Chapter-6.2   Eight Irresistible Characteristics Of God

 
God Works All Things Together For Our Good!
 

In order to present this irresistible characteristic of God, I must present it in the life of someone in Scripture where it is also confirmed in Scripture. I have chosen to use the life of the Apostle Paul. Please bear with me as I develop his amazing story in condensed form.

The most dramatic conversion to Christ recorded in the New Testament is that of Saul of Tarsus (see conversion story from the book of Acts chapter 9, in Note-A below). Saul assumed the name Paul, and went on to become the primary Apostle to the Gentile (non-Jewish) world and writer of numerous books in the New Testament. His conversion to faith in Christ contained the following key elements

  1. Surprise
  2. Divine Intervention
  3. Revelation
  4. Change of heart and mind
  5. A Physical Manifestation

 

While many conversions to Christ in these days of the early church were dramatic, many took place slowly over time. Regardless of the pace of conversion, all pass through the first 4 elements in varying degrees. Many contain the 5th as well — not always in the sequence listed. This process and such experiences continue today. My own conversation to Christ was dramatic while many of my friends have experienced profound change at a more gradual pace.

This characteristic of God (His working things for our good) makes more sense to those who are progressively coming to believe in the ‘Resurrection of the dead’ that is to take place at some future date. See Paul’s comments on this topic in Note-B below.
 

Back to Saul/Paul

We all have an innate sense that justice has been served when a person gets what they deserve – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Leviticus 24:20) — not just in the great bye and bye, but in the very real here and now! Prior to his conversion, Saul was arresting believers, having them thrown into prison, and even participating in their death. As such, most would likely assume that when God brings JUSTICE to Saul, he will suffer such things. And, ironically, Paul’s journey through the remainder of his life on earth, was characterized by such suffering.
 
The AMAZING ASPECT OF GOD IN PAUL’S LIFE WAS HOW GOD WORKED (PAUL’S GETTING WHAT PAUL DESERVED) FOR PAUL’S GOOD — AND OUR’S AS WELL! Paul’s suffering, under-girded by the life of Christ that was being formed in him shaped and tempered Paul’s writings which have provided wisdom, guidance and much comfort to his readers throughout this church age. This suffering was forged first hand as Paul went from city to city preaching Christ and forming churches in these communities. The countless souls that will have come to Christ and lived the life of faith will help compose the crown Paul will receive in that great day of Judgments and Rewards. AND THIS VERY POINT IS THE SECOND ELEMENT OF HOW GOD WORKED (PAUL’S GETTING WHAT PAUL DESERVED FOR PAUL’S GOOD). IN THE END PAUL WILL BE REWARDED FOR GETTING WHAT HE DESERVED.
 

But the ultimate expression of God working things together for our good, is the VENTING OF GOD’S WRATH ON THE MAN JESUS, RATHER THAN (IN PAUL’S CASE), ON THE MAN SAUL WHO HAD DONE ALL OF THE HORRIFIC THINGS SAUL HAD DONE! (Or, in our cases, on Jesus, rather than on us each, individually, for the things we have done).

You see, every time we sin against God by doing UNLOVING things toward our neighbor, God gets angry over the transgression. This anger does build over time. But what sets God apart from people, is how in His Divine act of kindness, He takes all that wrath, and dumps it on Jesus, so He is free to treat us with undeserved kindness and grace!

HOWEVER, HIS WORKING ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD, IS A CONDITIONAL PROMISE. READ THE VERSE: Roman’s 8:28 Amplified Version: “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” [Note-C]. It is very clear in Scripture that God wants us all to come to Christ and be saved and enjoy these blessings! John 3:16 NIV says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [Note-D]. WE ARE ALL THUS CALLED! READER, IF YOU HAVE READ THIS, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE CALL!

Henry Ford is credited with an interesting statement: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”. [Note-E].

THIS IS IN FACT THE DEFINING ELEMENT IN FAITH AS WELL — YOU CONFIRM THE CALL BY SAYING, “YES LORD, I ACCEPT YOUR CALL TO BECOME YOUR CHILD, PLEASE MAKE IT REAL IN MY LIFE.” I THEREFORE BELIEVE — I AM THEREFORE “CALLED”! AND “SAVED”!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS DECISION POINT, PLEASE CONSIDER Romans 2:8 NIV, “But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” [Note-F].

NO, we cannot dodge the call by ignoring it. Tragically, ignoring the call is in fact, ‘rejecting the truth’. We deceive ourselves if we try to believe there is a ‘middle ground, here’. Remember from Chapter-4.4, we are born into a state of ‘condemnation’ — we need to be saved!

YES, if we do not accept the substitute person God has appointed to receive His WRATH (Jesus), then we will travel to that Day of Judgment when we will receive it upon ourselves! AND THIS CONDITIONAL PROMISE OF GOD (TO WORK ALL THINGS FOR OUR GOOD) WILL BE NULL AND VOID IN OUR LIVES!

Reader, have you made this promise yours? America, where are you?

 

—————————————

REFERENCES

 

============

NOTE-A

Acts 9:1-19 NIV

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.

https://www.bible.com/bible/59/act.9.1-19.esv

============

NOTE-B

Paul’s Case For The Resurrection Of The Dead

1 Corinthians 15:12-22 NIV

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

https://www.bible.com/bible/59/1co.15.12-22.esv

============

NOTE-C

ROMAN’S 8:28 TRANSLATION SPECTRUM

This list of verse translations are placed in a sequence that I believe depicts a portrayed assertiveness of God in seeking to make sure things work for the good of those involved. In this spectrum, as evidenced by Paul’s life as discussed above, I believe that the AMPLIFIED VERSION (AMP), most accurately portrays God’s assertiveness in ‘working things together for our good’!

KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

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.

Romans 8:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%208:28&version=KJV

NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

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.

Romans 8:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%208:28&version=NIV

REVISED STANDARD VERSION (RSV)

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%208:28&version=RSV

NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION (NASB)

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

Romans 8:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%208:28&version=NASB

AMPLIFIED VERSION (AMP)

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Romans 8:28 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Romans%208:28&version=AMP

============

NOTE-D: John 3:16 NIV / https://www.bible.com/bible/59/jhn.3.16.esv

NOTE-E: Goodreads Book Reviews / https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/978-whether-you-think-you-can-or-you-think-you-can-t–you-re

 
 

———————————-

–©️2018, Dale Petersen, all rights reserved. Published for Non-profit by Pleasepraywithus.info