In order to finish the eighth chapter this evening, it will be necessary for us to spend but a short time on each verse. Yet I believe it will be best to briefly review the verses considered at our last study.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
You will notice that the verbs in these texts are all in the past tense. The blessings and promises contained here are true continually of those who are called of God and of all who are called of God. Who are called? "For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." He calls, "Whosoever will." "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Now what is the purpose of God in calling all the world--whosoever will come, to Him? "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him." Ephesians 1:10. Speaking on the same subject in 2 Timothy 1:9, the apostle Paul says, "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our own works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given in Christ Jesus before the world began." We are then to be gathered together in Christ according to the purpose and grace of God. Seeing this, what is our duty? "Therefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:10
Now how can we make our calling and election sure? Every one is called, but the purpose of God is in Christ, "for of him and through him and to him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36. We are all called and abiding in Him; then we are called according to the purpose of God, because we are in Christ. Give up everything of self, and everything that is connected with self; then you can have Christ and you are called according to the purpose of God.