And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
1. The law of motion is impressed on everything.
2. What is the "good." In general the union of ourselves with God, the studying, loving, enjoying Him, and furthering His purpose for ever.
3. The apostle connects man here with three things —
I. THE PURPOSE OF GOD. His purpose is —
1. Essentially one. He has a series of purposes harmonised into one, but one all-embracing idea. We call this idea providence when governing the world, and decree when saving the world.
2. Good. The purpose of God must be like God. He is good, and so is His purpose. Whatever form the good may assume, whether We call it instinct, rationality, volition, moral excellency, grace, perfection, if we trace the stream back into its origin, we shall look into the depth of the Divine decree.
3. Progressive. God is better known now than He ever was before, and will for ever and ever spread Himself before the faith, and love, and intelligence of His creation. Look at all the dispensations of time till now, and how many are continually unfolded. What is the administration of time but the unfolding of God's one everlasting purpose?
II. THE CALLING OF GOD. God in Scripture is represented as calling men by His providence, His truth, conscience; and those who answer are "the called." God decreed —
1. That you should have an intelligent, responsible, undying nature.
2. That the offer of salvation should be made to fallen man.
3. That the refusal of His offer should be punished.
4. That those who trust in His mercy shall be saved.
III. THE LOVE OF GOD.
1. God's dispensations towards man reveal His love. The apostle mentions five things in reference to this love —
(2) Predestination — a beautiful word, giving a destiny beforehand. He brought out the sun, and said, "Your destiny is to illumine and warm these worlds." He said, "Move on," and the sun has done it. Is it natural to suppose that God gave no destiny to man? God did not throw out souls for no purpose.
(3) Calling. There is the man, and God knows what he is for, and says, Man, keep up to thy destiny; leave earth, selfishness, sin, hell down beneath thy feet, and come up.
(4) Justification. When the man bears the call, and obeys it according to the great fixed plan, of which Jesus and His death is the great centre, he is justified, made right.
(5) Glorification — that is, reaching the destiny. "All things work together." Do not attempt to take one link from the chain.
2. The work of Christ also reveals His love. Look to Bethlehem, to Calvary, to the grave of Joseph, the Mount of Olives, and the right hand of God. What is He doing? "Making intercession for us." Do you see anything that is not encouraging? "Who can separate us from the love of Christ?"
Parallel VersesKJV: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.