Half Truth :: All things work together for good


The familiar saying “All things work together for good” has been the subject of several sermons and messages from the pulpit, and often only half the truth as expressed in the Bible is exposited on. The Bible says that “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.” (Romans 8:28). For whom does all things work together for good? On one part, it is to them that love God and on the other part it is to them who are called according to God’s purpose, and they go hand in hand.

How do we love God? Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15), but we must be careful to not mistake that our actions and works of following God’s commandments will oblige him to make all things work together for our good. A good life is not what God expects of us, but a Godly life that walks after the Spirit of God (Romans 8:4). 2 Timothy 1:9 makes this very clear for it reads “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

Who are those who are called according to God’s purpose? But before we answer that, we must first recognize that it is God’s purpose and not our own that is being stated and we must also answer the question – What is the purpose of God? God’s purpose is that all mankind must be saved (2 Peter 3:9) and this is made manifest in the Savior, Jesus Christ, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10; Ephesians 3:11). So those who are called according to God’s purpose are those who have believed in Jesus (i.e.) those who are saved from death into life and immortality by grace.

The half truth is “All things work together for good”. The truth is “To those who have believed in Jesus Christ and who love God by obeying him; to them all things work together for good. ” It is not one or the other. We cannot be saved and not love God and expect all things to work together for good. Nor can we merely obey God’s commandments while having an unbelieving heart and expect all things to work together for good. We must love God and we must be called according to God’s purpose (and not our own) for all things to work together for good for us.

Romans 8:28 (KJV)
28 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.

2 Timothy 1:8-11 (KJV)
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

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