‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’, Rom. 8. 32.
This verse speaks of the Lord Jesus as God’s ‘own Son’ and tells us three things about Him. First, He was ‘not spared’. Second, He was ‘delivered up’. Third, He was ‘freely given’ (note that the ‘all things’ are freely given to us ‘with Him’). In the former article we considered the first of these. In the present article we will consider the second and third.
The word translated ‘delivered up’ appears at three critical points in the passion narrative of Matthew’s gospel. In each case it was the Lord Jesus who was ‘delivered up’, but in each case He was ‘delivered up’ by a different party, and for a different reason. In order, the word (translated ‘deliver(ed)’) occurs as follows:
On the human level, therefore, Jesus was ‘delivered up’
But, Paul insists, in the final analysis and above everything else, He was ‘delivered up’ by God out of lovel
The Lord Jesus was delivered up for ‘us all’; that is, for every one of us. God’s love in delivering up His own Son is an intensely personal and individual thing. He did it for me!
This is one of three occasions when Paul uses the expression ‘us all’. In Romans 4. 16, Abraham is spoken of as ‘the father of us all’, in Galatians 4. 26, Jerusalem above is spoken of as ‘the mother of us all. Here, the Lord Jesus is seen as the Saviour of ‘us all’. But at what a price - ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all’, Isa. 53. 6.
Paul’s earlier statements about the Lord Jesus (‘spared not’ and ‘delivered up’) form part of an argument - ‘He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?’ The greater Gift (of God’s own Son) implies - indeed guarantees to us - the lesser gift (of all things).
Compared with the Lord Jesus, all other gifts are secondary. The Person is worth infinitely more than any number of ‘things’. If God’s love for us extends to His giving ‘His own Son’ then it should come as no surprise to us that He will, with Him, give us all that is for our final good and blessing.
Perhaps we can paraphrase our text, ‘If God withheld nothing from His own Son by way of suffering and judgement, we can rest assured that He will withhold nothing from us by way of blessing and glory’.
We note the three references to ‘all things’ towards the end of Romans 8:
But what are these ‘all things’ which God freely bestows upon us? The immediate context suggests a few. For, together ‘with Him’, God lavishes upon us:
The Holy Spirit; vv. 9-11. ‘But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you … if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you’. The Holy Spirit now indwells us and His indwelling presence is a token that, if we die, our bodies will rise to new life.
Sonship, vv. 14-15. ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father’. The indwelling Holy Spirit prompts us to address God as ‘Father’, as He also prompts us to address and speak of Jesus as ‘Lord’, 1 Cor. 12. 3.
New birth, v. 16. ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God’. Sons by adoption, vv.14-15; children by birth, v.16. We enjoy not only the dignity and privilege of being God’s sons, but also the nearness and intimacy of being His children.
Heirship, v. 17. ‘And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ’. The Lord Jesus shares His treasures with His people. We inherit by grace what He inherits by right.
Hope of glory, vv. 18-25. ‘I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward… the glory of the children of God … we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body’, RV.
Help in prayer, vv. 26-27. ‘The Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered’, RV. In a way which we do not understand, the Spirit aids our weakness in prayer and gives meaning to the unspoken groanings deep in our hearts.
An over-ruling providence, v. 28. ‘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’. God makes all the circumstances and happenings of our lives co-operate for our true good.
Righteousness, vv. 30, 33-34. ‘Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified … It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?’
The intercession of Christ, v. 34. ‘Christ… also maketh intercession for us’.
Victory, v. 37. ‘We are more than conquerors through him that loved us’. Preeminently victorious through the Lord Jesus!
Eternal security, vv. 38-39. ‘I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate i/sfrom the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord’. The true believer cannot be separated from the love of God and of Christ by (i) extreme conditions (death/life), (ii) external forces (angels/principalities), (iii) dimensions of time (to come), (iv) dimensions of space (height/depth), or indeed, (v) by anything else in the whole of creation.
Well, do these blessings not take your breath away? They certainly should. And yet they are but part of the ‘all things’ which God freely gives to us. Is it credible that God should lavish such wealth upon us? Most certainly! Indeed, if God’s love for us has extended to the giving of ‘His own Son’, then frankly it is inconceivable that He will fail to give us all that is for our ultimate good and blessing. Dare we believe otherwise?
Alas, so often we listen to the devil’s whispers. When we face disappointments, painful situations, sudden losses, various forms of trial and seeming tragedy, the enemy readily tempts us to doubt the goodness and love of our God. This is nothing new. From the very beginning, he has questioned whether God really does seek the highest good of His creatures, Gen. 3. 4, 5.
Our text makes it clear that God has forever given the lie to all the devil’s slanders. (The name ‘devil’ means ‘a slanderer’, ‘an accuser’.) God has proved beyond dispute His unselfish, unstinting love for us - He ‘spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all’.
Next time you hear the hiss of the serpent, calling into question God’s love for you, remind him of Romans 8. 32! //; because you suffer; the devil accuses God to you, send him to the same place where God sends him when, because you sin, he accuses you to God - to the cross where He ‘spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all’.
Finally, do you entertain fears, either about today or tomorrow? In the most unmistakable manner, God has proved Himself to be ‘for us’; cf v. 31. What then have we to fear?
He spared not His Son!
Tis this that silences each rising fear,
Tis this that bids the hard thought disappear -
He spared not His Son!
And when I think that God His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die - I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
Translated from the Russian by Stuart K. Hine.