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What Do You Know?

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Let us examine carefully all God is saying to us in this verse. The word that is used here for 'we know,' is actually one word in both Greek and Hebrew and it means the common knowledge given to the saints, something that is an indisputable, accepted fact. That knowledge has to be accepted by faith, and if we have accepted the basic premise of our faith and are a Christian, then we can say we know.

Therein lies the problem. The majority of the time, especially if something goes wrong, the devil tells us we are not really a Christian. But yet Christ says we are to know this is what we are. We desperately need that knowledge of God and that all things work for good because He has called us.

The Greek word that is translated in Romans 8:28 as 'for good' means all things, bright, dark, happy, sad, sweet, and bitter. It means times of prosperity, adversity, problems, sicknesses, and greatness. God becomes a soft pillow for a tired heart, accepted by faith. He is the one who worketh all things after the counsel of His will. He does all things as unto His servants, (Psalms 119:91) and the prophetic word and the whole written word of God are for the providence (good) of the whole world.

The Apostle John says we love because He first loved us. If we accept the fact that He loves us, we have all that we need. Only those who really love and believe (agree with) God, as the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:6, will be working through their own salvation and problems, and all that the demonic enemies from hell can do, but yet we will never be out from underneath the love of God. We need to reflect on the uncountable, almost unthinkable things both seen and unseen of the mineral, vegetable, animal, and spiritual worlds God has already put into action on our behalf.

"To them who are called." This does not mean all those who were called and invited but did not come. It means those who have had a genuine experience and know for a fact they have met the Lord Jesus Christ. As in Psalms 132:13-14 the Word of the Lord says, "because He (God) desired it."

Romans 8:28 goes on to say, "according to His purpose." The word we translate 'purpose' is the Greek word PROTHESIS, and it means God's will is absolutely bent on or resolved to accomplish. Man is entirely unable to carry out His will, without divine grace. In us, the saints, His purpose is carried out by divine grace, normally with many, many failures on our part. Acts 11:23 says the Apostle "exhorted them, that with all purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord." In 2 Timothy 3:10, Paul, speaking to Timothy, refers to his life, purpose, and faith which he had already shown. But he ends with the statement that all of us need to remember: "It is by the grace of God that I am what I am." Our purpose is carried out unto the final victory by finishing His course.

We need to distinguish the differences between God's purpose (will) and man's, even when we hit rocky ground, because God's cannot fail. We need to understand that the purpose which He works in us is always accomplished. Regardless of what happens, the ones that He has called are brought safely in and there is no separating them from His love, which He has already given them in Christ Jesus, in whom they were chosen before the foundation of the earth.

Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream..." In the speech following he said, "I can see..." I believe he was referring to the end of Romans 8, for you cannot have a dream but that you first arrive at the mountaintop of divine, sovereign election where you can truly see. King was able to see it was not him, his plan, or his wisdom, but it was ordained of God, and there was no way he could do anything else. Even as he spoke, "I have a vision... I have a dream... that day will come," I believe he knew in his spirit and proclaimed openly, "I may not make it to that day with you. I may not reach that mountain with you... in the words of the old spiritual song, 'I have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.'"

May we as Paul, even today, arrive upon the immovable mountaintop of divine, sovereign election and see God for ourselves. Not merely that God is on the side of our struggles, but that God, through Christ, has ordained, is in the midst of, and is working out His purpose in our struggles. Let us all be able to say today, we have reached the mountaintop where we can see the glory of the coming of the Lord.

"This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."
1 John 5:4


When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you smile inwardly,
glorying in the insult or the oversight, because thereby are you counted worthy to suffer with Christ -
that is victory.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your taste offended,
your advise disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you take it all in patient, loving silence -
that is victory.

When you are content with any food, any raiment, any climate,
any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God -
that is victory.

"Lord Jesus, make thyself to me
A living, bright Reality;
More present to faith's vision keen
Than any earthly object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh
Than e'en the dearest earthly tie." 

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