Day by Day (2)
“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 into 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? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8: 28 – 34 NIV)
I began this series of articles yesterday with “Day by Day,” with the thought that as we dedicate our bodies as living sacrifices on a day by day basis God is able to accomplish through us His plans and purposes for the world. In that article I emphasized that as we faithfully complete the assignments God gives us He adds greater and greater responsibility as reward for our faithfulness. I used the Parable of the Minas to emphasize and give scriptural basis for that thought.
As I awoke this morning I realized that the argument, as it were, had not been completed. In the Parable of the Minas the Master goes on a long journey and leaves a mina each with his servants who remain to care for the household and the farm. One increases his mina by ten and another increases his mina by five and these are rewarded by being given authority over ten and five cities respectively. I used this parable to confirm that God increases our responsibility as we are faithful with what we have been given.
But let’s look at the situation of the parable a little more closely. Does not the parable address our current situation? Has not our Master gone on a long journey? And are we not waiting for His return? Is it not true that at the return of Christ we shall be rewarded for the faithfulness we have exhibited? Am I then using a parable that is completely and solely about the future realm of glory to prove a present reality?
Hold that thought! Let’s look at the passage quoted above from Romans 8. The first concept presented is in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. We certainly consider this to be a present reality. The second concept I want to point to from the many is that the purpose of God is to conform those He foreknew into the image of his Son. This also is a present reality and not something waiting for the return of Christ.
Let’s look just a little further at what is present reality. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Please be aware of the tense of this statements. We don’t need to make long arguments or declarations about the plans and purposes of God. God’s ultimate purpose is to glorify His Son. To do that the Father’s reward to the Son is to produce many sisters and brothers just like Jesus so that He can be the firstborn among them. That process of making many like Jesus includes calling them; justifying them; and glorifying them. All of that is present reality. How does God do that?
I am glad you asked because Paul immediately answers just that question. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8: 31, 32 NIV)
God has supplied all that will be supplied in Christ Jesus! Another way of looking at it is that there is nothing God has that is greater than His Son that He can give us. Our Father has fully expressed His love to the world by giving His one and only Son.
But with Jesus God will give us everything and anything that we need in order to fulfill His purpose. Since His purpose is to supply sisters and brothers who are just like Jesus; that is what He will support when we ask for something. This supply allows us to see the realization in the physical realm what we are actually living in the realm of glory, or the heavenly realm.