We live in a cold world. This isn’t just a local issue, it’s a global problem. People are looking for real life and real love beyond the world they face every day. Belonging to a warm, personal, life-giving church is the uncommon response to the common problem of the impersonal, cold and orphaned world we live in.

Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God causes everything to work together for good.” This is something we know, something we can have confidence in. It’s the synergy of God bringing all the things in our life together for good. This applies to those who 1. “love God” and 2. “are called according to His purpose.” It requires a commitment to live your life for God — setting your heart on God, determining to please Him.

When you love God for what He can do for you, you will easily falter in hard times. But when you love God for who He is, your confidence in Him will give you the determination to last through any trial. Your purpose is connected to relationship; all are invited, but few choose to have a living, personal relationship with God. Romans 8:15-16 talks about having received the spirit of adoption, with the Spirit affirming that we are God’s children. Through the Spirit, we can now approach God as children calling on their father.

You can’t get from Romans 8:28 (“called by God according to His purpose”) to Romans 8:31 (“if our God is for us, who can be against us?”) without going through verses 29 and 30: “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

God knew His people in advance and chose for them to become like His son. He is working everything for the purpose of conforming us to the image of Christ. This is why He is working all things for our good; this is why we’re on the earth. God said that His son would be firstborn among many brothers and sisters. The “first” of something implies that there are more after it. Jesus was the firstborn child of God. The many brothers and sisters? That’s us, the church. The church is the family of God.

God chose us and called us, putting us in right-standing with Him through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. The key to overcoming the orphan spirit is coming into a loving, secure relationship with God and His family. It’s all part of God’s adoptive family process. We are chosen. We are called. We are justified through Christ. Finally, we are glorified, celebrated by God.

God causes the dignity and worth of every person to become known and manifest in the church family. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. You are welcome in God’s family.

Watch the full sermon here.