Joy and the Christian Life, Pt. 4 – All Means All
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan. – Romans 8:28 (GW)
‘All means all’ is a common expression when talking about the death of Christ. Jesus died for all and we should never try to change the meaning of ‘all’ into ‘some’. Some people respond and try to limit the death of Christ by saying that Jesus laid his life down for ‘many’ not all. They are right to quote the Scriptures where it does say ‘many’ but they are wrong to use ‘many’ to limit ‘all’. It is simply bad grammar. No one says ‘all’ and really means ‘many’. Many is general in meaning while all is specific. When asked the ‘general’, how many did Jesus die for? We can respond with the specific, He died for ‘all’.
But yet how many people seem to change the meaning of all to many, not simply with the death of Christ, but with the promise of God! We hear the words ‘all things work together for good’ but yet we think ‘well maybe some things, perhaps many things, but not all things’. Even if we don’t think that, how many of us still act like that?
‘All means all’. All things in your life are working for good. This is the promise of God. Good things, bad things, happy things, sad things, encouraging things, despairing things, …all things. There is nothing that happens to you as a Christian which God does not work for your good. All means all. This is the promise of God.
We do not make the mistake and say that bad things are actually good things… No, bad things are bad, evil things are evil. It is not the desire of God to lead you into temptation or evil. But the blessing of God is that He can even use those things for your good. Do you believe that? All means all.