“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.”
Explanation and Commentary of Romans 8:28
God is sovereign over the universe. Since the very beginning of the world, he has been enacting a plan that includes the free agency of humankind side by side with his sovereignty over everything. It is a paradox, but it is one of the most biblically verifiable facts of our existence (Jn 6:64-64; Ro 14:12).
This is astonishingly good news because it means that even when terrible things happen to us, there is a purpose in it that involves our good. Even when we sin and face the consequences for our sin, he somehow uses the consequences for our good, and even manages to use our sin for our good, though we are still held accountable for it (Gen 50:20).
Life can be lived two ways, constantly fighting against God and his purposes, or humbly submitting to whatever his plan is for you. The first way is torture for yourself and may lead to destruction, and the second way is the abundant life that Jesus promised (Jn 10:10). “For those who love him” it is all for our good, and given eyes to see that, we can live joyfully no matter the circumstances.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Romans 8:28
This falls in a section of Romans where Paul is describing the way our suffering in this present age in the fallen world has great purpose. The culmination is our glorification (Ro 8:30).
#2 “…we know…”
We know this by faith. If we truly know it, it will affect the way we experience trial. Some psychologists say that life has no meaning except what we give it. For Christians, we give it the meaning that God gives it. God does everything for his glory and for our good (Isa 48:11).
#3 “…that in all things God works…”
Jesus said, “My Father is always working” (Jn 5:17). Not only is he always working, but he is working in all things. Not even Satan is able to work apart from God’s allowance (Job 1). One should never think that God is not in a situation. We can be mistaken about the role he is playing and what his will is, but he is always there (Josh 1:9), and always working.
#4 “…for the good of those who love him,”
Everything God does is for ultimate good in that everything he does brings him glory and honor. But for those who love him, it means our good as well. For those who don’t love God, his purpose may end in their harm, as even rebellious sinners going to hell ultimately glorifies him and highlights his own goodness, holiness, and mercy towards those who repent (Ro 9:21).
#5 “and are called according to his purpose.”
Sometimes the word calling is used to describe one’s chosen vocation, especially a calling to ministry. But the most powerful use of the word is to describe one’s salvation (Ro 8:30). No one is called apart from the purpose of God. No purpose of God for the believer will lead to anything but good for the one who loves him and is called.
Bible Study on Romans 8:28
Expert Overview of Romans Ch. 5-16
Biblical Translations of Romans 8:28
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.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
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.
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.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.