This Week's Focus Passage

‘He that spared not his own Son.’

Focus Passage: Romans 8:32

‘He that spared not his own Son.’

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 is considered by many in the realm of Christianity to be the foremost expression of the gospel of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and certainly it expresses one of the astounding aspects of the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. God’s grand and glorious plan of salvation for His people is so multi-faceted that it requires a litany of Scripture texts to bring it to our comprehension in any degree; yea, it requires the entirety of the Word of God. We need not contend with one another over which single text best demonstrates and declares the mind of God with regard to His design and methods in bringing His rebellious people back safely to Himself. As there are multiple facets to the gem of God’s design, so there are multiple verses and passages in the Word that speak to those multiple features. It is absolutely true, of course, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son in order that none of His own would perish, but that they would surely obtain unto eternal life through Christ. But there is so much more to it than that; in fact, there is so much to it that we will be eternally learning of it.

Paul has spoken from one perspective to the church at Rome, when he ‘posted’ this brief litany of questions, asking,

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?—Romans 8:31-32.

Paul’s asseveration regarding God, that He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, brings us further down the road of understanding as to what the apostle refers in that overwhelming doxology of the grace of God:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.—Romans 11:33-36.

The ways of God are past finding out. His thoughts are not as our thoughts, neither are our ways his ways (Isaiah 55:9). ‘He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?—Daniel 4:35. Bear in mind that this was the declaration put by God upon the lips of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, a nation of pagans.

We may know Romans 8:32 by heart from memory; we may have the verse upon our refrigerator in the form of a magnet. These things will not insure that we understand ‘the depth of the riches’ contained in this pronouncement of the apostle; the assurance that is here presented for the child of God that he, or she, is indeed a child of God. It is not that ‘God has a wonderful plan for your salvation,’ but that God has entirely and absolutely planned your salvation. It speaks the truth about the sovereignty of God in His purpose to glorify Himself through the saving of a remnant of those who rebelled against Him in Adam. He has eternally planned and purposed not only the salvation of those upon whom He has set His heart from before the foundation of the world, but Paul is stating here in Romans that He has equally designed every single aspect of their lives, both before they come to Christ through the gifts of repentance and faith received through the regenerating power of God the Holy Spirit, but absolutely every feature of their subsequent lives in and through Christ Jesus. Paul declared to the church at Ephesus that God ordained that His chosen people would know experientially and individually the reality of the ‘how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.’ This includes the works that He has planned for us to do; he states that in Ephesians 2:8=10:

For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

The assurance that Paul is inculcating in this week’s verse is found in the argument presented from the greater to the lesser. Indeed, if God did not spare His own Son because of His saving love for His people, shall He not also freely give us all things? He that began a good work in you, shall He not complete it? Will He allow anything to prevent the completion of our salvation since He has given us His best? If He was pleased to give His own Son to bring us back to Himself, what else will He not give? Does not Isaiah speak virtually the same language?

Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall proper in his hand.—Isaiah 53:10. Some men may imagine—and sadly many do—that God watched helplessly while His Son was arrested, tried as a criminal, sentenced to death upon a Roman cross, dying abandoned and alone, but the Word of God informs us differently. Isaiah has written that it pleased Jehovah to bruise His Son; it was all done by His determinate counsel and foreknowledge according to Peter in Acts 2:23. The wicked and cruel men who were the means of its accomplishment were only doing ‘the pleasure of Jehovah.’ If this be so—and it most assuredly is—how shall God not freely accomplish and complete His designs for our sanctification and glorification? Isaiah puts it in terms of the pleasure of the suffering Servant when he writes that ‘He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.’

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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