As we continue through the book of Romans, we arrive at another verse that gets us all turned around. We need to really understand it in its context.
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.
This is great verse and I’ve heard many people quote it and preach about it. They usually say something like, “Don’t worry, no matter how bad your situation gets, God will turn it around to good in the end.”
Is that what Paul’s saying here? To answer this, we need to think about the verse just before this one. What’s the context of this statement?
Remember, the apostle told us that our spirit and the Holy Spirit are in conference over us. The purpose of this conference is to bring about God’s will in our lives.
It turns out that there’s an alternate translation of verse 28.
“God works together with all who love Him to bring about good – the purpose to which they were called.”
Remember – I don’t know the objective precisely as needed. However, the Holy Spirit of God will work with me to overcome that weakness. This translation melds perfectly with what Paul said in verse 27.
Of course, many people want to believe this verse the alternate way. They feel they can do what they want – just “love God” – and He’ll work everything out.
I don’t believe that’s the case. The Lord will work together with me to bring about His good purpose in my life. That’s more in line with the context of this chapter.
Think about what the rest of Scripture teaches.
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:1
This concept is found all throughout God’s Word. The Holy Spirit and the saints working together. Why would Paul say that God will do the work Himself, all you have to do is love Him? I believe that it’s clear, God wants to work with us to bring about His will.
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.
The next big question is about predestination. The key is that those He foreknew, He predestined to be like Christ.
We forget sometimes, that God is outside of time and space. Before you were born, He saw the day you would receive Him as your Savior. So, He already made a place for you in His Kingdom.
He set a destination for you, based on your future decision. It’s the destination that’s the important part of this verse.
What is that destination? That we are conformed to the likeness of His Son. It says that we’re morphed together into the picture of Christ.
This is the plan that the Holy Spirit and my spirit are working together to accomplish. Everyday, I want to look more and more like Jesus. That’s the goal of prayer in the spirit. That’s the only way to truly overcome the flesh and its sinful nature.
Question: How have you changed since coming to Christ?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi