And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, (NET)Notice anything odd about that quote though? There's a comma at the end instead of a period. Either the editor is doing a lousy job, or maybe... the sentence isn't finished? Let's say we take a look at not only the entire sentence, but the paragraph it sits in as well. Romans 8:28 is within a paragraph that begins at verse 26 and ends at verse 30. A general analysis of the book of Romans reveals that Chapter 8 is about Sanctification and the Spirit, which is part of a larger unit about Sanctification: Demonstration of God’s Righteousness, which is still part of a larger unit about the Revelation of the Righteousness of God, which is part of the Doctrinal section of the book. Okay, so here's the paragraph in Chapter 8:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.It would seem, then, that the Spirit intercedes for us to work all things together for good because he has predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son. Instead of taking this verse to be a refuge when we don't understand why certain events occur in our lives, shouldn't we take it to mean that we are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus? Thanks to Greg Koukl's ministry at Stand to Reason for this insight.