The Father’s love

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ‘ 

Romans 8.32


The logic of Paul’s argument in this verse is compelling. If God has us given the greatest of all gifts and made the greatest sacrifice to secure our salvation, he will not fail to provide all we need to live in Christ and enter glory safely. Paul then concludes, ‘how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?’ Let us unpack this conclusion briefly.

First, we must banish all thoughts that God the Father can ever, even for a brief period, abandon a Christian, nor refuse to help a Christian in need. That is impossible and later verses in this chapter demonstrate that fact further. The Father did not spare Jesus on the cross, rather he punished him as our sin-bearer. That is amazing evidence of his love for us. In fact, the apostle John reminds us that if you want to see the greatest expression of love in the history of the world then you must look at the cross on Calvary, ‘In this is love, not that we loved God. But that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins‘ (1 John 4:10). God the Father will never stop loving his people or providing for them.

Second, let us grasp the significance of the phrase, ‘all things’. The same phrase occurs in verse 28. We are reminded that God uses every situation and problem for our good. Verse 32 builds on that and the phrase ‘all things‘ signifies that all we need to continue to love, trust, enjoy and obey him in different circumstances will be given us whatever our needs may be. God the Father who ‘delivered’ up his own Son for our salvation, will never fail to give all we need as Christians. And he will do this freely and generously for us all.

Do you feel a complete failure as a Christian? Perhaps you are a backslider or feel desperate for help. Whatever your circumstances or need, the Lord can strengthen, restore, and bless you. The One who freely gave up his Son for us, will come speedily to help and provide for us because he is our heavenly Father who will ‘give us all things’ for our good. As we seek to know the Lord better, he will often use difficult and challenging circumstances to draw us into closer fellowship with him and greater trust. Nevertheless, he will never hesitate to give what we need for our ‘good’ , althoughit may not be what we want or when we want it.

Third, use this verse to seek assurance of your salvation in Christ. The Word and the Lord himself must be the grounds of your assurance as a Christian. Feelings and experiences are variable while we can also be assailed by doubts from various sources, including the devil who is a liar (John 8: 44). Are there nagging doubts in your mind questioning your salvation and persevering in grace to the end? If so, with Paul look in verse 32 at the Cross on the hill of Calvary. Can you see what God the Father did there for us in not sparing his own Son but delivering him up to divine justice so we can be saved? Here is amazing and incomparable love. Having expressed such great love, he will never abandon you but will continue to supply all your need until you reach heaven. Believe what God the Father has done in Christ for his people. You can find assurance by looking believingly at Calvary and admiring the love of the Father and Son. There is no doubt that you are greatly loved by the Lord.

Here are three examples to consider as we look at our heavenly Father for help. Remember that he is generous and has all we need every day, whatever your need or situation may be.

Joni Eareckson Tada is well known. A quadriplegic for decades since the age of eighteen after a diving accident in the sea when she broke her neck, Joni has lived without the use of her hands or legs with total paralysis. Yes, she struggled with doubts and despair at times, even thoughts of suicide. However, at each point of need the Lord helped her. It has been a long haul for her but ‘grace given her like stepping-stones’ led her daily to trust and know God. Now she looks back and enjoys ‘peace that’s profound, joy that’s unshakeable, and faith that is ironclad. It is the hard but beautiful stuff of which God makes your life’. Joni’s God is our God and he is generous – always, whatever our circumstances!

Vaneetha Risner has known deep sorrow and disappointment over the years. Contracting polio as an infant, she soon became paralysed. and underwent surgery many times while slowly she learned to walk again. She experienced bullying in school but in high school, even in her bitterness, she was converted. Spending several years in higher education, she then married, suffered miscarriages, one of her children died at two months old but she was blessed with two daughters. Vaneetha then suffered post-polio syndrome, experiencing intense pain and deteriorating health. The final straw was when her husband abandoned her and the children, so she was forced to rely on the Lord as never before. Was God the Father indifferent to her needs and pain? Once again, she began to see how deeply the Father loved her. The bible became more alive as she experienced the Lord’s presence with her. Vaneetha shares that ‘God loves me fiercely, cares for me tenderly, has purpose in my pain, and will one day make all things new … my suffering is not worth comparing with the weight of glory to come’ (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)’. How kind and generous the Lord has been in blessing her in pain, disappointment and bereavement.

Thomas Charles, Bala (1755-1814) was a preacher, educator, and theologian whose ministry was signally blessed both in Wales and further afield. In December 1799 he suffered frost-bite which became increasingly more painful and infected. The medical doctors decided the only remedy was to amputate his thumb. Following painful surgery, his recovery was slow but he knew the Lord’s presence and grace in powerful ways. Reading the Bible, he was given ‘glorious views’ of the Lord …. I could not help loving him, and having confidence in him, and rejoicing…’ God’s ‘good’ for Charles was to mould him more into the likeness of Christ but also to bring him into a deeper enjoyment of his heavenly Father.

What about yourself? Are you persuaded that ‘God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’?

Dr Eryl Davies (Heath Church Cardiff)

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