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Called according to his purpose

The last time we looked at the qualification mentioned in Rom.8:28 that “all things work together for good to those who love God…” Today we’ll consider the second qualification “those who are called according to His purpose…” Paul elaborates this statement in verses 29-30 “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 justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” There are a lot of blessings and big words here, but today let us just taste a “bit of honey” from verses 28-30. I will expound these verses in the next series.

In general, these verses imply that God has a plan and purpose for every person like you and me. However, it does not rule out the free moral agency of man and woman. These verses are compatible with the idea that man is completely free to choose either good or bad in his daily life. The sobering thought involved is to ask ourselves: “Am I carrying out God’s purpose in my life? Have I been spared from certain calamities for a reason or purpose?” A person in our church long time ago told me that he had been spared twice from major accidents. In both cases the police were surprised why he was still alive. He heard about the Bible when he was a child, he went to Sunday school, but somehow along the way he had gone astray, like a sheep without a shepherd. As a result of these “accidents” he came back to the Lord.

There is evidence, however, to give proof for some people, that when they are no longer useful for God’s purposes here on this earth, he calls them home to glory. I don’t mean to suggest that all deaths by any means are to be interpreted as a result of rebellious behaviour towards the purposes of God. Moses is an illustration of death as a punishment for disobedience to God’s command. He committed the sin of uncontrolled anger, and failure to give God the credit for the miracle of water coming from the rock (Num.20:7-13.) Of course Moses still went to heaven.

Paul reminded the Corinthian Church about sexual immorality and other sins. They needed to be disciplined, but they did not listen. Paul said very strongly, “deliver such one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” Let us be mindful, that all things that happen in our life, as believers, from God’s perspective, work toward some purpose. God could not be God if He managed the world in a haphazard, wreckless, purposeless way and took His hands off the controls. God controls what He has created, but always with respect for the moral agency of man. To me this is marvellous, comforting assurance. Don’t you know that “our freedom to choose” is a gift of God’s grace? Let us not abuse His grace. All by grace and by grace alone. (To be continued)

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