Who are those that are called??
AMP - 28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
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Romans 8:28 (KJV) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." "Called" can mean an invitation, as to a banquet. It is used in the evangelical sense I.E. Christ preached to the multitudes. It is also used in an effectual, powerful way. I believe Matthew 4:18-20 and 9:9 are perfect examples. In Matthew 20:16 The Lord stated: "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." Again in 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." It is obvious in these two accounts "calling" and "chosen" are not synonymous, Christ made a distinction. In John 7:37 The Lord issued forth a general call, an invitation: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." The subsequent verses tell of a division among the hearers. Some thought he was a prophet, some the Christ, others couldn't comprehend The Savior coming out of Galilee (wrong side of the tracks, so to speak). The same is true today when the gospel goes forth, there are many different perceptions as to its meaning. When we get into the epistles "called" is associated with choice or election as in Romans 1:1,6,7; 8:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 24; Jude 1:1; Revelation 17:14. In Romans 1:7 and 1 Corinthians 1:2 is a calling to be saints. If you read the context of the verse in question I believe it will become clear that the call spoken of in Romans 8:28 is not a mere invitation or a general call but a powerful, effectual call. Omitted from several of the translations, the KJV states "THE called" (caps mine). I believe the definite article "the" is there for a purpose. It is referring to a collective group or class of people. Chosen, picked out by God.
In verse 28 the word called and in 1 Peter 1:1 the same root word is used for elected, so the ones called or elected by God are ones who by grace through faith have become God's children. In 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 Paul says that God from the beginning had chosen them to salvation through sanctification or setting them apart by the Holy Spirit and their belief of the truth of the Gospel. The Love of God denotes those who are true Christians, 1 Peter 1:1-8 describes being chosen and loving God even though we have not seen Him.
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