We cannot avoid the process mentioned in the previous message, for it is the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s intercession with groanings. God the Father knows the purpose of the Spirit’s groaning and thus He causes all things to work together (v. 28). Following verses 26 and 27 which speak of the Spirit’s intercession, we have verse 28 which says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to the purpose.” The Holy Spirit groans within us, interceding for us, and God the Father answers this intercession by causing all things to work together for good. In Greek the word translated “all things” means all matters, all persons, all things, all in all. God the Father is sovereign and He arranges everything. He knows how many hairs you need (Matt. 10:30) and how many children you should have. Do not complain about your children, for God will not give you more or less than you need. He is sovereign. He knows. He knows whether you need obedient children or naughty children. He knows whether you need boys or girls. Again and again I say that He knows. He causes all things, all matters, and all persons to work together for your good. It seems that God sacrifices everyone for you. To the wife her husband is a sacrifice, and to the husband his wife is a sacrifice. To the children the parents are a sacrifice, and to the parents the children are a sacrifice. Who can do such a work? Only God. I have told the Lord, “Lord, why do You sacrifice everyone just for me?” I have the inward sensation that all the brothers with whom I coordinate and even all the churches are sacrifices for me. Nevertheless, when you suffer, I suffer more. When the wife suffers loss, the husband suffers more, and when the children suffer, the parents suffer more. Praise the Lord that God causes all things, all matters, and all persons to work together for good to those who love Him and who have been called by Him to the end that He may fulfill His purpose.
God has determined our destiny beforehand, and this destiny can never be fulfilled without the divine arrangement which causes all things to work together for us. Our destiny is to be conformed to the image of the firstborn Son of God. We are not yet fully in the image of the firstborn Son of God, but God the Father is planning, molding, and performing by causing all things to work together for good. Praise the Lord! While we are growing, He is molding.
We all should be comforted. If you have a nice wife, praise the Lord for your nice wife. If you have a difficult wife, praise the Lord even more for your difficult wife. Whether you have a nice wife or a difficult wife, a nice husband or a difficult husband, obedient children or naughty children—whatever you have you should be comforted. You should tell the Lord, “Lord, I can make and I have made many mistakes, but You can never be mistaken. Even my mistakes are in Your hands. If You do not allow me to make a mistake, You just move Your little finger and change the situation and I will not make one. Everything is in Your hands.” Therefore, we all must be comforted.
However, do not be so spiritual that you go to an extreme and pray the Father to give you suffering. Do not pray for sufferings. Instead you should pray, “Father, deliver me from temptation. Deliver me from all manner of sufferings. Keep me away from every kind of disturbance.” Although you pray in this way, some hardships and afflictions will visit you. When they come, do not complain and do not be troubled, but say, “Father, thank You for this. Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, Father, not my will but Thine be done.” This is the proper attitude. Never pray that sufferings come, but pray the Father to keep sufferings away from you. However, when the sufferings come, do not be disappointed; accept them and continue to pray, “Father, if possible take this away. Keep me in Your presence, away from every trouble and distraction.” On one hand we must pray in this way; on the other hand we must be happy with all that the Father gives us, because we know that everything is in His hands and comes our way that we may be conformed to the image of His firstborn Son. This conformation is the preparation for our glorification.
Let us now proceed to verse 31. “What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” We should not take this word according to our natural concept. God is not for us in our way, but in His.
Verse 32 says, “He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” The word “all” in this verse is also the Greek word panta, which means all things, matters, and persons. All things, matters, and persons have been freely given to us. We must believe that everything works together for good. Even our enemies are for our good.
“Who shall bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God Who justifies” (v. 33). Only God is qualified to place a charge against us, but He justifies us.
“Who is he that condemns? It is Christ Jesus Who died, but rather Who was raised, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also intercedes for us.” In verse 10 we see clearly that Christ is in us, but here in verse 34 we are told that Christ is at the right hand of God. Thus, in one chapter we are told that Christ is in two places—in us and at the right hand of God. Where is Christ? Because He is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17), He is omnipresent. He is both in heaven and on earth, both at the right hand of God and in our spirit. According to verse 26 the Spirit intercedes within us, and according to verse 34 Christ intercedes for us at the right hand of God. Do we have two intercessors—one within us and the other at the right hand of God? No, these two are one. This is similar to electricity. We have electricity in our homes as well as in the power plant; nevertheless there is just one electricity. Likewise, Christ intercedes for us both at the right hand of God and from within our spirit.
I would now like to call your attention to the fact that in verse 30 all of the verbs are in past tense. Let us read this verse once again. “And whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Since glorification will occur in the future, why does Paul say “glorified” and not “He will glorify”? Although glorification has not yet occurred, Paul uses the past tense. What does this mean? Once again we see that if we only read the Bible according to the black and white letters we will get into difficulty. I ask you, has glorification been accomplished? Why does the Apostle Paul here say “glorified”? Have you been glorified? The Bible says that we have been glorified already. Everything mentioned in verse 30 is an accomplished fact— predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. There is no problem with saying “predestinated,” because that was an action performed in the past. We may also say “called”; however, many people have not yet been called and we must preach the gospel to them that they may be called. Furthermore, although we have been justified, many new converts will be justified. Moreover, none of us, including Paul himself, has been glorified. Nevertheless, Paul put everything in the past tense.
We must remember that we are subject to time. One great teacher has said that there is no clock in heaven because God is the God of eternity. He is the eternal God; with Him there is no time. When were you glorified? You were predestinated, called, justified, and glorified in eternity past. In God’s eyes and according to His concept everything has been accomplished. Tell me, if glorification has not been accomplished, how could the Apostle John have seen the New Jerusalem nineteen hundred years ago? He was not dreaming—he actually saw it (Rev. 21:2). Have you ever noticed that nearly all the verbs used in the book of Revelation, a book filled with prophecies of future events, are in the past tense, indicating that everything has been accomplished? Why do I mention this? Because this explains why verse 31 follows verse 30. Our predestination has been secured, and we do not need an insurance company. Our justification and glorification are secured and insured in the eternal God Himself. There is no insurance company on earth that can compare with Him. He Himself is the greatest insurance company. Our salvation, justification, and glorification are insured because He has accomplished everything. According to our feeling, glorification will happen in the future, but according to God’s concept it has occurred already. With God everything is timeless. Our predestination, calling, justification, and glorification are eternal matters, not matters of time. Thus, we are insured.
© Living Stream Ministry All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.