Monday, August 18, 2008

Conformed To The Image Of Christ

I have been spending a lot of time here lately in the book of Romans. It seems that whatever I am studying over the past few months always seems to lead me back to Romans, so I thought this week for our memory verses I would pick something from this great epistle. As Christians we all seem to know Romans 8:28 (although we tend to misquote it), but we usually ignore the verses immediately following this verse. Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
We normally hear this quoted like this: "All things work together for good" but this completely misses the context of this verse and the great promise that we are given here.

In this verse we have a promise from God that everything that happens to His children (and note that the promise is only given to His children) is being orchestrated by Him for our ultimate good.

Does this mean that everything we experience will be pleasant? No, but it will be for our good.

Does it mean that we will enjoy everything that we go through? No, but it will be for our good.

Does it mean that we will never experience pain, or loss, or grief? No, but when we do we can rest in the fact that our heavenly Father has seen fit to allow that situation to come into our lives, and He promises that it will work for our good.

And what is the good that it is working toward? We can see that in the next few verses. In God's economy it is not necessarily His will that I have a big house, that I drive an expensive car, or that I have a lot of money in my 401k. It is, however, His will that I be conformed to the image of His Son. And that is what we see in the subsequent verses.

In verse 29 we read that those whom He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, and then in verse 30 we see that that is exactly what will happen to "those who love God and are called according to His purpose." In this verse we read: those He predestined He also called; those He called He also justified, and those He justified He also glorified (He conformed them to the image of Christ).

So what we have here is a promise that our sovereign God is in control of every situation that we will ever encounter, and He has promised that everything we encounter in our lives is leading us toward that final outcome - becoming like His Son.

There is a lot a deep theology in these three verses (and we will get into that at a later time), but for now just rejoice in the fact that no matter what we are going through, have gone through, or will go through in the future, is being used by our Father to mold us into the likeness of Christ.

Our memory verses for this week then are:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30

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3 comments:

Isaiah said...

Chris,

God works in wonderful ways! I've been mulling this topic of what I call the "Christian band-aid" for weeks but yet to complete my post.

Most people, even Christians, just read v28 and stop there. However the sentence runs on and in a video by James White that I just viewed, he exposits Romans 9 running from Romans 8:28.

The video's here if you'd like to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKJgC1_6NN0

Chris said...

Thanks for the link! I have been listening to a lot of James White here lately and I find it interesting that the people who debate him on this (or any) topic never seem to answer his rebuttals from the text. They always counter with what they think, not what the Bible actually says. I have yet to see anyone who is able to debate him on the content of the text.

If you get a chance take some time to listen to the sermons that I posted over the weekend; they all deal with Romans 6 & 7 and show how we have misinterpreted those chapters as well.

Isaiah said...

Indeed! And that was most apparent in the Calvinism debate if I don't remember wrongly.

Thanks, brother. I shall go check those out too.