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.
The argument for this is fivefold.
I. THE DIVINE SUPREMACY.
1. This co-operation among all things for the believer's good is not the result of the conscious aim of the things themselves, but by virtue of an extrinsic force.
2. This force, which makes "all things work together," must be a supreme force.
3. This supreme force is God.
(1) Because He alone is supreme.
(2) Because the controlling power is exercised in behalf of the objects of His love, who also are His "called" ones.
(a) To love God is the only true evidence of being His "called" ones.
(b) To be His "called" ones is to secure the co-operation of all things for our good.
II. THE DIVINE PURPOSE (vers. 29-31).
1. This foreknowledge is more than prescience; it implies personal, loving approval.
(1) Otherwise there could be no discrimination, for God is prescient, knows, intellectually, all.
(2) Otherwise Universalism has in these words the strongest possible foundation.
(3) The conditions of this Divine approval must be conceived of in harmony with the nature of Him who does the approving.
(4) Being the moral approval of One who is holy and just, as well as loving, and who has predestined salvation only through the death and resurrection of His Son, it is easy to understand the plan of electing grace.
2. Far-reaching and all-loving purpose for the highest good of believers.
(1) The ineffable good of conformity to the image of God's Son.
(2) Of contributing by Divine grace to the glory of Christ.
(3) Of being called by the Holy Spirit, justified by the Father, and glorified with Christ for ever.
3. The good of a righteousness unchallengeable to all eternity (ver. 31).
III. THE DIVINE SACRIFICE an argument for the believer's security (ver. 32).
1. This form of statement undeniably implies a real sacrifice on the part of the Father in giving up His Son.
2. Such a sacrifice as this implies the withholding of no good from those who accept Christ.
(1) This argument is as self-evident as it is wonderful.
(2) The reality of the substitutionary character of Christ's work is unavoidable, according to these words.
IV. DIVINE ELECTION (vers. 33, 34).
1. The elect of God are His justified ones (ver. 33).
(1) The condition of justification and prerogatives of the justified are laid down in many parts of Scripture.
(a) Condition of justification (Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:16).
(b) Prerogatives of the justified — peace, blessedness, pardon, salvation (Romans 5:1; Romans 4:6-8).
2. Divine justification rests on a solid foundation.
(1) Death, resurrection, session at God's right hand, and intercession of Christ (ver. 34).
3. The security of the justified believer is as safe as the foundation on which it rests (vers. 33, 34).
V. THE ENDURING NATURE OF THE DIVINE LOVE.
1. The love here mentioned is the Divine love (vers. 35-39).
2. Consider the list of forces which seek to wrest the believer from its gracious grasp (vers. 35-39).
3. The sublime assurance of the apostle (vers. 38, 39).
(1) The foundation of the assurance — the Lord Jesus.
(2) Its far-reaching character — "Nor things to come."Conclusion: Let us never forget —
1. The glorious assurance of the Holy Spirit of promise (ver. 28).
2. The glorious purpose for which believers are called — "To be conformed to the image of His Son." Everything contrary to holiness in the life of the believer is a frustration of the Divine purpose.
3. Let us never forget the unchangeableness of God's love.
(D. C. Hughes, A.M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.