Bible Study Moment: Romans 8

“We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (CEB)

Romans 8:28 seems to be a favorite verse for those who believe God has a master plan for a person’s life and everything that happens is a part of that plan.

I disagree. I wonder if these people started with this belief and then see this verse as “proving” that belief.

The goal of reading the Bible is to hear what God is saying to us through it. This is very difficult because we bring our own preconceived ideas to what we read. One way around that is to look at the Bible as a whole, and if we do that we see that the Bible teaches that our actions have consequences and that we have free will; beginning with the garden of Eden in Genesis 3 and all or nearly all of the other stories in the Bible, which to me disproves the master plan idea.

So what is this verse saying? It is in a section of Romans 8 talking about hope while suffering. Now, how do I say this? No matter how badly we believe that we’ve messed up our life, like the lead voice in “Bohemian Rhapsody” (life had just begun but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away). If we allow God to work in our lives (or seek to follow God’s way or however you want to say it) God can and will bring about good results.


Mark Phillips