Thursday, 2 May 2013

Romans 8:32 - What wouldn't he give us?

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Again a beautiful and encouraging passage for all who genuinely trust in God. What Paul is saying here is that based on what God has already given us, what would he hold back?

What has he given us? His own son. I heard this illustration at KYCK two weeks ago: God gave up his son for us because that's how he could show his love. If he gave up a planet or a solar system for us, it wouldn't mean much, since he could just make another one. He gave up his son because Jesus is truly valuable. I'm not a father, but I would imagine any good father values his children above almost everything else. Certainly above any possession he has. But what God did is more than simply giving up his son to die. Jesus is God. Jesus, God the father and the Holy Spirit are God, they have existed eternally in perfect relationship. God gave up Jesus, and Jesus willingly came and died for us, to suffer God's wrath against our sin. Jesus, who is God, was rejected by God for our sakes, he suffered and died under God's wrath, taking our sin. I cannot fathom the worth of that sacrifice. Why did he have to die? Well we all sin (Romans 3:23) - we all disobey God and stuff up in fact we like sinning. Sin is rebellion against God and against his character. From his word we know that God is good (Psalm 136:1), he is faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 36:5), he is just (2 Thessalonians 1:6), he is pure (Psalm 30:5), he is righteous (Psalm 145:17), he is perfect and holy (1 Peter 1:16, Psalm 18:30, Matthew 5:48), He is merciful, gracious and compassionate (Psalm 145:8), he is true (John 14:6) and he is loving (1 John 4:8). Sin is anything that is not in line withGod's character and is in essence living our own way instead of submitting to God. As a result, sin is by definition wicked, evil, wrong, and God being just must punish it. The punishment: hell eternally, because we could never pay enough for the offense that our sin is. God could have justly left it that way and condemned all people eternally to hell. Instead he gave up Jesus in our place. Jesus came, gave up his eternal glory (See Philippians 2), lived as a human. Not as a king, but he was rejected, born in a stable, hated throughout his life and poor. He lived among sinners preaching the gospel (what I'm explaining basically) and then he died in our place on the cross. He took our sin even though he was 100% perfect and he died in our place, taking God's wrath. Because he is God and is perfect he could pay for our sin when we never could. Why did God do it? Two reasons: For his glory and out of love for us.

Therefore, if God has given up Jesus for us at such a great cost, what wouldn't he give up for us? Why would he not give us our every need? Obviously God doesn't give us (Christians) our every desire. He allows us to suffer, he allows us to be persecuted, he allows us to live in poverty. But why does he? It has to be out of love. It has to be because that it what is best for us eternally. Otherwise him sacrificing Jesus means nothing, because he wouldn't be willing to go further. No. He gave up Jesus and he supplies all we need to do his will. What is his will? Among other things, it is for his people to grow and be like him and to be saved eternally and spend eternity in heaven with him. God allows trials for our good (see James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1). By them we learn to persevere and therefore we inherit heaven because we do persevere. By them we learn and grow, we learn to trust in God and we learn to love him more. Therefore the sufferings we face are the best thing God could let happen to us - even though it doesn't feel like it, and he doesn't let us suffer without reason. Trust him! If he gave up Jesus for us why would he hold back any other good thing? Only because it is better for us in the eternal perspective. 

I would rather suffer here a little while and have eternity in heaven then to live well in this life and go to hell eternally. What about you? Is Jesus your saviour and Lord? Are you living for him every day? Are you ready to trust and obey him in everything you do? Even when it hurts? Even when people hate you for it? Will you obey God? If you're not a christian then Repent and Believe! (Mark 1:15).Say sorry for sin and turn to Christ! Count the cost, realise that if you turn to Jesus you will have to give up sin and you will suffer and maybe even die for being a Christian, you will lose friends. But what could be of more value then eternal life with God? Especially when compared to hell eternally where everyone who is not a Christian will go. If you are a Christian, then take heart! Trust God and be content with what he has given you! I find that's one of the hardest things to do.

God Bless! Praise him!

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