02/05/12 Romans 8:28-30
Leader: Pastor Biebert
Meeting Time: 8:00 AM & 10:15 AM
YOU CALL THIS A PLAN?
As we struggle through rough stretches in life, we remember what this section reminds us. God has a plan for each one of His people. God’s plan is working. From a perfect vantage point after this life we will agree that what God decided was better than what we wanted to happen for our lives.
How does verse 28 relate to the idea of suffering (8:18)?
“He works together” is a present tense verb. This emphasizes that this is one of God’s ongoing activities. Notice also that “purpose” is a fancy word for “plan.” It does not say God pre-determines every detail of life. God works with whatever happens to the people in His select group. God is in ultimate control. His doesn’t turn us into robots programmed to follow this or that course of actions. We have a real choice about life decisions. God may choose to limit our options because our eternal welfare is at stake. Even the evil we have and are God uses for our good. He humbles us with its consequences. He helps us see how generous He is when He pardons us.
Do all events have a good purpose (8:28)? Explain.
The start of God’s plan was before eternity. He “foreknew” us. Predestined refers to the destiny God has decided for His people. It’s referring to the end of God’s plan. God’s plan was for a select group of people to enjoy His generosity for all eternity. In between the start and finish of God’s plan are three steps. He calls people. He justifies people. He glorifies people.
Review the five verbs in 8:29-30. They describe God’s role in bringing us to Him. Explain what each one means and how it supports the truth of 8:28.
· Glorified (8:17)
When we discuss the Bible’s teaching about who benefits from what Jesus did, we conclude that it isn’t just believers. Look up 1 John 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 5:19. We call this universal justification. Some people call it objective justification because it’s an objective fact regardless of how people treat it. But in this Romans section it uses the word “justify” to focus on how the Holy Spirit convinces us personally that He has taken all our sins away and entitled us with same status as Jesus. We already share God’s glory. At this time we share “the likeness of His Son.”
How does God conform us “to the likeness of His Son” (8:29)?
5. In what sense is Jesus “the firstborn” (8:29)?
All this does not mean that all things in and of themselves are good, only that they work together for good. Joseph understood this (see Gen. 50:20), though his father did not (see Gen. 42:36). God’s promise includes coverage through every life-situation: the good and the bad, the bright and the dark, the sweet and the bitter, the easy and the hard, the happy and the sad. We can depend on it in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness, in calm and storm, in life and in death.
6. For whom does God design every life-detail to work for good (8:28,30)?
Ask any group of Christians to name their most helpful Bible section. No doubt, this part of Romans springs to many minds. Romans 8 provides comfort and courage in life’s darkest hours. Even though the words may be very familiar, personalize them for your specific situation.
1. How does this section connect to Mark 1:29-39? What’s the connection to Job 7:1-7?
How does God hand-pick the people who will depend on Jesus?
How does this help us copy with extreme days and near impossible crises?