"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
I'm writing this on Oct 4th which is my oldest brother's (Bryce) birthday.
He died 5 years ago at the age of 76. He and our brother, Edsel were businessmen in our hometown and two of the best when it came to loving and ministering to all types of people!
My 'preacher brother' Keith and I have said, "When we get to Heaven, we may have to take a 'backseat' to Bryce and Edsel...and we won't mind that at all."
The following is an example of Romans 8:28 'working out for good'.
Last week, Delbert Holt who was a teammate of mine on the University of Oklahoma baseball team, went to his Home in Heaven.
Delbert had served in WWII before entering college, so he was older than I.
He 'took me in' and was a good friend to this country boy.
After college, I was coaching and teaching at Blair, Oklahoma
(about 7 miles from my parents' home where I was living).
I started teaching in August, but in November, was drafted into the Army during the Korean War.
I recommended Delbert for my position at Blair. He came and served the school well as teacher, coach and later as Superintendent. One of the girls he coached at Blair later became his wife and they had a wonderful marriage and family.
Romans 8:28 was working for them....and about to work for me!
I was assigned to Ft. Carson, Colorado near Colorado Springs.
One year later, I met La Moyne in church there and 2 years later, we were married.
We celebrated 53 years on September 13.....God is so Good!
I like William Cowper's poem:
'God moves in mysterious ways...His wonders to perform.
He plants His footsteps in the sea...and rides upon the storm."
It is strange, but true how God does work!!
Research your own life and see how Romans 8:28 has worked for you.
The problem that some people have with this verse, is that they want it to work..
without obeying the rest of the Chapter. The key word is KNOW.
In Romans 6, Paul emphasized 3 Spiritual Verbs for Victorious Christian Living:
Vs. 3,6,9: KNOW God personally through the Cross...
and your faith.
Vs. 11: "RECKON (a math term for 'surety') yourselves 'dead to self'...
and 'alive to God' through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Vs. 13-14: "YIELD (continuous action) yourself unto God and sin will not rule over you...
but Grace will."
Now let's look at Romans 8:
D.L. Moody said, "I had rather live in the midst of Romans 8 than to live in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Satan got to Adam and Eve, but can not get to the Christian who is living in the middle of Romans 8."
I believe the key verses are 14 and 16:
"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God."
"The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we ARE the children of God."
Here is an outline of Romans 8 for your own personal study, entitled....
"Where is the Holy Spirit?"
1) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHERE JESUS IS LORD (Romans 7:24-25)
Note the contrast- Before Christ he was a 'wretched man'....
but after Christ he was a 'servant of Christ'. The word for salvation is 'being delivered'.
2) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHERE THERE IS LIBERTY (Romans 8:1-2)
We are to be free from our past and have faith in our future.
3) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHERE THERE IS LIFE (Romans 8:3-13)
He emphasizes that life is 'leaving the law-way for the love and grace way'.
4) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHERE WE ARE LED (Romans 8:14-16)
I have heard the saying, "God said it, I believe it and that settles it."
I like, "God said it...and that settles it whether I believe it or not!"
But it sure makes a lot of difference if we DO believe it.
5) THE HOLY SPIRIT TELLS US TO TAKE THE LONG LOOK (Romans 8:17-25)
"We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ."
Some of our inheritance we are to spend now...
and there is much more to look forward to in Heaven.
6) THE HOLY SPIRIT IS WHERE LOVE LASTS (Romans 8:26-39)
Concentrate on God's unlimited love for you and not on your physical limitations.
Therefore we see in this passage that the Holy Spirit is God desiring:
To love through you....
To work through you....
To be your strength for every duty....
Wisdom for every problem...
Comfort for every sorrow....
Joy in His overflowing service.
God works through you by gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.
We'll study 'fruits of the Holy Spirit' in this paper....
and 'gifts of the Holy Spirit' in another paper.
LOVE - Love like Jesus, using the power of the Holy Spirit (I John 3-4)
My favorite is, 'Perfect love casts out all fear".
JOY - "The joy of the Lord is my strength." (Nehemiah 8:10)
PATIENCE - (long suffering): "Run with patience the race that is set before you,
looking unto Jesus." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Patience with others may lead people to Christ as much as anything we do.
PEACE - It is a gift from Christ to work in and through us to bring others to Him.
GOODNESS - "We are to do good through God's perfect Will." (Romans 12:2)
FAITHFULNESS - A life of faith in God and showing steady faith to others.
GENTLENESS - (meekness) God's servants are to be gentle toward all.
(II Tim. 2:24)
SELF CONTROL - The only way to have self control...
is to allow the Holy Spirit to control you.
I think that many people may want Romans 8:28 to work in their lives...
without having experienced the 'Roman Road to Salvation'.
Romans 3:23: "All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God."
Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death."
BUT.....the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Have you received YOUR gift through repentance and faith?
Romans 5:8: "God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 10:13: "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Peter Marshall (one-time Chaplain of the U.S. Senate) said:
"Our main trouble today is not that our doctrine is false....
but that our experience is flat".
F. B. Meyer said: "Too much religion is work without enough wonder".
May we never lose the 'wonder of it all'.
God fulfilling Romans 8:28 is a big part of this wonder!