Romans 8:28

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Romans 8:28

Post by darinhouston » Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:46 pm

I've been mediating on this passage in light of some burdens our family has been facing in a number of areas lately. I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on the translation issues surrounding it which brings some nuance on what it is really saying.

The term "to those who love the Lord" is dative and it can be taken a few ways - it could be saying that those who love the Lord will experience the goodness spoken of - it could mean that those who love the Lord will consider those things good even if they don't experience it themselves - it could be they will know it's in God's good plan for the Kingdom even if they don't have "good" effects on them or those around them, and so forth.

Any thoughts on this?

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Re: Romans 8:28

Post by mikew » Sat Feb 17, 2024 2:36 am

I have a hard time making sense of your alternatives. I cannot see how the text would be convey a negative sense of what reads as "that ... all things work together for good." How does that indicate they won't see good? The context favors God and the Spirit aiding those who are struggling.

Maybe you are asking "who sees the good?" or "how is this good manifested?" This message is given in light of persecution happening to the Roman gentiles (v18) and probably their own struggles to live right (Rom 2-8). They might also react to Paul's correction of their behavior.

Paul having to respond to their problems resulted in the good contribution of his letter. Their suffering for Christ helps conform them to Christ's image (v29). Verses 29-30 show the progress of refinement. The troubles may also reveal to Christians and non-Christians the strength that one may have due to being in Christ. In the suffering, a dependence on God for strength (and even cures) is built up. You also enjoy the ultimate benefit in eternal life.

Overall, we are not in the pressures they faced and we don't have the same sort of glorification they were expecting. Still, we are not like those without hope. Furthermore, we have the ultimate benefits in Christ (v32).

So verse 28 does not quite give the assurance of good and happy living we are often taught. But verse 32 makes up for that: He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (ESV)
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