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Written by J.E.W. Henderson   


THE GOSPEL MESSENGER—1887
 
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. That He might be the first-born among many brethren. More­over, whom He did predestinate, them He also called, and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Romans, viii, 28, 29, 30.
 
It would be a blessed thing for all of God’s dear chil­dren in this world to understand and know what is taught in the above text. While it is probable that some of them have not carefully considered this text, others may have misinterpreted it, and even perverted it. If all things, both good and evil, are meant, it would appear necessary that evil should exist, and in fact, there could be no evil if all things, in the unlimited sense of this phrase, work together for good. Whatever works good is good, and where then could evil come in?

But the text defines the phrase “All things,” and that without associating any evil thing with good things. Paul begins here with the foreknowledge of God, and then His predestination, the calling of His chosen peo­ple, their justification and glorification. Such are the things that work together for good; for these are good things, and therefore work nothing but good. A chain of God’s providence and grace is presented, beginning with His foreknowledge, and every link in this chain is necessary for the salvation of His people. Election is a very important link in the chain, and is presented by the Apostle Peter thus: “Elect according to the fore­knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.”—l Pet., i., 2. In this passage several links are brought to view, viz.: Foreknowledge, election, sanctification, obedience and the application of the atonement for sin. The chain is lengthened in the fol­lowing verse: “To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”— 2 Pet., i., 1. Thus we have faith and its proper source, or the means by which it is obtained, i. e., through the righteousness of God. Still another feature is presented by Jude: “Jude, the ser­vant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and called.”—Jude, 1st verse. The preservation of the elect in Christ is thus added to the chain of the “all things that work together for good,” and also the calling of the elect. And to all these may be added the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, repentance, faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence follows the obedience of faith, the love of God, and the love of the brethren, the service of the Lord, patience, forbear­ance, and every Christian grace and virtue that is be­stowed upon the children of God.

This chain of providence and grace was devised, or rather existed, in the infinite wisdom of God from all eternity. He extended it down to this earth by the hand of the great “Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” whose advent, life and death, burial and resurrection carried this glorious chain down to the lowest depth to which His chosen had descended, and then carried it back again to heaven, and there the two ends of this chain are linked together, never to be severed.

Such are the things that work together for good to them that love God; the called according to His pur­pose. And if it were possible to sever one link from this chain, it would then be possible for God to be de­throned, and heaven depopulated. But the chain is too strong; it cannot be broken; it bears the ponderous weight of the universe, strengthened and sustained by the Almighty God.

The works of the devil do not belong to this chain; neither sin, the act of man; nay, so far from it that these things which work together for good to the people of God, effectually remove it from them as far as the east is from the west.—Psa., ciii., 12. True it is that God makes the wrath of man to praise Rim, yet He has never been so dependent upon sin for His praise and glory as to predestinate it, and embrace it in His immutable counsel as necessary to His praise and glory. But His overruling providence and superabounding grace are sufficient to remove and subdue every opposing element, and secure the honor and majesty of His universal kingdom. So we should and do rejoice that all things work together for good to them that love God.—H.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.