...all things to work together...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alcott, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Romans 8:28

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    28 And we know that [a]God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
    Footnotes:


    1. Romans 8:28 One early ms reads all things work together for good
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    I can go for years without giving a lot of thought to this oft-cited verse, but reading from or listening to someone who holds it more.... close? special? fundamental?-- whatever... can get those thoughts churning, which never leads to an unchangeable solution. I don't think it is of prime importance whether "God causes..." or just "all things work..." because that does not change the direction-- and indeed, if God does not cause things to work together for good, then who or what can that does?


    Nevertheless, if you proceed through life like myself, not attributing yesterday's figures of 49 degrees for the low and 75 for the high to any divine purpose, rather to climate and geography, perhaps you fail the significance of the message of this verse. But what is the right approach? Did God cause those temperatures for something 'good' that wouldn't happen otherwise? Maybe to stop something 'bad' that would? Then, it may be asked, why doesn't he keep the temperature of the waters on the coasts too cold to swim during spring break-- indeed, all the time-- so people don't go around in skimpy swimsuits, resulting in lustful and promiscuous behavior? However you see this, it's obvious we don't have brain nibble of the capacity to understand all things and how they work together for any purpose. So I ordinarily just don't give thought to simple, regular things that happen one way or another every moment. And then there are the deeper questions of whether God causes evil things to happen as part of that working together.


    Are we best thinking about this issue or not, since we can't possibly understand all it necessarily involves? [And did God just cause that medical center rep to call and interrupt this to find out why I haven't set up my appointment for a bone scan yet?] Is a football player right to get on his knees and thank God the touchdown he just scored, since God caused him to do it? ... this is too much.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    It doesn't mean that God "caused" something, but God used the event to our good. He caused the good.
    For instance, God didn't cause Joseph's brothers to sin, but he caused their sin to be for Joseph's good and ultimately (in His grace) for his brother's good as well.

    It's a comforting verse to those who are going through terrible situations, knowing that through all the bad stuff, God will "cause" something good to come from it.
     
  3. Bob Alkire

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    I believe the"good" is what is good from God’s perspective not human perspective. To often we look at good from our perspective and I believe we miss what is being taught here.
    As William Newell tell us on this verse:
    "We have been dealing in the first part of the chapter with the human will and its consent to walk by the Spirit. Not so from the 28th verse to the chapter’s end. It will be all God from now on!"
     
  4. Benjamin

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    Roman’s 8:28 is a good descriptor of prevenient grace and clearly makes note of a “condition” (for those that love God).

    This condition is about “influence and response” and not the “cause and effect” that those who read through Calvinist/Determinist glasses would impose on the meaning of this verse and go about insisting it is a proof-text for their determinist’ doctrine .

    God causes all things to work “together” (describes influence and response) for the good.

    To those who are called according to His *purpose. This speaks of God’s promise of grace through faith, for love of the Truth (the condition again noted: love of Truth/God) from before the foundation of the world. (*John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 12:32 - And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw “all” men unto me.)

    Roman’s 8:28 needs to be interpreted in light of all scripture for God’s purpose to be understood properly: 1Jn 2:2 – “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the “whole” world.” – Another verse which “many” (Determinists) attempt to force fit into suggesting God’s grace is based on cause and effect pre-selection of the specially predestined elect rather than God’ righteous judgment concerning influence and response (for those that love God).

    Hope that helps. :saint::)
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I dont understand what your saying here so could you define it better?
     
  6. Deacon

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    Sometimes the 'good' is not what we expect!




    [​IMG]

    God has a wonderful plan for your life.

    Rob
     
  7. Yeshua1

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    He is saying that we cannot use that text to "prove" that God has predetermined who of us get saved, but that God will save and work out things for those who have 'freely chosen" christ!

    That God is sovereign, but that he is NOT as we cals see it, but in that He work according to how we respond to him first!
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    If divine sovereignty must somehow be accommodated to human capability, then how can it be considered sovereignty?
     
  9. Alcott

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    My view seems to be close to yours, but if God steers some event in progress in the direction of being for somebody's good, then he is causing something. If that's the end of his causing, then the question ensues to what fraction of events he does so with, and whether if no one involved loves him if he does any steering at all.

    His brothers, as well as most residents of Egypt near the Nile, were guilty bystanders and recipients of that love because Joseph loved God. But the later generations of Jacob's family became abused slaves. There can be big holes in those plains of love as time or distance increase from someone who got those things worked out for good because he loved God. Eventually, somebody else has to [i.e., Moses].

    From personal experience, it's both comforting and frustrating. Sure, you think something positive will happen from it, but you do a lot of wondering why you can't take a shortcut [not necessarily a miracle, but quick benefits, at least].
     
  10. Amy.G

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    I don't think any of us can figure it all out. :)

    Bad things happen. Did God cause it? I don't know. But God does not tempt us to sin. That is clear and written in scripture. We cannot see the end the way that God can. That's why we need faith. Without it we cannot please God. But somewhere down the road, we are promised that it will be for our good if we love God. It's hard to wait in the midst of trials. I've been in waiting mode for a few years now. But God hasn't given up on me, so I won't give up on Him. :godisgood:
     
  11. Amy.G

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    No that doesn't help. Don't turn this thread into another Cal vs. non-Cal debate.

    Alcott asked a good question. It has nothing to do with determinism.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    I don't get it. :confused:
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    :applause::thumbs:
     
  14. Deacon

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    Did God forget the martyrs that sacrificed their lives for the gospel?
    Did they think that martyrdom happened for their good?

    The promise that scripture makes assures us that God is in control - not that we will like or even understand why things happen.

    Rob
     
  15. salzer mtn

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    Rom 8:28 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. Paul maybe is looking back on past experiences as one who has proven salvation and declares, and we know as in verse 38 when he said i am persuaded. He knows and he is persuaded that all things when put together will work for our good and Gods glory. Why does Paul have confidence in the providence of the Lord ? Because nothing can seperate us from the love of Christ Jesus and in all these things we are more than conquerours through him that loved us.
     
  16. Alive in Christ

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    God declares in that passage that all things work together for the good for those who are His.

    He said it, He meant it, and I have consistently experienced it

    Glory to God!
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    God is in complete control of every atom in His universe, and He has them all working toward His ordained purpose.


    Every single providence is important and it is our duty to meditate on it.
    One godly pastor said it this way...

    Providence is a good diary, but a bad road map:thumbs:


    Everyone should read and study this helpful writing by John Flavel:thumbs:
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    Hello AMYG,
    When someone mistakes Gods ordained plan and providence which he has done in love,for the heathen concept of what philosophy calls determinism/ fatalism.....the person doing this departs from truth and goes into darkness missing the blessing of what God is offering as comfort to His children.
     
  19. Benjamin

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    It’s those glasses you are reading and interpreting through; they are distorting your perception. God’s Sovereignty is not based in a form of “Deterministic Sovereignty” but is a form of “Providential Sovereignty”. When one gets too wrapped up in supporting systematic must fit traditional theologies of men they have a tendency to get somewhat spoiled and arrive at empty and logically meaningless and thereby untruthful doctrines.
     
  20. Benjamin

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    How do you know? You psychic or something?

    When someone goes about talking about God causing both good and evil, unchangeable things and God’s control in all things in the world He Divinely designed with purpose being only deterministic, well, ahh, that makes it a Cal/nonCal issue. I’d suggest you re-read the Op to better discern what you're apparently turning a blind eye towards.

    …and this is a problem related to Deterministic thought and it is rooted in systematic Calvinist teachings leading to a belief in of Divine Sovereignty to be "Deterministic" sovereignty.

    When I address an issue, such as a person’s display of a lack of hope for something or someone and/or one coming across as attempting to shuck off personal responsibilities to make change and/or discounting that their responses to Divine influences has “real” value while foregoing that their actions may indeed lead to “un-predetermined” blessings from God according to His judgment in the matter, in “real” time…well, I like to get directly to the roots of such problems which guided those beliefs and causes such misunderstandings.

    If that’s alright with you...? ;)
     

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