Daily Reading: (Romans 8-28-31):
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
If you are a believer, I have a question for you: why are you a child of God? Paul will answer this question in Romans 8, God’s love pursues you to the point that with the aid of the Holy Spirit, you believed and received the greatest gift of all time, Jesus Christ as your Savior. The moment you believe that He died for your sins you might become a child of the Promise and whatever God promises He fulfills because He is a promise fulfiller.
The reason for Paul’s sadness in Romans 9 is many of the Jews (Paul’s own Ancestry.com people group) were given all of the privileges of God, including the covenantal promises. But some Israelites rejected God’s Son. Paul writes in verse 2 and 3- “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people.”
Paul says: “it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children (or what we just learned it is not just physical descendants who receive the call of God), but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. God’s people are not a singular nation but people from all nations (Romans 9:6). That was God’s covenant to Abraham (Genesis 17:4).
Children of the Promise (epaggelia): pledge; especially a divine assurance of good. What Paul is saying is backing up a statement he made in the previous chapter in Romans 8:28.
Children of the Promise (Romans 9:8)- have a divine assurance of good (in all things God works for the good of those in Christ (Romans 8:28) Which is further expressed in verse 31: With God on our side like this, how can we lose (Romans 8:31b, MSG)? This is due to the effectual calling of God.
What this means is that when you know God is pleased with you regardless of your productivity, it will free you from the pressure to perform because in all things God works for the good.
What Christ Is to Those Who Are Called
He says that out from among those who hear the general call there are those who are “called” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). And the difference is that those who are called in this narrower sense stop regarding Christ as a stumbling block and as folly. Instead, they regard him as the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The call of God produces faith; it opens the eyes of the blind to see that Jesus is the wisdom and the power of God (Romans 8:30).
The effectual call of God is the new covenant fulfillment of the promise in Deuteronomy 30:6. “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
All the called are justified, and all the justified will be glorified. There are no dropouts. This is why all things work together for good for those who are called according to God’s purpose. His purpose is to save us utterly by his own almighty grace of initiative and power.