ĎAll things are yoursí, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:21. Now he says Ďall things are for your benefit.í He means that everything is for Godís people. These seem the most extraordinary statements until we understand the plans and purposes of God.
When God created the world, he gave the first people authority over it*. Everything was for their benefit; everything was theirs. Of course God did not intend that they should use their power in an evil manner. That happened later, after people chose not to obey God.
When the first people decided not to serve God, they handed over their authority to the devil*. The devil has great power over this world*, but Godís power is much greater*.
God sent Christ into the world to destroy the devilís power, and to save the people whom he (God) had chosen*.
In the present world, Godís people suffer the same kinds of troubles as other people*. However, God is already working powerfully in their lives*. God showed his grace (kindness) to them when he brought them into a right relationship with himself. His grace is constantly active in their lives*. He uses the circumstances of their lives to bring about his plan for them*. So, God is working, and using, all things for their benefit.
Godís final plan is to show his glory (his honour) in these people, who are his children*. Already, they bring him glory as they thank him for his work in their lives. In the future, God will adopt them as his children*, so that all things will be theirs*. That will not take glory away from God, because they will always give the honour to God*.
Next part: Where Paulís strength came from (4:16)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.