Principle for Bible Reading
The Bible makes promises to those who love God. But how do we know if we do? In this lab, John Piper digs into the relationship between saving faith and loving God. He goes on to show why and how God works all things for good for those who love him.
All Who Believe God Love God (00:59–04:21)
- “Those who love God” must be all Christians because Romans 8:29 assumes they’re all believers (all are foreknown, predestined, etc.).
- This same idea is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 2:9–10, where Paul is clearly talking about all Christians, not some smaller group of them.
- The evidence that you’ve been known (or foreknown) by God is that you love God. (1 Corinthians 8:3)
- Anyone who does not love God is to be accursed. (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Why ‘Love’ and Not ‘Trust’? (04:21–09:25)
- The Holy Spirit delivers us from hostility to God, and replaces it with love (or a desire to please him). (Romans 8:7–8)
- We cry, “Abba! Father!” by the Holy Spirit. It is a heartfelt cry of affection and adoration, not indifference. (Romans 8:15)
- God’s glory is so precious to us that we can consider all our suffering not worth comparing with it (Romans 8:18). How could someone say that if they did not love God?
- Therefore, all who truly trust God do love him — desire him, delight in him, and treasure him above all else. And all who truly love God trust him.
- What does it mean for God to work all together for the good of those who love him? The greatest good is us being swept up into God — being conformed to the image of his Son and sharing in his glory. (Romans 8:28–30)
- Who are “those who love God” (Romans 8:28)? Why does Paul use ‘love’ here, and not trust or believe or follow?
- Read back through Romans 8. Note all the evidence that believers in God also love God.
- How does Romans 8:29–30 relate to Romans 8:28? Do you see a connection between the promise of 8:28 and the promise of 8:29–30?
Piper: “The good God works for those who love him is to allow us to be swept up in him.”
‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series
This lab is part of a series through Romans 8. Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.