Here’s my outline for the sermon I preached on Romans 8:28 at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. You can listen to the audio here.
Rom 8:28 “All Things for Good”
INTRO: How does a Christian carry on when life gets difficult? When you lose your job unexpectedly? When you get cancer? When marriage is far more difficult than you expected? When your friend walks away from the faith? When the finances fall through? When the darkness in your soul just does not seem to lift? Where do we find our hope and joy?
-We need to see again the truth of today’s passage: God works all things together for the good of the Christian
-We’ve been learning in Romans that through gospel can be right with God through faith in Jesus Christ!
-Yet the Christian life is one of waiting for the completion of our redemption: Jesus’ return and resurrection of dead.
-In this life we wait, suffer and groan. There is joy, but also pain. Creation groans. Christians groan.
-Last Week we saw: God has given us help in our weakness—the HS helps us and prays for us.
TODAY given a view from behind the scenes: *God is working ALL THINGS together for our good.*
MLJ: “one of the most comforting statements in the whole range of Scripture.”
-There are no accidents, no actions, no failures, no falls outside of God’s control.
-God is working everything in the life of Christian for good: mundane things, hard things, pleasant & painful
-Seeing this leads us to delight in God because He is wonderful and loving toward us.
-Seeing this leads us to hope in God in hardships: we can trust God even if the dark places of life.
–God works everything together for the good of the Christian.
—————————–WALKING THROUGH THE TEXT TOGETHER…
1. We KNOW:
Our limited knowledge of reality: (relatives, Superbowl). There are many things we do NOT know.
-As Christians we KNOW certain things: God has revealed truth about Himself to us, about the world, and reality.
-This verse tells us WE KNOW God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
HOW do we KNOW?
-Scripture tells us.
-God’s is sovereign over all AND God is loving and kind toward His people.
-Examples in lives of other Christians in Scripture (Gen 50:20)
-Examples in lives of other Christians
-Our own life: see how God worked things for our good.
APP: We may not know why God has allowed painful and perplexing things to happen in our lives, but we know that behind and over them all God is working them for our good. We KNOW this. Therefore, we can trust God through them.
2. For Those WHO LOVE GOD:
-This verse is giving a truth about certain people, not all people.
-Those who love God=Christians
-Augustine talked about sin as DISORDERED LOVE.
-The Big change in my life when I became a Christian: I started to LOVE God.
HOW DO WE SHOW THIS LOVE?
-We seek to treasure and delight in God in our hearts
-We love Him with our time, our money, our relationships, our dreams.
-We obey Jesus (John 14:15)
*CHILDREN: The invitation to become a Christian is an invitation to LOVE God and experience His love for
you! You are invited into a relationship with the Living God and you are invited to love God.
QUESTION: If someone looked at your life, what would they say you really love? Would they say you love your spouse? Or your children? Or your job? Or your hobbies? Or would they say ‘He really loves God’?
SOBERING FACT: God is a JEALOUS GOD. Rightly, he wants our love.
GOSPEL HOPE: We rest in God’s love for us: Rom 5:8
GOSPEL RESULT: We live lives of love for God and others.
3. Those WHO ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE:
-This is in parallel with “those who love God”
-“Called”=God’s effectual calling of a people to Himself.
-God first takes the initiative in our salvation. Without this we would not come to Him!
-“According to His Purpose”
-God has a purpose for all Christians: calls us for His glory.
-Unique purpose for each Christian too: bringing glory to His name through our lives and vocations.
-Might not be the purpose you want (Isaiah walking naked for 3 years)
-But his purpose is good.
APP: God is so gracious and kind to call us to Himself, even as we were dead in our sins and wanted nothing to do with Him. Here is the love and grace of God!
4. FOR GOOD
-Here is the end for which God works ALL THINGS TOGETHER: for “good”
QUESTION? What is our ultimate good?
-Society: personal wishes and dreams fulfilled; life free from pain; free to do what I want and be what I want.
-God’s good: that we would know Him (John 17:3) and be like Christ (Rom 8:29)
-God works all things for our ultimate good: being more like Jesus.
MOO: “the promise to us is that there is nothing in this world that is not intended by God to assist us on our earthly pilgrimage and to bring us safely and certainly to the glorious destination of that pilgrimage.” (530)
QUESTION: Consider your heart. Consider your dreams. What is your highest good? Is to know God and make him known? Is to be more like Jesus? Or has the world filled your heart with lesser things?
GOSPEL TRUTH: Jesus saves us from lesser goods, lesser gods, to experience the true good and true GOD.
APP: God knows what is your ultimate good better than you. We can trust Him to lead us there even through the valleys and dark places.
5. ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD
-ALL THINGS refers to all things in all of our lives. EVERY Detail.
-God is sovereignly working everything for the good of Christians.
-He is not the author of sin, but rules over it for our good.
MOO: “it is the sovereign guidance of God that is presumed as the undergirding and directing force behind all the events of life.”
Pleasant things: (joy, victory over temptation, friendship, fellowship, promotion at work, raise in pay, success)
-Lead us to worship God
-Strengthen us to carry on
-Empower and equip us to do good works.
GOD WORKS ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD
Hard, Challenging and Perplexing things: (failures, setbacks, broken relationships, lost jobs, frustrations)
-Leads us to RELY more on God (2 Cor 1:8-9)
-Reveal our true motives (C.S. Lewis rats in the cellar)
-Lead us to pray more
-Lead us to be more compassionate on those who are struggling
GOD WORKS ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM!
1. Isn’t God amazing?
-God is involved in your life
-Nothing can thwart His good purposes.
-God’s heart to you is one of love, lovingly working all things out for good.
2. Isn’t God trustworthy in hard and perplexing times?
-We can trust God when circumstances and life are hard
-We can trust God through pain and perplexity
-We can trust God in the mundane
-We can trust God through it all!
APP: Memorize this verse, think much about it, and let it guide you to the truth through life’s darkness.