Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
1. Consider the certainty of the promise (“we know”). What a marvelous salvation!
2. Consider the recipients of the promise (“them that love God, who are the called according to his purpose”)
The promise does not apply to those who “love God” by their own definition. Unsaved religionists and nominal Christians claim to love God, but the promise is much more specific than that.
The promise applies to those who love God AND who are the called according to His purpose. This refers to those who are called by the gospel of Jesus Christ and who respond to the gospel in repentance and faith (1 Thess. 1:9-10). The promise is for born again people and who show the evidence thereof in their lives.
3. Consider the meaning of the promise.
The verse does not say that all things are good in themselves; it says that they work together for good. Consider Job. The things that the devil was allowed to do to Job were not good, but God used them for good. Consider Joseph. What Joseph’s brothers did when they sold him into slavery wasn’t good and it caused much pain and sorrow. Jacob, not understanding what God was doing, said “all these things are against me” (Gen. 42:36). But God used these evil actions to accomplish His will. See Genesis 45:4-5; 50:20. Evil things are not good in themselves but they can work together for good under God’s hand.
The verse does not say that evil things are good and won’t be judged and don’t need to be repented of. God uses the devil, as He did in Job’s life, but the devil’s work is not good, and he will be punished forever in the lake of fire because of his works (Rev. 20:10). God used the sinful action of Joseph’s brothers, but their consciences convicted them and they had to repent of what they did (Gen. 42:21). This is one of the reasons why Joseph dealt with them as he did.
4. Consider the extent of the promise. For those who know God in Jesus Christ, this promise covers all things in life and is one of the most precious and amazing promises in all of God’s Word. Consider Job. “All things” for him meant the violent destruction of his children, the sudden loss of all of his wealth, the unexpected onslaught of a terrible disease, the failure of his wife’s faith in God, the misunderstanding and lack of compassion on the part of his best friends, and the mocking of society at large. “All things” truly means all things! Job teaches the saint to trust God in the direst of circumstances. All things for Joseph meant the hatred and rejection of his brothers, being sold into captivity for 13 years (compare Gen. 37:2 and 40:46), being lied about by a wicked woman, being imprisoned, being bound in irons (Psa. 105:17-18). “It covers the good and the bad, the bright and the dark, the sweet and the bitter, the easy and the hard, the happy and the sad. It may be depended upon in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness, in the calm and in the storm, in life and in death” (H.L. Willmington).
5. Consider what the promise teaches us about God.
The promise shows the greatness of God’s power and knowledge. Compare Psalm 75:5-7; Isaiah 40:22-23; Jeremiah 27:5-7; Daniel 2:20-21.
The promise shows the greatness of God’s compassion and tender mercies. Indeed, as Peter says, the child of God can cast his care upon God “for he careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
The promise teaches us that God is near and not far away. He is intimately involved in the affairs of men.
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Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
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