Pastor Jerry Locke
Another Sermon Series by Pastor Jerry Locke

4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135

Webmaster's Note: A Selection of 24 Single, Stand Alone Scripture
Sermons by one of our outstanding Independent Baptist Preachers,
Brother Jerry Locke, of Fort Worth, Texas. Enjoy!
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7 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
"Romans 8:28 --- The Greatest Single Verse of Comfort in a Confusing World"

Introduction - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
The Bible contains powerful:
Books...Genesis, John, Romans, Revelation
Passages...Genesis 1; Psalm 23; Isaiah 53.
Verses...Too Many to List

Most all Scripture needs a context for correct interpretation. Isolated verses are often the source of misinterpretation and ultimately heresy. The fact is, most Bible verses are not intended to stand alone.

But there are some single scripture that are so powerful, so clear, so complete that they are able to stand alone. There are three things we are intending to do with each of these “single, stand alone” scriptures.

Memorize...Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” We will assign the scripture a week in advance to memorize.

Message...Organize and discuss these single scriptures.

Meditate… Psalm 1:2 ”But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

7 - Single, Stand Alone Scripture Series
"Romans 8:28 --- The Greatest Single Verse of Comfort in a Confusing World"

In this series of study we have been looking at special, single, stand-alone Scriptures. These single verses are so clear, so complete, so compelling that they provide a spiritual feast all by themselves. So far we have looked at:
John 3:16...The Bible’s Greatest Text
Galatians 2:20...The Best Verse on “Life”
Galatians 6:9...The Greatest Single Verse for Defeating Discouragement
1 Corinthians 10:13...The Greatest Single Verse for Victory over Temptation.
Romans 1:16...A Single, Stirring Saving Scripture
Philippians 4:19...A Single, Stirring Stewardship Scripture

And today: Romans 8:28...The Greatest Single Verse of Comfort in a Confusing World.

The twenty-five (25) words of Romans 8:28 have been a staff for a trembling hand and a stay for a troubled heart.

Dr. R. A. Torrey called this verse “a soft pillow for a tired heart.” Yet, for many what ought to be a soft pillow for our heart has become a hard problem for our head.

In this series we have not had to depend on the context of the surrounding passage, but today I must make a brief comment. Romans 8 commences with “no condemnation” in verse 1, continues with "no frustration" in verse 28, and concludes with “no separation” in verse 39. We are quick to agree with the first and the last, but hesitate to give our full endorsement to the one in the middle.

How has your week been? Calm or crazy? Bombarded or blessed? Criticized or complimented?

All of us go through things that we cannot understand, let alone try to explain. How do you stand when you don’t understand? I want us to look at what may well be the greatest single verse in the Bible of comfort in a confusing world.

The Apostle Paul is the person the Holy Spirit inspired to write this great verse of comfort. He begins with…

1. The Confidence. “And we know…”

This is a matter of profound confidence and conviction. This was not mere conjecture or opinion. It is a declaration of absolute certainty.

There is so much that we do not know. But this we know as a fact that allows no doubt: our life is in the hand of God. It is true we may not always feel this is the case, we what we feel is not the test of what we know!

2. The Clarification. “And we know that…” This verses does not say we know how God works all things for the believer’s good, but that He does. How God works His work often remains a mystery. We do not need to know the “hows” or even the “whys.” It is enough for us to know with confidence that God does.

3. The Comprehensiveness. “...all things…” “All things” means exactly what it say. It means “all things.” Everything in every sphere is under the control of God. It is the comprehensiveness of this statement which is so breath-taking. Every event of life for the child of God is either planned or permitted by God.

Good and bad; bright and dark; sweet and bitter; easy and hard; happy and sad; prosperity and poverty; health and sickness; calm and storm; comfort and suffering; life and death—all are working together for our good.

We may be willing to admit that life as a whole is subject to the overruling providence of God, but hesitate to believe that every detail of life is the object of His concern. Yet our Lord asserted this to be the case. Even the sparrow does not fall to the ground without the Father’s knowledge.

With God “accidents are not accidents, and adversity is not adverse.”

4. The Co-operation. “ together…” It does not say all things shall work, or that they have worked, but that they now work together. This is sometimes so hard to believe and accept. But, God is at work! He has not become indifferent or impotent or ignorant! He is at work! God is working. He is on the job.

The only reason burden can be turned to blessing and tragedy into triumph is because God is making it happen. If necessary, God will dry out a Red Sea for you; He will flatten a Jericho wall for you; He will cause the Sun to stand still in order to give you a victory.

And things are working “together.” The events of life are not random and unrelated. They work into a preconceived pattern. God is making a perfect blend of all things to the good.

One ingredient of a cake by itself is bitter, but under the skillful hand of the homemaker or baker, it is mixed with other things to produce a delicious cake. One chemical by itself can be deadly, but under the trained hand of the pharmacist it is blended to achieve only good. The mixing together of concrete and sand and rock and water product cement!

Our experiences when taken in isolation may seem anything but good but when worked together by God the result is only good.

5. The Conclusion. “...for good…” The crux of the problem involved in the practical application of this verses lies in our interpretation of these two words, “for good.” The “good” promised by God is not always prosperity or happiness. The “good” promised by God is spiritual rather than material. And it is eternal rather than temporal. God has some long-range plans for us, and He does not choose to alter them when they are interred with by our immediate pleasure and comfort.

A man may go to a surgeon and he may prescribe a course of treatment which at the time is unpleasant or even painful. But we have learned that on occasions we must forgo immediate comfort for ultimate good and health.

It was a dark day when Moses was placed in the river by his loving mother. But do all things work together for good?

It was a dark day when Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. But do all things work together for good? “But for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good,” Genesis 50:20.

It was a dark day when they crucified the Savior and buried Him in a borrowed tomb. But do all things work together for good?

Does Romans 8:28 makes sense for the Christian? Perfect sense. In fact, it makes sense only for the Christian.

The Conditions. “ them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

The key to proper interpretation of this great verses is that it must not be divorced from its two conditions. These two clauses determine and limits its application. The simple fact is that all things do not without qualification work together for good for everybody. Two conditions must be observed.

First, there is the condition of relationship. The promise of Romans 8:28 is reserved “to them that love God.” Only those who are saved truly love God. All others either do have enough information about God or they have the wrong information. The Bibles says, “We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:19. If a man does not know and love and trust God, he will resent and rebel against what happens to him. But if a man feels and knows and is convinced that God is the all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful God of heaven and earth, then he can humbly accept all that God sends into his life. God is too kind to do anything cruel, too powerful to let anything get out of control, and too wise to ever make a mistake. The real test is how much do we love God when the going get tough.

Second, there is the condition of partnership. “To them who are the called according to His purpose.” Those who have received the gracious invitation of God, they have had their sins forgiven, they have been given new life, and they are surrendered to the fulfillment of God’s plan. If we are to claim the comforting promise of Romans 8:28 we must be carrying out God’s purpose. God has a purpose for each of us. Each event is not meaningless jumble. It has purpose. The question that presses upon each of us is, “Am I fulfilling God’s purpose for my life?” The question is not, “How can I get out of this,” but “What can I get out of this?”

Well, what is the purpose of God for those He calls? Verse 29 tells us. We are to be “conformed to the image of His Son.”

The Climax. “...His purpose.”

Life has been likened to an elaborate tapestry being woven on the loom. It requires many different colors—some bright and beautiful, others dark and somber. It is as they are worked together that they contribute to the beauty of the pattern.

Not until the loom is silent
And the shuttle ceases to fly
Shall God unroll the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads are just as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern that He has planned.

Sometimes there are threads of disappointment
Dark threads of sorrow and pain
But, hold fast, God still holds the shuttle
There’ll be bright threads of victory again.
The day is almost over
And the last thread is almost in place
Then we’ll stand and adore the beauty
Of a robe that was woven by grace.