1/16/17 The Providence of God XII

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Part 12

Rom. 8:28

Morning Meditation 1/16/17

Verse 28 says, “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.”

I have personally heard this verse quoted (or coated!) more than any verse in the Bible since I have been in the ministry. It is a verse expressing a truth that deserves that kind of mention. It speaks of the providence of God. I believe the greatest miracle that is taking place or that has ever taken place is how a Sovereign God can rule from heaven and control men, events and the whole creation to accomplish His ultimate purpose without violating man’s will.

On the subject of providence I quote Chafer: “Providence is the divine outworking of all decrees, the object of being the final manifestation of God’s glory. He directs all things perfectly, no doubt, yet without compelling the human will. He works in man the desire to do His will (Phil. 2:13).”

I want to examine this verse and in doing it I want to call attention to four points it makes. First lets notice,


Warren Wiersbe in a recent message that he preached told of a young man who came to him after the service and said, “I take it that you believe in absolutes,” to which Dr. Wiersbe replied, “Yes, I do.” The young man said, “I do not believe that there are any absolutes.” Dr. Wiersbe then asked, “Is what you just said an absolute?!” Thank God there are absolutes.. You can count on what God says in His Word to be absolute.

Paul said, “And we know.” The word “know” translates “eido” and means, “to see with the eyes or any of the senses.” “I know it because I saw it” is the eye witness knowledge. “I know it because I experienced it” is knowledge that comes through the senses. There is another word for know. It is ginosko and according to Vine speaks of “taking in knowledge” and emphasizes the progress of attaining it. Vine says, “ginosko, frequently suggests inception or progress in knowledge, while oida suggests fulness of knowledge.” —An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine.

The words “We know” is a perfect active indicative verb. Paul is expressing a certainty. The perfect tense means that we learned this is the past with the result that we stand in the present abolutely sure of this truth. What we learned in the past, and examined by meditation and prayer, we stand with minds perfectly assured of this truth. It is so good to know that the Bible teaches us that we can KNOW some things. They are not things we are examining to see if they are valid. What we know, so far as the Word of God is concerned, is in concrete.. It has already been tested and has been found to be perfect. David said in Psalm 12:6, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” James calls it “The perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). Paul expresses certainty in these words. Then lets notice next,


Paul says, “that all things . . .” These words translate “panta” and means, “each and every.” This is a truth that goes so far over my head I am made to realize the awesome limitation of my understanding. This is a truth that magnifies the greatness of God in His power and Wisdom. There are no better words to express the feeling I get when I have before me a great truth like this than Paul’s in Romans 11:33-36: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

The teaching of the New Testament harmonizes completely with Paul’s declaration here. If all things work together for the good, then what should be our attitude about all things? There are three verses that confirm that we are to take what Paul says here literally.

First, Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” The word “always” translates “pantote” and means, “at all times and on every occasion.” The words “all things” translates the SAME word as in our text.

Second, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The words “every thing” translates the SAME word as in our text. Paul says, “for this is the will of God concerning you.”

Third, Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” The word “continually” translates “diapantos” and means, “constantly, always, continually.” How could a believer continually offer the sacrifice of praise if he were not doing it for the bad as well as for the good? I know this is tough. But it is a part of the DISCIPLINE of discipleship. Then next in our text we see,


Paul says, “And we know that all things WORK TOGETHER. . .” (Caps mine for emphasis). The words “work together” translate “sunergeo” and means, “to put forth power together with and thereby to assist.”This word is a compound of “sun” meaning, “with,” and “ergon” meaning, “any product whatever, any thing accomplished by hand, art, industry, or mind.” It is a present active indicative verb. This means that God is employing all the present events for the good of accomplishing His purpose. We pray, “Lord I want your will to be done in my life no matter what it is.” Do we really mean that? What if you want to do something for the Lord He has not called you to do? I have seen people who wanted to teach a Sunday School class. You give them a class that is running ten. In a short time they are down to one or two. They get offended when you take them out. You put someone else who has been called in that class and it goes back to growing immediately. Are you willing to serve Him where He wants you? If it is not what you want to do? You see when we get in the place where God wants us, doing what He wants us to do, no matter what happens, He can make it work together for our good and therefore it is something for which we need to be thankful. Roy Hession drew a circle and put the believer in that circle. He said, “everything that comes into that circle to you is the will of God for you.” He said, “the person who fired at you in that circle may have been completely out of the will of God in doing it. But it is God’s will for your life.” That is the best illustration I have heard on that subject. It is a situation where someone does you wrong. It was not God’s will for him, and he will need to repent of it. But God allowed it to happen and tells you how to respond. And He will work it together for our good. The word “good” translates, “agathos” and means, “good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy.” Now this does not mean that the bad things that happen to you feel good. It does not mean that if you do not feel joyful over the bad things that you are not right with God. The word “good” is related to the words “his purpose.” God has a purpose in our lives. This means that God can take everything that happens to us both good and bad and make them work to accomplish His goal. That should make us joyful. We sometimes have to pray, “Lord, I don’t like what is happening in my life now.. But I am very thankful that you can take this bad thing that hurts and accomplish your purpose with it. Lord, I commit myself to You to make this work together to accomplish Your ultimate purpose.”

Then last of all, lets look at,


There are two things said about the ones specified. First, it is to those who love God. The word “love” translates “agapao” and is the verb form of John 3:16 love. It is a present active participle. Paul is speaking of those believers who are in a continual state of loving God. We say about a person, “He really loves the Lord.” What do we mean by that? We mean that He is devoted to Him and we see it in all areas of his life. Not every Christian is operating in the love of God. Jude 1:21 says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” The word “keep” translates “tereo” and means, “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard.” It is an aorist active imperative verb. This means at that point of time in which you are about to allow your love for God to cool off, take action. It is imperative mood which expresses urgency. It is urgent that all our service to Him be done in love or it is “wood, hay, and stubble.”

Second, it is those who are called according to His purpose. The word “the” is not in the Textus Receptus. It is “called” and translates “kletos” and means, “called like to a banquet.” So this word reaches out to all the saved because the saved have been called and have responded by faith in the gospel. So what this verse is saying is that God can make all things work together to accomplish His ultimate purpose. The Christian out of fellowship with God cannot alter God’s ultimate purpose. He can damage other people in the present. He can arrive at the judgment seat of Christ and lose rewards. But He cannot keep God from accomplishing His ultimate purpose.

The ideal is to live in the love of God and faithfully serve Him and accept the things in life as God’s will for our lives and thank Him that He is such an all-wise and powerful God that He can take our present circumstances and use them for His glory.. This is an attitude that can’t lose.

May God bless these words to our hearts.

In Christ

Bro. White

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