are silent because we see the hand of God.
Rom 3:4
4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man {be found} a liar, as it is written, "That Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and mightest prevail when Thou art judged." (NAS)

B. God Works through a . . Superior Position. v 31 b

The World is ultimately silenced because they see the hand of God.

Illustration
Isaac Rankin says that just outside his window is a large wire which carries a heavy current of electricity. The doves in my neighborhood suffer no harm when they perch on it.. The secret is that when they contact that wire, they touch nothing else.

My danger would be that should I attempt to reach out and do so, the walls of my house would act as a ground, and the current would turn my body into a channel through which the electricity would flow in damaging power.

So God would have us seek our safety in complete surrender to His power and love. It is when we reach one hand to Him while still holding fast to some forbidden thing with the other that we are in danger."

Application

Caution God at work. He wants us totally surrendered.

What experience in your life may very well illustrate God is working in your life according to His Position. It is for you to be Conformed to the likeness of Jesus.

CONCLUSION

God Works Through His . . Promises.

God Works Through His . . Plan to Conform.

God Works Through His . . Position.



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