When the Plan Comes Together, March 9, 2024


  • What’s something that you used to hate but now love?
  • If you could add any weird holiday to the calendar what would it be?


This evening, as we come to Romans 8:28, we are ascending to the very pinnacle of God’s truth and revelation. I’ve been telling you that Romans 8 is the Mt. Everest of the bible. As we came to Romans 8:28, we ascend to the peak. Here is a summary of our journey thus far.

At the foot of the mountain we found there is “No condemnation for those in Christ.” (v.1) “The Spirit who gives life has set you free…” (v.2) Now “(You live) in realm of Spirit …indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.” (v.9). And that “Spirit gives life…” (v.10) The same Spirit “… who raised Jesus from dead lives in you…” (v.11) We rest in the FACT that “those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (v.14) “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’”. (v.15) When our weakness brings doubt, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children…” That raises our hope because “… we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. (v.16-17). That same HOPE has me standing on my tiptoes “in eager expectation”. (v.19) I live with expectation that nothing can compare “to the glory that is coming”. WHY? I KNOW the “Spirit helps (me) in (my) weakness…” (v.25) At just the right moment “(the) Spirit intercedes…” (v.25) “(The Spirit) searches our hearts knows the mind…” (v.26) When I am my lowest “groan” moment, “the spirit intercedes.” (v.27)

(DRT [Delbert R. Terry] Translation) ????

Now, we are prepared to ascend to the peak of Mount Everest… Romans 8:28. On some climbing expeditions, they have to pause and wait before they can go higher because they have to wait and get acclimated to the lack of oxygen to the thin atmosphere.

Hold on and catch your breath because this is exciting stuff this evening!  Now, will all walk to the crest together. As we go to the top, we will discover what God’s pinnacle of revelation is. Some people who climbed Everest find death, but all who climb to the top of Romans 8:28 find life. Not just life, but the abundant life. Let’ all read Romans 8:28 together,


“We know, in fact, that God works all things together for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” (v.28)


  • Romans 8 is all about discovering our position and our identity in Christ.  In what ways can you live out your identity as an heir with Christ?

1. Conclusive

“We KNOW, in fact …”

We know that God is a good God. There are many scriptures that talk about His goodness of God. Psalm 1:45 says, “The Lord is good to all. He has compassion on all he has made.” Do you remember when you were a little kid one of the first prayers you learned was, “God is great. God is good.” God is not some mean, vengeful God. He is a loving Father who wants to make your life enjoyable. The believer stands on the solid promises and “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His faithful love endures forever.” Psalm 118:1

Marvin Gaye sang, “There’s NOTHING like the real thing.” We KNOW that with Jesus, we have the real thing. We KNOW that we can always see the good in every situation. “God’s grace is sufficient for thee, for God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.”


  • Romans 8:28 begins by saying, “We know …” There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. It is an ironclad-promise-no-shred-of-doubt-whatsoever! Paul says, “We know that it is certain!” How can you know that Romans 8:28 is true?

2. Comprehensive

“… God works ALL THINGS …”

When God says “all” it is 100%. It’s comprehensive. This passage often gets misinterpreted. We read that God “works all things” and He does. But one needs to read the passage completely. God works all things together for good with those …” Throughout Romans 8, your position “in Christ” is framed. You are a “child” and “heir” of God. Within us is “resurrection power” fueled by the spirit of God. Because of this relationship, “we know… that God works all things for good WITH THOSE who love him.” We are so Blessed. Stop for just a moment and count your blessings. You will admit God has been good to you. We’ve all gone through a variety of experiences in life. But even painful experiences can equal “good.” You say, “How does that work?” This verse doesn’t say, “We know how God works in all things for those who love God.” It says, “We know that God works all things (with the believer).” You don’t have to figure it out in order to enjoy it. You don’t have to figure out how electricity works to plug your hair dryer in? You just plug it in. The key is to plug into God’s word and “know” it will be a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. Toward the end of Joseph’s life, he said to his brothers who assaulted him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.” Genesis 50:20. It is amazing how God meets us at our bad moments, and then turns them into something good.


  • How can you apply the teachings of Romans 8 to navigate present day challenges?

3. Compassionate

“… together for good with those …”

God’s promise is compassionate because there is a compassionate God who is the subject of this sentence. N.T. Wright translates Romans 8:28 this way, “God works all things together for good with those WHO LOVE HIM.” Romans 8:28. N.T. Wright’s translation captures the subject of the sentence.

If you have been along with us on our journey through Romans 8, you know we have talked about God’s activity with his creation and our heirship creates amazing interchange between Jesus and the Spirit that abides with us. It is an amazing working partnership.  In verse 28, it is not “things” that are working out, it is God, with His creation; “working all things out”.

There are two things to understand about this promise. First of all, not everything that happens is good by itself. It is only one part of God’s recipe. Job in Old Testament lost his fortune, lost his family and lost his health. Yet he had such absolute faith in God this is what he said, “Though God slay me, yet will I hope in him. I will surely defend my ways to his face.” Do you know what Job was saying? It’s awful! But the very worst that could happen is I die. And if I die, I’m going to be face to face with God and I’ll talk to him about it! Philippians 1:21 says, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” But second part is God is “working” and he holds the recipe book. Once he adds the other ingredients “together”, something “good” and tasty will come out of the oven. In other words, with God, Heads, I win! Tails, I win!


  • How does the chapter’s emphasis on living in the Spirit guide your life decisions?


“who love him (and) called according to his purpose.”

The promise is conditional and not for everybody. The last part of verse tells us the audience, “to those who love him and… called according to his purpose.” There are two brackets: There are those who “love God” and those who are “called according to his promise”. Anyone outside those brackets cannot claim promise. Romans 8:28 is a promise with a happy ending. Do you KNOW who you are? It’s time to start your journey!


Father, thank You for being in battle with us. We want to experience the peace that comes from being in Your presence. Help us to slow down, and KNOW it’s ALL working out. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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