What we are is no surprise to God. He foreknew us from before the foundation of the world. Believe and rest in the God who is going on and on. (Romans 8:28-31)

Speaker(s): Steven Scibelli
Sermon 12240
7:00 PM on 1/26/2022

P. Scibelli –

Romans 8:28-31, You may be seated. I thought he was doing an introduction, but I don’t know what happened. He
just came up here and said, it’s you! But that’s okay Jesse Feyers.
These are – especially 8:28 – this whole portion of Scripture is something that maybe we’ve
heard many, many times. I was thinking about that today, like we know all things work together
for good to them who love God who are called according to his purpose for divine good.
Sometimes I can just go over that, and not pay attention to really what that means. And Paul is
speaking to a church in Rome. It’s a city of 4 million people. They worship Caesar. They kill
Christians and jail them and imprison them. There’s incredible sin and evil in the city. People are
living in adultery, fornication. They worship false gods. They have 900-year control over the
earth. That’s the kind of power they were by force.

They were a military giant also. Paul is speaking to a church in Rome that most people think was about 125-130 people. They’re right in the middle of this entire thing. Are you with me? Just in case you think we have some
problems and we do. Of course we do. I’m not trying to make light of that, but this was an
amazing letter to this church and this group of people that would also impart to them in the 15th
chapter tremendous vision for reaching nations and then naming 35 people personally in the
church. You can see he had a real emphasis on the Body of Christ and that’s incredible. He
says something here in Romans 8. He says a lot of things but this struck me today.
By the way, keep P. Schaller in your prayers. Amen.

Great pastor. Great spiritual father. Great friend. Great a lot of things. Great husband, right? Great father. Great grandfather. We really love him. Thank God that God has given him as a gift to the church, amen! That’s really
important to realize a pastor, your pastor, pastor-teacher is given as a gift from God to the
church. Imagine the people in churches across the world if they really believe that. They
wouldn’t be ousting so many people all of the time. Is that from Kansas City? Is that P. Doug
and Bethany? Yeah. Have you been here a long time? Just got here today? Amen. Thank you.
I was thinking about – before we get into the message here. It is part of the message. Paul said
we know something. This kind of knowledge is different than just knowing something. I know, I
know California. I know there’s a Europe.

I know this. I know that. But this is a knowing that really has relationship involved in it. It’s a relationship knowing. We know. He says something. There’s so many things that I need to know. Not only does he know but he believes. Say that.
We know. We believe. We’re persuaded. I love those three principles. I wasn’t going to speak
about that but that’s three great principles. We know. We believe and we’re persuaded.
Sometimes I know something from God. You get something from God personally, and we
believe it, but really the last one is very important. Am I persuaded? Am I mentally won over?
Maybe I believe it for this situation but how about for the next one? Maybe I believe it for this
category, this area of life, but do I believe it for this area of life. Paul is saying we know
something, we believe something, and we are absolutely persuaded.

The word “persuaded,” PLEROPHOREO, means my mind is completely at rest because it’s
been won over by God. Amen. I think a lot of times I may not experience rest from God,
because my mind, is my mind won over? Is my mind mentally won over?
I was talking to P. Bamouni today. They had a massive coup in the country of Burkina Faso
Fasa. The military government took over the entire country. He said the military barracks are
approximately I think he said a mile and a half from his house and church. He said all day long
they hear bullets flying. They hear, you know, cannons. They hear tanks going by. I said P.
Bamouni? He said God takes care of everything. Nothing’s touched us. He said, halleluiah! He
said, by the way, we’ve grown up in this, he said. I’m like oh. Excuse me for being very
concerned. I was very concerned but he was like talking to me like it’s going to be okay. And the
city, the country has been taken over and nobody knows what’s going to happen. We don’t
know what’s going to happen.

We don’t know what’s going to happen in my life, do we? Do you know what’s going to happen
in your life? Maybe you think you have a beat on it but I know, I believe, and I’m persuaded
about the things of God. I love this verse that he spoke of, that we read in Rom. 8:28. We know
that all things work together for what? Good. But do you know what that good is? It’s divine
good. A guy got sentenced to five years in prison. He said this didn’t work out very good. This
didn’t work out very well. Your prayers and then coming to court with me, I still got five years in
jail. I said it’s for divine good. I’m going to visit you every single week. It was amazing how this
man got conformed, got let out early because he was such a good prisoner. And his life
changed. He got married and has two children. From a drug addict committing crime, goes to
prison and it works out for what? Divine good. You say I’m not buying that stuff. I don’t want
anything like that to go on. Stop talking about that. Whatever. That’s crazy. That’s off the wall,
but we know. We know something.

Maybe you get stopped in a traffic pattern on 95 and you’re stuck for 45 minutes, but maybe if
you hadn’t been on that traffic pattern and hadn’t been stopped in traffic you might have been
dead up the road in a few minutes in a major accident or something like that. God knows. Amen.
It’s a favorite saying in Haiti. Pray for Haiti. They’re going through real chaos right now. And the
biggest thing they say to you in Haiti, especially the Christians, is God knows. God knows. Like
okay. God knows. God knows what’s going on.

We know all things work together for divine good to them who love God who are called
according to his purpose. We know something. And then he says in vs. 31 of chapter 8, he says
what shall we say to these things? What’s he talking about? What things? God has said
something and God says I want you to say something now. What are we going to say?
This is what God says. You’ve been foreknown by God. Can you imagine that you have been
known by God for billions of years? You and I have been in the mind of God for billions of
years. You’re not an afterthought of God. Oh look? Oh look? Right. Look, you’ve been born.
Wow! It’s amazing. Jesse Feyers. Father, look! Holy Spirit, look! Angels, look! What a surprise!
No surprises. We’ve been foreknown. Amen!

God has foreknown us forever. You know what that says to me? What am I worried about? Huh? I’ve been in the mind of God how long? If you don’t believe that, then you’re going to worry. You’re going to live in fear. I’ve been in God’s
mind forever. I’m not an afterthought. I’m not something that just happened to occur with some
random, sequential selection. That’s not Babylonian. That’s baboonian! It’s a new word I just
made up. If you’re partial to baboons, we had a lot of encounters with them in Africa. Believe
me. They’re no fun to let them get near you. No! No!

We know. You know. We know. You got me right back on track. We know all things work
together for good. Why? We’ve been foreknown by God. God’s known about you. You’re not a
surprise. Even our weaknesses and our failures. God knew that everyone of us would have an
old sin nature. God knew that everyone of us would sin. That’s why he provided Jesus Christ
and the blood of Christ to save us. He’s the lamb slain when? Two thousand years ago? Yes,
experientially, but he’s been the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Can you say
“halleluiah” to that? Are you here tonight? Okay. Huh? Thank you. We know. We know. I’ve
been in the mind of God, foreknown by God.

Do you know what the second great truth is that we know, we believe, and we’re persuaded?
That God is going to conform me to his image. You try changing yourself and see how that
works. Self-help program. Boy, I’ve been around enough of that stuff my whole life, you know. I
happen to be a little bit older. I have a great verse for the two of us. I have been young – that’s
him – and now I’m old. We’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.
Wow. God changes me. I can’t change myself. Nobody here has ever tried that, have you?
Roland, you never tried that, did you? Tried to change yourself, right? None of us. P. Wright,
you never tried that, did you? Ever try to change yourself? I’m going to be a better person. I
would say that on New Year’s Eve and by the time 12:02 was there, it was worse than ever.

I can’t change myself. You can’t change yourself, and no human being can change you.
Certainly a Christian can influence you, but that’s because God is in that person. I can’t change
me. I can’t change. How do addicts get delivered? How do people stop stealing? How does
sexual sins end? How does stealing end? How does just being a miser end? Do you know what
a miser is? Never gives anything. Wouldn’t give his dying mother a cough drop lest a bad habit
started. Can’t change us! Programs can’t do it. TV can’t do it. Are you with me? I can only be
conformed by God.

What are we going to say to that? He said what shall we say to these things? Wow. I can’t
change me. You can’t change you, but God says I not only have known you forever, but I know
how to change you. All you have to do is what? Receive it. Receive with meekness that
engrafted Word that can deliver your soul.

In the Christian school, do you think you can change people? Hello? Hello? You should have
been in the Christian school I was headmaster of. Oh my God. A guy pulls a knife on me right in
the hallway. Yeah. I had to bring the police in to go through all the lockers to find all the drugs
there. I had to do a raid on the school. I don’t know. Maybe that Christian school did change a
few people. Me! Through God. But God says, listen, not only are you foreknown. I’m the only
one that can change you. I can make you new. He can make you a great husband, right? Yes,
sir, Texas Greg. Huh? You already are great, but you could be greater. It could be better. He
can make a marriage great. He can change a marriage. He can change a single person, right?
He can change a person that has gone the wrong way, gone astray, Luke 15. He can change
John Mark. He can change Moses the murderer.

He can change David the murderer. He can change Paul, the murderer. God does the changing. Amen! And we try and we try and we try. And by the way, sometimes let me help you out God. “God helps those who help themselves.”
That demonic saying. God does the changing. I love it, don’t you? Yes, God.
Next, God does the calling. Somebody said to me, I don’t, I don’t – get out of Africa and go back
to America. That’s what they told me from another ministry. Why don’t you go back and do
something in America? They really need help. We don’t need you here. I said, thank you, but
you didn’t call me! You didn’t call me. God called me. Amen! God called you. He called you to
his dear Son. He called you to the church, Greater Grace.

He called you to be part of the ministry. God did the calling. Read the Scriptures. Men of God and women of God are called by God from the beginning to the end. He said, listen. God called us. God called you in Rome. You
are in the middle of what seems to be a living hell, but God called you. Halleluiah!
Next, he says this: God’s got a purpose for you. He’s justified you. You think you can declare
yourself righteous? Hey, I’m righteous. I’m from Canada! My name is Lise. I’m righteous. God
has declared you righteous. Halleluiah! Are you there, Dave Smithson? You didn’t declare your
own righteousness, George Hayes, did you? God declared you righteous. God justified you. To
be justified, DIKAIOO, means God has declared you righteous, and I don’t care what anybody
else says. If God declared you righteous, you’re righteous. Even in your failure, he sees you in
your position.

By the way, did you know that God could never see your old sin nature? Why would he look at
something he killed? He crucified it. He crucified the old sin nature. Hello? How does God know
when I’m living in my old sin nature? He knows there’s no fellowship with God. He knows there’s
no fellowship with Him. He doesn’t walk around counting everybody’s sins. Imagine if he had
everybody’s sins in this room in his mind? You’ve got to be kidding me. Just in my mind – come
on! Really? Are you with me?

Do you know what it means to grieve the Holy Spirit, Woody? This is what it means. LYPEO, to
suffer loss. In other words, when I grieve the Holy Spirit, he is hurting because there’s no
fellowship with me. He doesn’t go around saying, he did that. She did that. He did that. They did
that. He did this. Look at that sin. Look at that sin. That’s awful. That’s horrible. Why did he do
this? What’s going on here? No. He just knows there’s no fellowship. Are you with me? He’s
declared me righteous.

Then do you know what else it says which is remarkable? He’s glorified you. Halleluiah! You’re
glorified. Not when you get to heaven. It becomes an amazing glory because there’s no more
sin nature. But as I’m in Christ, has Christ been glorified? Hello. You’re slow to answer. Has
Christ been glorified? Wow. It’s not snowing yet! He’s been glorified and I’m in him. So I’ve been
glorified. That’s amazing. And he says look at these truths. Foreknown, conformed by the Spirit,
called, justified, glorified. What are you going to say to that? What are you going to say to what
God says? You know what I say. God is for me. Halleluiah. God is what? God is for me. Never
can be against you. Halleluiah. He’s against what I do in sin, but he’s never against me. He’s
never against me. What am I going to say to these five things? What shall we say to what God
says? He says foreknown, conformed to his image, right? Justified, called, glorified. This is what
God says about us. What are we going to say. God is for me, right? Yeah, God. Yeah God. He’s
for me.

You know what else I’m going to say? He’s freely going to give me all things. Not just some
things. What? I’m being louder than Jesse Feyers. Is it okay? I’m loud cause I can’t here. This
ear doesn’t work and this one is yelling for help. Wow. He’s freely given us all things. It’s

What else has he done? He’s interceding for you. He’s at the right hand of the Father making
intercession for us. Isn’t that amazing? God is for us not just when he came and he lived and he
died and shed his blood, but also right now he’s interceding for me. He’s interceding for you. I
don’t know what to pray sometimes. I just say, Holy Spirit help me, and Jesus is interceding for
us. So many times we face so many difficulties in life and so many problems and rather than
coming to a person, how about say, God, you’re interceding for me. Jesus is interceding to the
Father for me. The Holy Spirit is interceding to Jesus. Let me just get in that channel. Hello?
Intercession. Wow. It’s amazing.

You know what else he’s doing? He’s never going to leave me or forsake me. Never separated
from the love of God. What do you what to say to those five things? Foreknown, conformed,
right? Called, justified, glorified. What do you want to say to those five things? God is for me,
right? God freely gives me all things. It’s amazing. God intercedes for me. What else? God says
I’m with me. Never separated from the love of God. Isn’t that amazing?

What am I going to say to what God says? He’ll never leave me. He says never separated. He
names 17 things. I call them 17 valleys from 8:35 to 8:39. He says through all of that, I’m with
you. Halleluiah! You’re in the worst place in your life. I’m with you. Make your bed in hell. I’m
with you. Hello? You take a new direction. I’m with you. You go to a foreign country. I’m with
you. You join Bible school. I’m with you. You get a job. I’m with you. You’re at your job. I’m with
you. You’re in the home taking care of children. I’m with you. You’re in a sick bed. I’m with you.
You’re in a hospital. I’m with you. We get so worried about all these things, all these diseases.
Watch out for mental disease. That’s the dangerous one where the devil tries to give you a sick
mind instead of a healthy mind. I’m with you. I’m with you. It’s amazing. I’m with you. Never will
leave you. No matter what’s going on.

Daniel, you are going through the worst trial in your life in Daniel 10, a demonic trial. Demons from
all the surrounding countries are coming at Daniel, and God says to him, “Oh man greatly loved”
(Daniel 10:11-19). Amazing. He’s with us. He’s with us. Even when I’m not with him. “I don’t want, –
I’m not reading my Bible today. Not praying. No! No! No! I’ve had it with God!” Don’t tell me
you’ve never thought like that. He says I’m still with you. Say what you want. Do what you want.
Be what you want. God where you want. I’m with you to the end of the age. Hallelujah!
What’s the last thing he says? What else do you say to these five things? Conformed to the
image, right? Foreknown. Conformed. Justified, right?All these different things he’s saying.
What’s the last thing he says? You are more than a conqueror through him who loves you. By
the way, you’re not just a conqueror when it looks like you have victory. You’re a conqueror
when it seems like you don’t.

More than – HUPERNIKAO. Means above and beyond what even seems to be victory to you or other people. You are victorious. I love that song they used to always sing in Liberia. Remember this one, P. Renaldo? “I know no
defeat. I know no defeat. Jesus is my Captain and I know no defeat.” Never defeated. More than
a conqueror. When you think and they think you’re at the bottom, you’re more than a conqueror
through him who loves you. Hallelujah tonight. I want to respond to what God says. This is the
source and the power and the strength beyond what he says and to what God would say to me
and where we can go. Oh, church in Rome. You can make a difference. Oh, church in
Baltimore. You can make a difference in Baltimore and all the world.

Do you know this church has 768 churches in 80 countries? Somebody might not even know
that. That’s God. It’s not anybody. It’s God. How did that happen? I don’t know. God did it,
amen! Seven hundred and sixty-eight churches. Thirty thousand people coming to church. It’s
amazing. Hearing doctrine. Teaching. Preaching. Knowing these kind of things. It’s amazing.
What we are a part of is amazing. What you are a part of is amazing. And God wants us to live
in these truths. Fellowship with these truths. Believe these truths. Not just know them. Not just
believe them but be persuaded by them. Mentally won over.

Amen. Father, thank you tonight. Thank you. Oh, there could be failure, sin. Maybe you’re
alone. You’re sick. You’re poor. You’re rejected. You’re going through a trial, a test, trouble,
tempted. Marriage. Families. Single. Job. Neighbors. Traffic. Disappointed. Finances. I don’t
even have any friends!

You know what? What shall we say to these things? We’re going to respond to what God says,
not to these things. What are we going to say to these things. God is for us. He freely gives us
all things. He has justified us. He intercedes for us. He’s with us, and we are more than
conquerors. Can we really believe this tonight, or is this just going to be – we go to church and I
think he said something. I want to believe. I want to have faith in this Word of God. It’s the Bible.
It’s the Word. (Prayer).


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.