“All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  Is it really all good?  To decide, we need to answer three more questions:  What do we mean by “good”?  Who are those who love God?  What do we mean by “all things”?

What do we mean by “good”?  Good, according to this eighth chapter of Romans, is that which helps us conform to the image of God’s Son Jesus Christ and gives glory to God.  It is a long term perspective that looks past our immediate pleasure or ease.   If it helps us grow into the person God has predestined us to be, then even if it is difficult for the present moment, it is good.

Who are those who love God?  Those who obey God, who confess the name of Jesus Christ, who are part of God’s family.  This is an easy concept to understand but a difficult concept for many to accept.  We live in an age where people want blessing without obligation, an age in which we are more willing to judge God than to be judged by God.  We are reluctant to accept that the good is promised only to those who follow in the way of Jesus Christ.  We fail to see the grace that all are welcome to come to Jesus.  Everybody is invited to love God, and thus have all things work for good for them.

What do we mean by “all things?”  All things means all things.  The entire creation is being redeemed by God.  The whole universe suffered when sin and evil and death entered the world.  The whole universe is transformed by the salvation offered through Jesus Christ.  God’s plan is is bigger than saving one person’s individual soul.  God’s plan is to fix a broken creation.  It all works together for good.

In our sermon this Sunday we will talk about how all things work together for good.