“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
8:28 And we know - This in general; though we do not always know particularly what to pray for. That all things - Ease or pain, poverty or riches, and the ten thousand changes of life. Work together for good - Strongly and sweetly for spiritual and eternal good. To them that are called according to his purpose - His gracious design of saving a lost world by the death of his Son. This is a new proposition. St. Paul, being about to recapitulate the whole blessing contained in justification, (termed glorification, #Rom 8:30|,) first goes back to the purpose or decree of God, which is frequently mentioned in holy writ. To explain this (nearly in the words of an eminent writer) a little more at large: - When a man has a work of time and importance before him, he pauses, consults, and contrives; and when he has laid a plan, resolves or decrees to proceed accordingly. Having observed this in ourselves, we are ready to apply it to God also; and he, in condescension to us has applied it to himself. The works of providence and redemption are vast and stupendous, and therefore we are apt to conceive of God as deliberating and consulting on them, and then decreeing to act according to the counsel of his own will; as if, long before the world was made, he had been concerting measures both as to the making and governing of it, and had then writ down his decrees, which altered not, any more than the laws of the Medes and Persians. Whereas, to take this consulting and decreeing in a literal sense, would be the same absurdity as to ascribe a real human body and human passions to the ever - blessed God. This is only a popular representation of his infallible knowledge and unchangeable wisdom; that is, he does all things as wisely as a man can possibly do, after the deepest consultation, and as steadily pursues the most proper method as one can do who has laid a scheme beforehand. But then, though the effects be such as would argue consultation and consequent decrees in man, yet what need of a moment's consultation in Him who sees all things at one view? Nor had God any more occasion to pause and deliberate, and lay down rules for his own conduct from all eternity, than he has now. What was there any fear of his mistaking afterwards, if he had not beforehand prepared decrees, to direct him what he was to do? Will any man say, he was wiser before the creation than since? or had he then more leisure, that he should take that opportunity to settle his affairs, and make rules (or himself, from which he was never to vary? He has doubtless the same wisdom and all other perfections at this day which he had from eternity; and is now as capable of making decrees, or rather has no more occasion for them now than formerly: his understanding being always equally clear and bright, his wisdom equally infallible.
Ro 8:28 All things work together for good. The third ground of encouragement to saints in suffering is now given. To them, under God's providence, all things, even their sorrows, trials and persecutions, work together for blessing. This precious assurance is not to all mankind, saint and sinner, but is limited to a class. To them that love God. These are those who enjoy the blessed assurance just given. Notice the order in the Revised Version, which is the order of the Greek, "to them that love God all things work together for good". The love of God is the very foundation of the Christian life. See Lu 10:28 and Joh 14:23. The expression, "them that love God", is synonymous with "Followers of Christ". See 1Co 2:9 Eph 6:24 2Ti 4:8 Jas 2:5. The two expressions "them that love God" and "the called" are are different ways of describing the same class. To them who are the called. These have been called by the gospel and have accepted the call. Many others are called Jews and Gentiles, but only those who hear and obey are chosen (Mt 20:16 20:14). Paul uses the term of the latter class; those who hear and obey. The evidence that we are "the called" is that we love God. According to [his] purpose. This call was purposed from the time that God promised a Deliverer of the fallen race (Ge 3:15).