MUSINGS CONCERNING THE TOTAL VICTORY IN CHRIST
Jesus Was Not Spared
“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)
The words are an affirmation of undefiled authority. They constitute more than our shallow fabric can totally reconcile – the love of God commended toward the elect (Rom. 5:8). So amplified is the affection for His people, that the Glory of Heaven, Jesus Christ the righteous, was not spared.
Assertions in Holy Writ multiply beyond number as they exhibit God’s wonderful grace and more than adequate comfort, if upon reflection of their greatness, we ponder the eternal faithfulness of the Godhead. God has purposed to bring about a redemption so replete with divine excellence, that the ability to grasp the precious glories of the same is an enterprise which eternity will not exhaust.
Nothing has ever been, or ever shall be, equal to the inexpressible majesty and infinite perfections of God’s Christ. How awe inspiring; yes! Thrilling; boggling to the mind – to be told that God, possessor of Divine attributes from all eternity, would spare not Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, for the fraudulent worms of the earth. Words are not sufficient to declare the stigma or to expose our base disgrace. We contribute nothing to His immeasurable holiness. All the goodness of all saints compiled would not alter the exalted grandeur of the Divine Creator one iota (Ps. 16:1-3).
What God has purposed from all eternity are actions so magnificent, that even wisdom is left in a position of perpetual amazement. Many verses in the Scriptures display the eternal position of the adopted sons of God. Below please note a few of the wonderful blessings and promises that God has given the children of mercy:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)
“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.” (Job 23:13-14)
“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth…I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one: and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me… O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: But I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17: 19, 23, 25-26)
“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” (Rom. 9:23)
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” (Heb. 2:11)
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14)
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)
Romans 8:32, “Here is adduced the most perfect truth of God’s grace. It is in the form of an argument, from the greater to the less. If God has done for our good the greatest that is conceivable, will not all other blessings flow by necessity?” (John Murray)
The position advanced by the Apostle is one that demands confidence. Utterly unworthy are thoughts of debate which most willingly appropriate to themselves the greatest gift, while at the same time through unbelief, stifle the lesser gifts. “The argument is not merely from the greater to the less; but a statement of the impossibility of not completing what God began at so tremendous a cost to Himself.” (R.C.H. Lenski)
In the eternal decrees, God saw no merit in man which affected His purpose or caused Him to love them. Since there were no merits to commend the greatest gift, only an evil influence comprehends merit as the auspices of the lesser gifts. A proper understanding of our obnoxious infection will not entertain thoughts of merited favor from God. “For we cease not daily to provoke Him and deserve to be wholly exterminated from the world.” (John Calvin) “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” (Lam. 3:22)
“The love of God and not human merit or power is the proper ground of confidence. This love is infinitely great and is manifested by the gift of God’s own Son.” (Charles Hodge)
It should be remembered and daily considered, that Christ died for the ungodly; that we were, and are, and always will be sinners by nature, by desire, and by practice, until that glorious day when Jesus Christ will appear a second time without sin unto salvation.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Rom. 5:6, 8-10)
How foolish is the thinking and totally contrary to the grace of God is merit with regard to His favor. The elect are the beneficiaries of unconditional sovereign love; the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. We need not look through the itinerary of human goodness to find something that would attract the attention of the Holy and righteous God. The only thing that man by nature deserves is the fiery wrath of the infinitely Just!
“He that spared not his own Son.” “God has many sons by adoption, but the Scripture allows no confusion to exist between the Sonship of the Only Begotten and the sonship of adoption.” (John Murray)
The glorious God of Heaven sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin; as a result, the effectual work of Christ, Deity’s Prize, condemned sin in the flesh. Sparing not His own Son was wrapped up in the eternal decrees. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God…” (Acts 2:23)
No abbreviation can successfully describe the significant phraseology immersed in the introductory sentence of Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son.”
“The Father did not spare His own Son. Sparing refers to suffering inflicted. Parents spare their children when they do not inflict the full measure of chastisement due. Judges spare criminals when they do not pronounce a sentence commensurate with the crime committed. By way of contrast, this is not what God the Father did. He did not withhold or lighten one whit of the full toll of judgment executed upon His own well-beloved and only-begotten Son. There was no alleviation of the stroke, for ‘it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.’ (Is. 53:10) There was no mitigation; judgment was dispensed upon the Son in its unrelieved intensity. ‘Spared not’ expresses nothing less.” (John Murray)
The delivering up of Christ was not as a result of our admirable morality; nor on the basis of foreseen exploits which flow from a consecrated dexterity. Christ was rather delivered up for our offenses, our malignant and filthy manner of life. “Who was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification.” (Rom. 4:25) Christ by decree and the eternal choice of the Godhead assumed our likeness that we, by such a transaction, might be rendered by the very God, righteous. A righteousness which only the Godhead possessed hithertofore. God made Christ to be sin for us. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21) Jesus did this because it was the will of His Father. “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, ACCORDING TO the will of God and our Father.” (Gal. 1:4)
Isaiah prophesied long ago that God would hold Christ accountable for the transgressions of His people. Those people, who in vile insurrection, permeated with pride, lift up their head in obstinate rebellion. Only an eternal, unaffected love, based upon the glorious attributes of another, could properly establish the redeemed as righteous before the Holy and ever blessed Jehovah God. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:6) “Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy;-but the Father, for love!” (Octavius Winslow)
The delivering up of Christ by the Father should calm the tormented soul of the believer in the greatest and most devastating of temporal storms. Our understanding of the desires of God are tremendously limited. Yet, only a casual observance would instruct us that what God desires to effectuate through His Son was the derivative of an eternal love to usward. Well might the Apostle then declare with unwavering forcefulness, that if Christ be not spared when we were enemies, what would that love deny us now that we are friends? Yea, more than friends – we are children. Children bought with blood, purchased by God at the highest price the eternal Godhead could pay, Jesus Christ the Righteous Son of God. This is our defense when the snake from the pits of the damned would deride the offspring of Jehovah from their parentally granted privileges.
The redeemed cannot plead their own righteousness, for in so doing Lucifer would laugh them to scorn. But when believers begin to claim the love of God and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, they leave the arch enemy halting like a raving mad man chained to an iron wall! Jesus is my hiding place. Under the shadow of His wings no evil can touch us. This is our guarantee – if God spared not Christ, surely He will spare those in Christ.
“As the Father delivered Him up, the great end of His suffering was satisfaction of the justice of God; and as He bore the whole curse of the broken law, His people are never, on that account, to bear any portion of vindictive wrath. It was exacted and He answered (Is. 53:7). Then, says the Son Himself, ‘I restored that which I took not away.’” (Ps. 69:4) (Robert Haldane)
“. . . how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
“If God has done the greater, He will not leave the less undone. The gift of Christ includes all other gifts. If God so loved us as to give his Son for us, he will certainly give The Holy Spirit to render that gift effectual. This is presented as a ground of confidence. The believer is assured of salvation, not because he is assured of his own constancy, but simply because he is assured of the divine love, and he is assured of its immutability because he is assured of its greatness. Infinite love cannot change. A love which spared not the eternal Son of God, but freely gave him up, cannot fail of its object.” (Charles Hodge)
Every contrary argument should immediately drive us back to the Fountain Head of our security, and present discussion is ample protection from any sinister onslaught. “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?”
David was of the same doctrinal persuasion as the Apostle Paul. “For thou has delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (Ps. 56:13) In a later Psalm, we find the same argument reinforced with greater conviction and stronger intensity. “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou has delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the in the land of the living. I believe, therefore have I spoken.” We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sake, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (Ps. 116:5-10; 2 Cor. 4:13-18)
The Apostle Paul and Jehovah’s Old Testament servant David, under inspiration, oftentimes traded views and embellished each other’s convictions. Ah, tis true, we are in good company. “How shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Amen!!!