Alliterated Promises Of God – V-b His Plan!

Romans 8:28-32

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This is the second Gem about God’s Plan. The first Gem highlighted Jeremiah 29:11 through 14, part of a letter the LORD sent to His people, the Jews, who were experiencing seventy years of captivity in Babylon because of their sins! But it’s application is also apply to us today.

The featured Scripture for this second Gem comes from the book of Romans, a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians in Rome. Through the ages this sixteen-chapter letter has grounded believers in the basics of Christian beliefs, and encouraged them to live out those beliefs! Romans 8:28 through 32 gives us special insight into God’s Plan for believers!

     And we know that all things work together for good to those 
     who love God, to those who are the called according to His 
     purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be 
     conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the 
     firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, 
     these He also called; whom He called, these He also justi-
     fied; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What 
     then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who 
     can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but 
     delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also 
     freely give us all things?
  • Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
     ✞   This is one of the most quoted verses when we are 
         facing hardships or challenges! And it is usually 
         quoted by other well-meaning Christians. The prob-
         lem is, this verse is not often received  by those 
         to whom it is directed in that same spirit!

        I was trying to encourage my Sunday school teacher 
         by this verse. Diane was going through the trial of 
         seeing her mother’s health seriously decline due to 
         bone cancer. I was her pastor, and I had asked her 
         to teach the adult class to give me a break and to 
         occupy her mind on God’s Word instead of constantly 
         worrying about her mother’s health. 

         ➔   I did not just blithely quote Romans 8:28 
              to her, but was tenderly trying to explain 
              how the Lord was working in hers and several 
              other lives because of her mother’s terminal 
              illness.

         ➔   Diane listened as I talked, but later told 
              me she was ready to throw her book at me...
              ....which happened to be her Bible!

     The problem is that Romans 8:28 is too often quoted 
         as a stand-alone verse! You have to go on to...
  • Romans 8:29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
     Here we see the purpose to which God has called us! 
         He wants us, His children, to be conformed to the 
         image of His Son, Jesus Christ! There are other 
         Scriptures that support this idea concerning the 
         purpose of the Lord:

         ➔   I Corinthians 15:49 – “...as we have born 
              the image of the man of dust [sinful Adam], 
              we shall also bear the image of the heavenly 
              Man [Jesus Christ].”

         ➔   II Corinthians 3:18 – “But we all, with un-
              veiled face, beholding as in a mirror the 
              glory of the Lord , are being transformed 
              into that same image from glory to glory, 
              just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

         ➔   James 1:2 through 4 – “...count it all joy 
              when you fall into various trials, knowing 
              that the testing of your faith produces pa-
              tience. But let patience have it’s perfect 
              work, that you may be perfect and complete 
              [like Jesus], lacking nothing....”

         ➔   II Peter 1:3 and 4 – “...through the know-
              ledge of [Jesus Christ]...you may be par-
              takers of the divine nature....The problem is that we are far from the completion of 
         being the image of Jesus! We are sinners, and we need 
         a lot of refining to become like Him!

     If we are going to be conformed to the image of Christ, 
         we have to keep in mind what it says in Hebrews 2:10: 
         “...it was fitting for [Jesus]...in bringing many sons 
         to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect 
         through sufferings.”

         ➔   If He suffered, and we are to become like 
              Him, then we can expect hard knocks and 
              suffering from life also!

         ➔   Didn’t Jesus say to His followers in Luke 
              9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, 
              let him deny himself, and take up his cross 
              daily, and follow Me.The cross is an in-
              strument of suffering and death! According 
              to Romans 6:6, we are to crucify our old 
              sinful nature so we can reflect Jesus in 
              His resurrection power! And we are to do 
              this daily, that is, moment by moment! (see 
              also I Corinthians 15:31).

     One great thing that Jesus’ suffering has accomplished 
         for us is highlighted in Hebrews 4:14 through 16:

             Seeing then that we have a great High Priest 
             who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the 
             Son of God, let us hold fast our profession 
             [of faith]. For we do not have a High Priest 
             who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, 
             but was in all points tempted as we are, yet 
             without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to 
             the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy 
             and find grace to help in time of need. 
  • Romans 8:30 – “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
     There are four steps in God’s plan for us. Three have 
         been accomplished in every Christian, but the fourth 
         is only completed after we are in heaven.

         ➔   Predestined – Alot of Christians have problems 
              with this idea of predestination. 

             ❏   But God knows everything, past, pre-
                 sent, and future! And He not only knows 
                 what was, is, and will be, but He also 
                 knows what every possibility could be! 
                 This does not mean He causes us to do 
                 all things according to what He knows, 
                 but there is nothing we can do, say, or 
                 think that the Lord does not already 
                 know!

             ❏   In the previous verse above, we are 
                  predestined to become like His Son 
                  Jesus! According to I John 3:3, this 
                  will be ultimately fulfilled at His 
                  return: 

                     Beloved, now we are the children 
                     of God; and it has not yet been 
                     revealed what we shall be, but we 
                     know that when He is revealed 
                     [Jesus, at the Rapture], we shall 
                     be like Him, for we shall see Him 
                     as He is.Called God has called ALL humanity to come 
              and put their faith in Jesus! But it is only 
              those who respond that ...are predestined 
              to be conformed to the image of His Son...” 
              (Romans 8:29).” That He calls all human beings 
              to salvation is clear:

             ❏   For it says in I Timothy 4:10, “...the 
                  living God...is the Savior of all men, 
                  especially of those who believe.” 

             ❏   And in I John 2:2 it is written, Jesus 
                  “...Himself is the propitiation for our 
                  sins, and not for ours only but also for 
                  the whole world.But only a relatively small portion of humanity accepts 
         His call! 
  • Romans 3:31 and 32:
     What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who 
     can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but 
     delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him 
     also freely give us all things?

     ✞   The omnipotent Creator and Sustainer of all things 
         is for us! He is the ultimate power of the universe 
         and way beyond! In Isaiah 45:5 through 7 (Interna-
         tional Standard Version), this is what God says 
         about Himself: 

              I am the LORD, and there is no other be-
              sides Me: and there are no gods....so 
              that from the sun's rising [in the east] 
              to the west [where the sun sets], people 
              may know that there is none besides Me. 
              “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I 
              form light and create darkness, I make 
              goodness and create disaster. I am the 
              LORD, who does all these things.

     ✞   No one and nothing can compare with the LORD! So, 
         “...if [He]...is for us, who can be against us?No 
         one and nothing! And He has already proven He is for 
         us by giving us His only Son to save us!

As you can see, the Lord’s overriding plan for followers of His Son is to conform them more and more into Jesus’ image! But as He works out that plan, God will also give us whatever we need to make it happen! The best and most costly gift, the Lord Jesus Christ, has already been given! Anything and everything else we need is a lesser gift! As Paul said in Philippians 4:19, “…my God shall supply all your need accordirng to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This is God’s Plan
for you and me!