All Things For Our Good?- Romans 8:28

In Romans 8:28, Paul tells us that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”. This verse tells us that “all” things work for our good, even the “negative” things, which has caused some to stumble, for they cannot see how “bad” things can work for good. This generally comes due to a failure to understand what is meant by “good” here. The issue we will now examine is just what is meant by good, what is the good toward which all things work? When we think of good, we generally think of it in terms of something that is pleasant or positive. In fact, this is the definition of good we have inherited from the Greek philosophers, who would define good as “that which is pleasurable or useful toward fulfilling our own wants, needs or desires”. This is the typical understanding of good, and we can see why we may have an issue with Romans 8:28 if this is what we understand good to be. The biblical definition of good, however, differs somewhat from the definition we receive from the Greek philosophers. In the Bible, everything is defined by its relation to God. Something is holy because it is set apart for God’s use, and the more set apart it is the “holier” it is. The same is true with what may be considered good. We learn from Scripture that God is good. In Mark 10:18, Jesus says to the rich young man “Why do you call me good? No one is good- except God alone”. We learn here that God alone is good, only He possesses goodness, it is an attribute of His, and any goodness anywhere comes only from Him. Anything that is good derives its goodness only from God, and is good only as it is related to Him. Nothing is intrinsically good or bad, but is only good or bad if God says it is. God is sovereign, and He is the one who gets to decide what is good and what is not. So what does God mean when he says something is good? We turn to Genesis 1, in the story of the creation, where God pronounces all He has created to be “very good”. Things here are “very good” because all is as it should be, and after the fall in Genesis 3, we find things are no longer as they should be, to the point where God destroys it all and starts over in Genesis 6-7. In God’s dictionary, things are good when they are all that they should be, all that they are meant to be. This is particularly true of “those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Returning, then, to this passage in light of what God says good is, we can now understand why “all things” can work together for our good. God uses all the “things” which come into our lives for our “good”, He works all things together so that everything in us is as it should be. And how should things be? We find the answer in Romans 8:29. We should all be conformed to the image of Christ. No individual Christian can be the image of Christ to the world. It takes a body of believers, each finding his purpose and place within the body. God has a purpose and plan for each one of us as part of the body of Christ, and things will be as they should be only when each of us is fulfilling His purpose for us and living out His plan for our lives. This is the good that all things work together for, and God is in control of the circumstances in our lives, using them so that we would be what He created us to be and do what He created us to do, finding our purpose and carrying out his plan in our lives.

1 Comment Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  Living with a Purpose

One Response so far.

  1. JoeChestnut says:

    You are welcome. May God richly bless both you and your ministry.

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