Romans 8:28-30 What is the Good?

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

What is the Good?

We are told that all things work for the good of those who love God?  Materialistic Christians think of this in consumer terms.  “Although I didn’t get the pool that God wants me to have, I know that what happens today will work toward my house, my jet, and my swimming pool.”  However, the context tells us that the good is the working out of our calling.  God has a purpose when he takes a hold of us and that purpose can not be foiled.  God has a plan.  His plan will not be foiled.  Everything that happens to his chosen people is part of the plan.  We are called.  We are justified,  We are glorified.  Nothing can work against the inevitability of God’s work.

So, God does not place under the Christmas tree the gift that we always wanted.  He uses the cataclysm, the disappointment, or the instability in life to create in us the person he meant us to be.  Our access to God is complete.  His access to us is unhindered.  We become good.

Prayer

Father, may I rest assured that all the things in my life work to bring about your good in me.  May I be the person you have laid hold of me to become.

Questions

  1. What works for the good of those whom God calls?
  2. How are predestination and goodness connected in this passage?
  3. How is verse 28 used by Christians?
  4. How would you explain the meaning of verse 28 in your own words?
  5. Are you secure in the knowledge that God is working out his plan through you?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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6 Responses to Romans 8:28-30 What is the Good?

  1. Rachel O'Sullivan says:

    (Responding to questions 2 and 4)
    I always took Romans 8:28 as referring to the security of the salvation for the elect. “For we know that all things work out for good” does not refer to earthly security, for we can clearly see in the lives of so many fellow Christians sickness, pain, death of loved ones, and persecution. So our definition of what working out for good looks like should be connected to our salvation. When we are looking at our salvation, when Paul says here that all things work out for good, it is the best possible news a Christian could receive. All things work out for good means that salvation is secured for the elect, the ones that are predestined by God. This theme is tied in later in the chapter, in verses 38-39, when he says that “neither life nor death…. nor anything can separate us from the love of God”.
    That is the greatest promise a Christian can receive. Earthly security should hold no weight for us. Eternal security should be the greatest reward.

  2. Matthew Baier says:

    When I hear verse 28, my first thought is not of materialistic desires that will be gratified (which I am glad to say is a good thing), instead it brings a wave of comfort over me that God has determined a plan and has set my life in motion for his glory. I love to come back to this verse when God is bringing me through a trial in life (or when sin creeps in and sets me back) because it reminds me that NOTHING is out of God’s control. He is the maker and ruler over everything that happens in my life. So no matter where I seem to find myself in life, He is always holding me up. How comforting.

  3. Edward Moscatelli says:

    Hi Peter, Can I get my e-mail address changed from emos1@att.net to edwmos1@gmail.com  I am unable to edit sorry. Brother Ed 847 494 4710

  4. the disobedient child says:

    I’ve realized many times in my life how God uses horrible experiences and events in my life for the purpose of making me identify that He is all I need. Despite the hard trials and circumstances, I am so incredibly grateful that God is perfect in every way of life, so that when all hope seems to be lost, it turns out to be the beginning of a bright future. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Responding to Question 5. I am very secure in the fact that God is working out a plan for my life. I love Jesus so much and I realize that my life belongs to Him that it is not mine. I am at the place where God can do whatever He wants with my life, and until the day He calls me to come home to Him, I am going to strive my best to live for Him and tell others of what He has done in my life, and what He has done for theirs and what He can do for theirs. The world is dying and needs Jesus, and Jesus said do not fear the one who can kill the body, but fear the one who has the power to send your soul to heaven or hell. I give my life to Jesus and this body I live in is temporary. See I love to say this to people. Earth is not my home it is just temporary, Heaven is my home it’s a place of Eternity.

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