Bible Mike Wonders

Just Thinking About Romans 8:28

April 27, 2010
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One of the reasons that so many Christians fail to grasp the real beauty of Romans 8:28 is that they fail to realize that everything good, and everything bad that God will turn to good is there in the first place because Jesus Christ died on that terrible stake of death, the cross. This has resulted in a church that is neither Christ centered nor cross focused. American Christianity and its terrible heresy export the prosperity gospel have caused so many to act on an attitude that personal goods, friends, family, health, life, even our very breath are ours by right rather than grace. That fact is we do not deserve what we have, no matter how little or how much. We do not own what we have. We only have temporary use of it and even that is not by right or earning.

We are creatures. We were created by the One, Eternal Creator and He is not bound by any rule or obligation to provide us with breath, life, health, personal goods or anything else. Our very existence is at His Will. We have all heard political appointees say, “I serve at the will of the President.” Well we live at the Will of God, Himself. We forget that at our peril.

Besides being created beings who have no say in how we are created, we are egregious sinners who fall so short of His glory as to be inconsequential except for His grace. (Romans 3:23) He can give, He can take and He does us no injustice in that process for all is His to do with as He sees fit. (Job 1:21) All we deserve from Him is judgment. (Romans 3:19)

Every time we take a breath, every time our heart beats, every spark that passes the synapses of our brain, every sun rise, all we see, all we hear, all we taste, every step is a free and undeserved gift to sinners who deserve only judgment. If we fail to see His grace in these gifts at some point they will change from gifts to evidence of ingratitude and high treason. There are many who will be surprised that day to hear the words, “I never knew you.”

Scripture tells us these things are gifts of grace “the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience” that direct us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) However, when we take these things for granted and do not acknowledge God’s grace in them, “Because of your hardened heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Romans2:5)

Everything in life should point us at Christ. Jesus is the creator of all that we care about. He is the giver of life, physical and spiritual. He purchased with His blood all that we hope for, all that we should treasure, all that we should dream. He is our hope, our treasure and our dream. Every experience in life should magnify the cross of Christ in our hearts and minds, because every good thing, or bad thing that will be changed into good, is meant to magnify Christ and Him crucified.

All my Christian life I have clung to Romans 8:28 like a life raft in a turbulent sea. Each time I read it, thought about it or prayed over it; I saw and experienced the great and gracious love of Jesus poured out for me. Lately as I see the, to me, terrible changes that have taken place in the church over the last decade in particular, I also hear a more somber tone in these words as I read them. Just as hope and great joy can be found here for those who trust in God and acknowledge His supremacy, so is there great judgment for those who ignore the grounding principles and truths that are the foundation upon which this passage is built.

Everything God has made and everything God gives is aimed at bringing glory to His Son, Jesus the Christ, Yeshua Messiah. The aim of God is the honor of Christ. When Paul says in Galatians “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he is saying that to boast in any other way for any other purpose is the opposite of God’s will and desire for us. Without recognizing God as source and full supremacy over all things and the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all matters we cannot know the wonder of that fruit we call Romans 8:28. That fruit is most flavorful because we understand the basis for it, but if we fail to recognize that we turn it into our own curse.

When we glorify ourselves and our ideas of what is right, we miss out on the One Who  has all right and power to determine our fates. My heart breaks for those who would turn God into servant instead of recognizing what it means to say His gifts are gracious indeed.


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