God is in control (Romans 8:28-30)

            God makes everything to work for the good of His people (Psalms 128:1-2; Isaiah 3:10). Later Paul clarifies that it isn’t just good things happen to God’s people. Bad things do happen, and God is able to make those work out for the good of His people. Affliction can keep people on the right track (Psalms 119:67, 71; Jeremiah 31:18-19; Hebrews 12:11).

            This benefit doesn’t come to everyone. It is for those who love God (I Corinthians 2:9; James 1:12). It is for those who are called according to God’s purpose (II Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:11-14). God’s purpose then is the standard by which we are called (Ephesians 3:8-12).

            God’s plans were made in advance and He knows what He wants as the outcome (Ephesians 1:5). God always accomplishes His plans (Isaiah 46:8-11). It is God’s plan to have many conformed to the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-13; I John 3:2). It is these type of people whom God called (Ephesians 4:1-4; II Thessalonians 2:14). Those who answer His call are justified (Acts 22:16; I Peter 2:9). And those justified are also glorified (Hebrews 9:15; John 17:22; Titus 3:7). 

Class Discussion:

1.         Is Paul saying that individuals were selected before the world began to be saved? (The verbs are in the active aorist tense – currently occurring with no time frame mentioned.)

2.         Paul tells us God calls but doesn’t say how. How are we called? Can this calling be by specific individuals?

3.         Is it a necessary conclusion that everyone called is glorified?

We cannot lose with God (Romans 8:31-39)

            With God on our side, working for us, who can oppose the Christian? (Psalms 118:6-7; Isaiah 27:4). How much is God expending on our behalf? He sent His own Son to die for us (Romans 4:24; 5:6-10). Thus, God will not hold anything back.

            If God desires to justify His people, then no one can condemn them (Isaiah 50:8-9; Revelation 12:10-11). And we have Jesus, who died for us, resurrected, and sits at the right hand of God interceding for us (Hebrews 12:1-2; I John 2:1). So many think of God as someone trying to keep people out of heaven, when the opposite is actually the truth. God is trying to get people into heaven (I John 4:16-19)..

            Things of this world or beyond this world cannot separate us from Christ. No matter how bad it gets, we still have Christ (II Corinthians 4:17). Because of God’s great love for us, we willingly sacrifice ourselves for him (Psalms 44:22; I Corinthians 4:9; 15:30-31; II Corinthians 4:11; I Peter 3:14). We conquer because God loves us (I Corinthians 15:57).

Class Discussion:

1.         Is Paul saying that a Christian’s salvation cannot be lost?