God is For us
God is For us!
Big Idea: We will win in the end.
Romans 8:28 tells us that “all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Yet it is hard to believe lines like this when we witness baffling, horrific events. The primary Old Testament illustration of Romans 8:28 is Genesis 50:20. In that story, Joseph’s brothers betray him and sell him into slavery. Decades later he tells them, “As for you, you planned evil against me, but God planned it for good, in order to do this—to keep many people alive—as it is today” (Gen 50:20).
1. God is For us.
In His person and His providence, God is for us. Sometimes, like Jacob, we lament, “All these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36), when actually everything is working for us. The conclusion is obvious: “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
2. Christ died for us
3. God has justified us (vs. 33)
Election is key for understanding the Bible’s grand narrative—the account of God’s plan to redeem and restore, through Christ, a holy people who had been lost in Adam. Unfortunately, election has also been at the center of considerable disagreement in biblical interpretation and theology.
The Bible describes election as both corporate and individual. Following the account of God’s good and glorious creation, the Bible presents the story of human rebellion and alienation from their Creator (Gen 3). By Genesis 12, we see God’s strategy for redemption taking shape: God chooses Abram (Abraham) and promises that through him all the nations will be blessed (Gen 12:2–3). In doing so, God essentially embraces all of Abraham’s offspring (Gen 13:16); Abraham will be the father of the Israelites and, eventually, of all who trust in God as Abraham did. Numerous Old Testament references reiterate God’s gracious choice of Israel to be His people, such as: “You only have I chosen of all the clans of the earth” (Amos 3:2). Another example comes from Deuteronomy: “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you … but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers” (Deut 7:7–8).
Yet God’s election of Israel as His chosen people did not equate to the personal salvation of every Israelite. That required a heart commitment to God (Isa 29:13). Why might some ethnic Jews forfeit the salvation obtained by Abraham? In Paul’s words, “Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if by works. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble” (Rom 9:32).