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.
for [contributes toward] good
Doctrine of God’s Concurrence, Part One:
God concurs with every situation and event of our lives under the nature of who He is.
The doctrine of decree is God’s eternal purpose, according to the counsel of God’s own will, whereby, for His own glory, He has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. Foreknowledge is part of His omniscience. Foreknowledge is His prior knowledge of all things included in the actual course of events.
There is only one decree involving everything, though in the outworking of events there is successiveness. There is also a convenient distinction between directive and permissive decrees.
The decree is all inclusive (Eph. 1:11) although God does not sustain the same relationship to each thing in the decree. All the desires of God are not necessarily incorporated into His plan. What God has decreed is ultimately for His own glory. Wrong is never made right simply because sin was included as part of God’s purpose.
Some claim decree is inconsistent with human freedom. On the contrary, all means such as prayer and witnessing are part of His plan. Others claim the decree makes God the author of sin. Although God has included sin in His plan, He is never responsible for the committing of sin. Some say that the doctrine of decree is the same as fatalism. However, fatalism emphasizes only ends and makes chance, not God, the governing power.
A decree is God’s eternal plan. It expresses His eternal, wise, and sovereign purpose, comprehending at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, courses, successions, and relations. This plan determines His decree to come to certain futurition.
There is only one decree which is the sum total of God’s plan. His omniscience is the key to understanding His decree. First, God knows Himself totally; He has complete self-knowledge. Secondly, God knows all things outside Himself both actually and possibly. Third, His foreknowledge acknowledges the actual facts of reality. Foreknowledge in itself does not make anything certain; it only acknowledges what is certain.
The function of decree operates under His omniscience. God knows perfectly, eternally, and simultaneously all that is knowable, both actual and possible. Such perception and sagacity is totally compatible with His essence. Omniscience sees the free as free, the necessary as necessary, together with all their causes, conditions, and relations, as one indivisible system of things, every link of which is essential to the integrity of the whole. Every cause and effect is related to another cause and effect. Volition is the uncaused cause of human function so that the course of history is just as man thinks it, wills it, does it.