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Romans 8: 28-31 Print E-mail
Written by Oshea Davis   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Romans 8: 28-31

 

The Unstoppable Supremacy of the Christ

 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

For whom He [fore-loved], He also predestined[1] to be conformed to the image of His Son, that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brethren. [Jesus became] “Firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”[2]

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

Little Billy has always lived down the street from John and his family. John never gave Billy much attention or thought. However, after about a month ago John has gotten to both know and love Billy. Billy comes from a poor family a few blocks down, and about a month ago John’s 10 year old son, Jack, caught Billy trying to steal from his pocket at the playground. Jack did not call the authorities, but instead invited Billy over for dinner and befriended him. Billy apologized and was glad for a new friend. Over the next month Billy’s behavior changed for the good, due to Jack’s kind befriendment and encouragement.  From great love for his son’s sake John decided to love Billy, invite him in as a friend, even as an adopted son; He befriended him and encouraged Jack.[3]

(1) Why do all things work for the saints’ good?

 

Jonathan Edwards in his book, The End for which God Created the World, systematically compiled, for 10 years, all verses dealing with God’s glory and shows that God’s chief end in creating all things and love is for His glory. What we learn is that, love indeed, has something to do with God’s pursuit of His glory; namely that, God’s LOVE is for His Son to have public Supremacy. And so, this makes His glory the chief end. In Ezekiel 36 the Lord tells Israel more than once that regarding His salvation of them that “Not for your sake do I do this, says the Lord GOD, “Let it be known to you.  Be ashamed and confounded for your ways.” And again, “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name (i.e. Glory) sake.” That is, God does not save them because he loves them, or because they are valuable in and of themselves; rather, God’s Name is valuable and He loves His holy name (i.e. holiness gone public, which is what glory is); and therefore, His glory which He loves deserves to be saved from the dishonor sinful man has done to it, even if it means the way to glorify Himself is saving the sinners who dishonored His glory. This is why God tells us to be ashamed for thinking so highly of ourselves.

“Righteousness” for God is foundationally God acting infinity above all things to uphold the value of Himself.  Now, regarding specifically from the Father to the Son, righteousness is God acting to uphold His Love for His Son Jesus Christ above all things to give Him public supremacy; and regarding the Son it is the Son acting for His love of the Father. In the invisible, eternal acting’s of the Godhead this is just the natural motion of God, but in earth it is called righteousness. That is, for us it is acting and thinking in such a way that it upholds and values God through Christ above all things. This is what obeying the law in the Old Testament did, and what obeying the law of the Spirit of life in the New Covenant does today.

          Now, because God decided to save sinners in order to glorify His fame through the Supremacy of His beloved Son, then does this conclude that God does not truly love the saints He saved? 

          First, if one actually believes the Words which proceed from the mouth God, then one knows and believes He has loved His saints with an everlasting, infinite and Fatherly love because He said so. Moreover, consider that because God is infinite—a true beginning-less infinite—then God’s love reservoir has no end. It does not dry up.  It does not have a limit like finite man’s does. God has the unrelenting power to love an infinite number of things to an infinite degree.  If in compassion and freeness God decides to love a creature He created as a beloved child, even if supported by others reasons, then there is infinite love, infinite closeness, infinite endearment, infinite power, infinite and overwhelming wisdom to make this an irrevocable reality.

          Second, consider the unstoppable POWER of God that is used to those who He decides to save for the sake of His Son’s glory.  We first learn in Ezekiel 36 that God wants those who he saves to first be “ashamed” of the true horror of their dishonoring of God’s Son.  It is so serious that God does not initially chose to save them out of love for them!  Rather, He will save them, for the love of His Son’s glory, even if it means the means that the way He will give His Son supremacy is by saving the vile creatures who initially trampled His Son’s supremacy! Now, God having purposed this in His decrees, now in time and space, did send His Son; and in the cross vindicated His name for having passed over previous sins. Furthermore, as a high priest Jesus not only wiped away their sins but pours out His very mind, His very Spirit and love into their hearts so that they become His heavenly spouse—recreated in His image. They become children of God Almighty.

          Such a turnaround! Such compete opposite positions. Such incredible power! What can describe this adequately? Well, God can, and does in the next chapter.  In Ezekiel 37 we are told of a desolate valley filled with dried bones of a former army. This represents the condition of Israel at the present time, and in a lager anti-type it represents the history of the whole church. “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: "Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. "I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD."[4]  The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation.

          Third, Jesus received the church as a gift from the Father, and upon receiving this gift, He turned toward them with all His soul, and He saved them and brought them to Himself as a beloved spouse.  The Scripture makes this clear.

Here am I and the children whom God has given Me."[5]  &  "When Jesus knew that He should [soon] depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."[6]

          How does this relate to our present text?

          The Father always seeing the image of His Son before Himself, in this light through reflex, made the world for Jesus as a gift. The Father made the world chiefly, out of love, as a gift for His Son. This is why Christ is exalted with the public Preeminence and Supremacy and why all things are summed up in Him as the apostle tells in Ephesians 1:10, for the world was given to the Son for His public supremacy.  And the Son being the perfect image of the Father, His exultation is the Father’s.

          By the Father’s design Christ is the public central axis upon which all good is given (whether elect Saints or angels), and likewise to which all judgment is given for the public supremacy of Christ’s Name.

          And {Jesus Christ} is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell….

          For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily: and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power

          What this means is that the entire created reality is likened to wheel spinning in a single direction, with every spoke spinning in the same motion. This direction in is fact the supremacy of the Christ, who is the image of God. One may either join in on this motion of love or be crushed underneath it.

          Now, God the Father has in great love grafted the church into His Son. This is precisely the manner in which our verse tells us how we know God does in fact love us: that God has imaged us after His Son who the whole world was created for as gift. Yet, we are imaged after Him!  Jesus, in whom the infinity of all the Father’s love is an enteral and unstoppable motion flowing, is He who the Father placed the church into as part of His body!

          Doubtless God loves His own glory; He loves His own image. This is how we know we are loved, and how we know His love to us is irrevocable, for His love to Jesus is irrevocable. His love to His Son does not fail, and so His love to Jesus’ body—the church—does not fail. His love to His Son Jesus is constant; and so, the Father’s love to Jesus body—the church—is constant.  God the Father is near to His Son in a comforting presence; and so, the Father is near to His Son’s body—the church—in His comforting presence.

          For whom God [fore-loved], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.  

          As the text continues we see a crescendoing logical Sorites explaining how being wrapped up into the Supremacy of the Christ, the church is insured of the unstoppable love of God. The beginning of this story is told well by God Himself in how he describes the manner He discovered and saved Abraham and Sarah, which serves as an anti-type for how God found all his saints. When God says he found Abraham as an Amorite it means He found him in a sinful and insignificant people; and the struggling in his blood refers to Abraham’s pathetic and lowly place in life.

     'Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: "Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  "As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling clothes. "And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, LIVE !' Yes, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!”[7]

          The manner in how God makes us LIVE is through Jesus Christ, who at a place and time became our sin for us, and we in exchange become the righteousness of God. That is, dry bones live by the compassion and almighty working of God.

          Indeed, being grafted into the flow of time and reality, which is to bring Christ Supremacy—by being loved by God, by being made into Christ’s image—then surly all God’s ancient purposes and their executions into history insures all things work for good for those who love God, to those who God has called to this glorious and awesome end.

          YES! As God passed you in His eternal decrees, seeing you struggling in your sin He said, LIVE; and so, all things work for good toward those who God calls for His purposes. Then the Lord GOD said to your bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live: and so, for whom God fore-loved, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Then, I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, covering you with skin; and so, whom He predestined, these He also called.  Then I will put breath in you, and you shall live; and so, whom He called, these He also justified.  Then I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall know that I am the LORD; and so, and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”[8]

How can this be except to testify of the power of God in salvation? The God who calls life out of death, calls things that did not exist to then exist; who both kills and gives life; He both wounds and heals to his own good pleasures. “God, gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”[9] See, being united to the Christ, whom God loves so much, it is His pleasure, to covey the depth and nearness of His love to us: yes, even as much as to His Son to whom we are now part of His body: his bride. “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”[10]

 

          In the weakness of one’s faith, a soul could be crying out today: I NEED an anchor for my soul!  Oh Lord have mercy of me!

          Remember “grace reigns” in you today believer, because Christ has already removed your guilt and has already given you his righteousness. Look oh Christian, behind the veil of the temple is a Lamb sitting on the right hand of the majesty on High, who looks as though He was slain.  He is lowly in heart and always hears your cries for grace. He has taken you from among the Amorites and Hittites, where you were struggling in your blood, and plugged you into His infinite worth by espousing you to Himself.  Look, He is already shinning as a bright and morning star in the east for you. He has made Himself to be your wisdom, as wisdoms’ children hold your hand and steadily march you closer and closer to a house He as personally built, for He offers Himself to be yours, and you to be His. He has made Himself your sanctification by pouring lavishly his Spirit into you, to lead you and insure all the blood purchases of His suffering hold you and envelope you and overtake you, and in doing so, giving you the courage of soul to forsake your sins and bravely confess reality as it truly is: that the Father is already smiling down on you as Jesus is your good path, your hope, your redemption and your adequacy.

Jesus' gospel accomplishments reaches today to all whom He suffered for! We do not live the gospel or add to it; rather, it being the invincible power of God adds, recreates and affects them mightily, very mightily!

          Stop your doubting and believe.  Let nothing hinder you from believing that Jesus is your righteousness and that He is your sufficiency! In your blood I said, LIVE.”



[1] For a deeper look in the God’s sovereignty and predestination see my book: The Divine Decrees.

[2] Colossians 1:18

[3] This is just a simple example of loving someone for the sake of something else. This is seen also in the Biblical story of David showing kindness to Jonathan’s son Mephiboshet in 2 Samuel 9.

[4] Ezekiel 17:5, 14, 6

[5] Hebrews 2:!3

[6] John 13:1

[7] Ezekiel 16:4-6

[8] Ezekiel 17:4,5,14 & Romans 8:28-30

[9] Romans 4:17

[10] Luke 12:32

 
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