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Online Articles

Things Working For Our Good

“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 KJV)

This verse has been a comfort to Christians throughout the present dispensation. Many take the “all things” in the verse to be unlimited i.e., that every single thing that happens to one will eventually be for his good. Others view the “all things” to be limited by the context, like many other passages where “all things” or “all men” are used to mean all within the context. As Vine puts it, “In the plural it signifies ‘the totality of the persons or things referred to’” While I lean toward the second view, the point of this article is not to defend that view. My purpose is to help us appreciate the “things” in the immediate context (chapter 8) that are working together for our good as a people who loves God.

Our Freedom in Christ

After describing the struggle of one under the domination of sin while under “the law,” meaning the law of Moses, in chapter seven, Paul now turns to the benefits of being in Christ chapter 8. In verses 1-4, he declares there is “now no condemnation” in Christ. Why. Because of what “the law of the Spirit of life” in Christ has done, namely, freed us from “the law of sin and death.” This was the law that he said was working in his body while he was under the law (of Moses). (7:23-24). There are three laws discussed in verses 1-4: 1) “The law” (of Moses), 2) “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ” and 3) “the law of sin and death.” What law number 1 could not do, free one for from number 3, number 2 did. Hence, there is no condemnation because one is freed from the bondage of the law of sin and death. By this process we are able to enjoy the “righteousness of the law (of Moses) “(v. 4), without having kept it, but by the freedom (forgiveness) that came with “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ.” that provides for the taking away sin, thus making one righteous. What a blessing!

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

Beginning with verse 11, Paul declares that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Because of this we are no longer to live after the flesh but the Spirit (v. 12) and put to death the “deeds (sins) of the body” (v. 13). One of the great benefits of the indwelling of the Spirit is the intercession that he makes to the Father for us when we are unable to put into words our groanings which we through our weakness cannot express (vv. 26-27).

Children of God

He defines sons of God as being those who are led by the Spirit of God (v. 14). From other passages, like 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we know that the Spirit leads through the God breathed written word of God. We are born again … by the word of God (1 Pet. 2:23). But here we notice the things associated with being Sons of God. The privilege of calling God, “Abba, Father” (v. 15). As children we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ and as such we can know that if we suffer with Him that we will be glorified with him in the end (vv. 17-18). The award awaiting at the end is called the glorious liberty of the “children of God” — a reward that belongs only to those who are God’s children.

Hope in Christ

Paul declares elsewhere that those without Christ are without God and without hope in the world. In this chapter 8, as children of God, we have hope in Christ that far out weighs any suffering that we are called on to suffer for Christ (v. 18). We live with the hope (or “earnest expectation” — v. 19) that after the suffering of this short life in Christ on earth, we will receive the “glorious liberty of the children of God” (v. 21) or “the redemption of our body” (v. 23). Living with knowledge that this life is not all there is for us keeps us pushing to do that which the Lord expects of us. Not only is the suffering of this present time not worthy of being compared to the life to come, even the joy and comfort of the fellowship that we have with members of the Godhead and each other is but a small foretaste of the everlasting life that we will enjoy with them in heaven. What a blessed hope!Truly “what shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (v. 31). They all work together for our good.