Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Lies Religious Tradition Taught us: All things Work together for our good.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.                 2 Timothy 3:5 KJV 
13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:13 NKJV

  We've begun a new series of study, examining the lies religious tradition taught us. Teachings that have been taught so long and so often they've become ingrained into our thinking. They've actually become strongholds in our minds. To even think they are wrong becomes almost heretical to consider.

 So far we've exposed the lies that God makes people sick or is the author of disease. That God is the creator of storms of natural disasters. Today, I want to dismantle a stronghold that has been a staple in traditional circles. The idea that all things work together for our good.

 28 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. Romans 8:28 NKJV

 This passage has been cited by traditional religious leaders during times of crisis, disease, and tragedy. Had a bad day? Remember all things work for our good. The hard question we must ask is this, do all things really work for our good?

 Are all things working together for the good of the Believer? Is the sex trafficking industry working for our good? Is the child molestation we've seen carried out at the hand of Catholic priests or the sexual abuse perpetrated by some youth ministers working for good? How about terrorists flying a plane filled with innocent passengers into a building? Is that working together for our good?

 If all things work for our good what about satan? Are the demonic forces opposing the cause of Christ working for our good? How about when the tempter comes with his alluring to sin, adultery, drug addiction or porn addiction, are these working for our good? How does that conversation go between husband and wife? 

 "Honey, it's ok if I commit adultery. By sleeping with this other person, we know all things work together for our good."

 I don't know about you, but I don't know any wives who would agree with this. I hope you're seeing the absurdity of thinking the enemy is working for our good. If the enemy isn't working for our good, what does that mean in light of Romans 8? It's not that the Word is mistaken, it means we've mistakenly interpreted it. 

 Think if all things work for good what do we do with these passages?

27 nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27 NKJV

Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 MEV

 Why instruct me as a Believer to not give the enemy a place if all things work for our good anyway? Why command us to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil if all things work for our good? If all things work for our good why am I resisting anything?

 These verses reveal to us that, this all things work for our good interpretation is incorrect. It is a mistaken interpretation because what so many do is they lift this passage out of its setting and quote it out of context and assign it to be some sort of response to any situation that's negative and isn't easily explainable.

 Verses removed from their settings and context all leave us with a con. A wrong view. It creates misunderstanding and confusion in our midst. 

 Now let's be clear, even though this idea that all things work for our good is not the accurate and correct interpretation of this passage there is still a truth we can see in Scripture. We see it in the life of Joseph. God can take any situation and bring about some good.

 For instance, say a young person rebelled and went astray but while incarcerated, some minister volunteers shared the Gospel and the young person got saved. God didn't ordain the rebellion, the criminal activity, or the sentence. He just saw a situation and turned it to some good. 

 Victims of abuse, assault, violation of their bodies, after a time of healing and restoration and ministry of the love of God can come to a place of wholeness. Afterward, God can use their experience, that is they can relate to other victims and help bring healing to them. You can see that God didn't "mean it for good" that they were violated. 

 It was an abominable act. It was something that God hates and is a sin He died to pay the price for. What He can do is use a situation that was wholly of the wicked one and this fallen world and bring some good out of what the enemy meant for destruction. 

 So what does this passage actually mean? In context look at it.

26 Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. Romans 8:26-29 MEV

 In context, we see a this passage fits an entire narrative. It speaks of prayer, pursuing His purposes and plans and living out our identity. It doesn't paint a picture of why a child was hit by a car while walking in the street. The Revised Standard Version translates this passage the most accurate for what it is intending to say.

28 We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 RSV

 Again this passage in context references prayer, Spirit-led and directed prayer. This translation shows it clearer, in every circumstance when we are following God's plans and purposes He is working for our good. This passage is not saying God is causing and creating circumstances and then working them to our good. 

 In summation, Romans 8 is not a passage that explains why evil exists. It is not saying all events in life work for our good in and of themselves. It is not the response we give when a loved one dies prematurely or experiences a tragedy. Famine, wars, disaster, rape, murder, and disease are attributes of a fallen and fractured creation. They are also the handiwork of the defeated enemy who goes about deceiving men. They are not designed or destined to work for our good in some mysterious way. 

 Yet amid these terrible things, God can, when we purpose with Him in Spirit-directed prayer, turn things for our good. He can take what the enemy meant for destruction and turn it around for good. God can take any hand the enemy or this fallen world deals and come out winning. God is always Good so we can always trust Him.
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay