References: Romans 8:28
God’s purpose in calling
When the Gospel of John brings us the story of Christ, it begins with the beginning. John 1:1-7 gives the well-known introduction of Christ. Let’s look at vs. 7: “…to bear witness of the Light (Christ) that all through Him might believe.” This is God’s purpose: to make known the source of life. Toward that end the Word, Christ, is sent so you may believe. We also read in Heb. 1 of the revelation of God by Christ regarding the work of salvation.
God purposes to make Himself known, and He does so through His plan of salvation, crafted in detail in His mind from eternity.
I can’t say it often enough how the Heidelberg Catechism, as a confession of faith and a creed of the church, teaches us to understand what God has done. Not what we must do; what God has done. There is your comfort. It’s not about what we must fix or accomplish for our salvation; it is about what God has begun and continues to do.
Making known the glory of God
Let’s be clear: God is about God. Your salvation is about God. Think of the scene in Isaiah 6 when the prophet found himself before God’s throne in His presence. There are seraphim whose sole task is to fly back and forth before God, seated on His throne, and to cry out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” That holiness, that glory of God, is expressed in Isaiah being cleansed.
So when Paul in Romans 8:28 speaks of those who are called according to His purpose, we get to see a little bit of who God is, which is reflected in His purpose. God’s purpose is simply this: in the calling, in the salvation of His people, His glory is made known.
Please do not fall for the false notion that the Bible is about you. Some people may say since man is in such terrible trouble, that because the God of creation is righteous and just, the focus no longer points to the Creator God, but turns down in pity to hopeless man.
That is a false understanding of the Scriptures.
A similar error sees the New Testament as solely emphasizing a loving Savior who just wants people to come to Him. No, it is and continues to be about the God of creation, whose focus in eternity is the salvation of His people, by which His glory is made known.
Man as a reflection of God
It is important to ask, why should God bother? God is the one who holds this universe in the palm of His hand. He spoke and there was light. He can and does bring the most powerful to their knees. He could wipe out all creation as quickly as he brought it in, and create it again.
But here’s the thing: saying God focuses on saving fallen man does not remove the focus from God. It actually highlights His glorious attributes. Understanding that man is created in the image of God means recognizing man is the reflection of God. We are not God, but we are image bearers of Him. God does “bother,” if I can use that word, because by salvation, His glory is manifested.
Understand then, with the focus on your salvation, the glory of God is truly revealed.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.