Saturday, July 10, 2010

All things work together for good

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. Moreover, whom he predestined, these he also called, whom he called, these he also justified, and whom he justified, these he also glorified.

I like very much how the New King James Version includes this without a break right after the last part, where it is talking about how the Spirit helps us in our weakness. So the line of thought, to me, seems to be... In Christ, the body is dead because of sin, and our new life is him, since we are now God's children. This being so, we start to really hate our sin and groan against it. We do this because the Spirit is working in us, and we're only helping in the birth effort that all creation is going through. And even when we don't know what to pray for cause we don't know what's wrong or what's going on, the Spirit knows and so God knows. So even when we feel we are failing and falling, we know that all things are actually working together for our good. God is responsible for our salvation..if he decides to call us he does so, and if he calls us he justifies us, and if he justifies us he glorifies us. There's not one part where he says, ok, now it's up to you and I'm going to stand back and watch and see how you do.

I think that the verse about all things working together for good to those who love God is misquoted a lot, because I think "good" is defined as "becoming like Christ" and not, "circumstances working out in the way I want them to". And I guess that's a good indication of where you are, if becoming like Christ is really more appealing to you than circumstances working out. I want to tell this to people all the time, so I hope it's true...even your struggles with your sin that are making you so miserable and hate yourself are working to make you more like Christ, even if it feels like the opposite.

One thing I don't really understand and need to think about more in this passage, is the whole Calvinist thing... the way I am interpreting this, it sounds like pretty clear proof that God chooses some people, and there's nothing they can do to make themselves unsaved. Does this mean some people aren't chosen? How does a loving God create something beautiful and destine it for unending pain and torture? I was talking with a friend about this the other day, and she said something on the order of, "Everyone is chosen but not everyone responds," and I think that my church says something of the same sort. Does Romans 8 agree with that?

I'll think about this more next time.

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