Online Text Sermon - God Not Sparing His Son, Romans ch.8 v.32
|Preacher||Rev. Maurice Roberts, Inverness|
|Sermon Title||God Not Sparing His Son|
|Text||Romans ch.8 v.32 |
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"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?" (Romans 8,32)
1. God did not spare His own Son
2. God delivered Him up for us all
3. God will give grace to His people
If you were faced with the choice between having either the Old Testament or the New Testament, you would, of course, choose the New Testament; because the New Testament represents God's final word to man. Both the Old Testament and the New are the word of God; but the New Testament is a fuller, more complete revelation than the old.
Again, if you were asked to choose just one book from the New Testament and you were not allowed to have more than that one book you would, I believe, choose the epistle to the Romans; because no book in the Bible is more wonderfully full of the doctrine of the gospel than the epistle to the Romans. It is of all the books in the Bible the most perfect and complete exposition of the salvation of the gospel.
Now, supposing again, you were asked to choose just one chapter out of the epistle to the Romans, you could not do any other (could you?) than choose chapter 8; because chapter 8 of the epistle to the Romans is the great high point of this epistle. Here you have just about everything in the Bible placed all together in a summary form. It is the very top of the mountain. If you think of the Bible as being like Mount Everest, then here is the pinnacle; here is the summit; here is the very top of all that God says to us in His Word. You would have to choose Romans chapter 8!
But if you have to choose one verse out of Romans chapter 8, though it would be difficult, you would, I think, come down eventually to the decision that you would have to choose Romans 8 verse 32; because in this verse we have God telling us something which is sublimely wonderful, and comforting and reassuring.
And it is this consideration which brings me today to talk about just exactly this verse: "He (meaning God) 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?"
Could anything more perfectly tell us about the love of God? Could any statement in the world more perfectly reassure us that God is interested in us all? because my verse tells us that God delivered Christ up for us all! There is not one of you sitting here in this room today but can be included in this verse. Christ has been given by God his Father for us all! for every one - who wants Him; for every one who seeks Him; for every one who knows they need Him.
So, let us look, then, at this wonderful verse, so full as it is of the love of God; so full as it is of encouragement to needy men and women like ourselves; so full as it is of persuasion that God cares for us, and will give us what we need.
If you met a man who gave you a million pounds, would you not go back to him (if you needed to) a year or two later if you still needed more money? Would you be afraid in case he would say to you, I have nothing more to give. No, you would go to that man and you would say, Sir, you were so very kind just to give us a million pounds some years ago, but now I need fifty pence. It is very certain that he who did not refuse to give you the million pounds would certainly give you some of his small change.
And that is the argument of my text: If God has given us His own Son, how much more will He not give us everything we need? He who did not spare His own Son, surely, the argument runs, persuasively, convincingly, irresistibly, this God will surely give us all things else.
1. GOD DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON
Now, the first thing I want to look at with you is these two wonderful statements of truth. Let me show you what they are. The first one is this: God did not spare His own Son; second, God delivered Him up for us all.
My friends, I point out to you that here we are talking about something which really did happen. This, now, is history -that God did not spare His own Son. I read to you one of the accounts of the way God did not spare His own Son - the account to be found in the gospel according to John. There are other accounts in the Old Testament and in the New; but there we saw how God gave Him up, and delivered Him up, and all of that is history. We're not talking about something which is a myth, or a legend; and we're not talking about something which is a mere Bible story.
We have to be careful when we talk about Bible stories, in case the word 'story' conveys the idea that it is nothing more than an ordinary story such as you might get in Hans Christian Anderson, or one of the other famous story-tellers. No! We are talking about something which belongs to real history. These persons who are associated with the delivering up of Jesus Christ are real historical men. And, even unbelieving historians are convinced that there was a man called Herod; and there is clear evidence that Pontius Pilate really did live; and there is overwhelming certainty as to the fact that Jesus Christ existed, lived, died, and so on.
So, we're told is here a fact - of history; and it is a fact of history which is a blessing to us. God did not spare Him because He cared sufficiently for you and me, that He was prepared to give His own Son - for our sakes. He delivered Him, says Paul, for our sakes; and this brings comfort: to know that God is generous! God is kind! God is loving to our world! Let no sinner suppose that God is a mean, beggarly God who will not open His pocket and His purse to give to those who ask from Him. God is infinitely generous! No one more so than He. And that's what we're told here: God did not spare His own Son.
Now, it's all too easy just to read over those words, without remembering what they say, and what they mean.
Imagine, young persons, imagine a young woman who has just been married for a year or two. She's happily married, she loves her husband, she has a brand new house to live in, she has a brand new car. But then God gives her a brand new little baby. Suppose somebody comes to the door one day and says, I'm prepared to pay you so many thousand pounds for your baby. Do you think that mother is going to give up her little child to a stranger for so many thousand pounds? Oh, she would say, I'll give you the car for so many thousand pounds, and I'll give you the house, for so many thousand pounds; but I wouldn't give you my baby for all the money in the world. We don't sell our children - to anyone!
But, my friends, God gave His own Son to the world! God gave His own beloved Son to us! Gave Him up, indeed, for us!
In the Bible we meet examples of fathers and mothers who were faced with having to lose their own children. There's a case, you may remember, that comes in the book of Kings (1 Kings 3). Do you remember the story? Let me remind you. There were two women. They lived in one room. They both had little babies. During the nighttime one of these women had rolled over and smothered her own little baby, and waking up in the night and realizing what she had done she exchanged her own baby for the other woman's baby; and when they both woke up in the morning it became very clear to the other mother that the dead child was not her own, and that the other woman had stolen away her living child and replaced it with the dead. You may remember the story. And they complained, of course, to the king. And the true mother said that the other woman had stolen her baby. No! No! said the other mother, the living is mine! and the dead is hers! And you may recall how that worked out. You may recall how king Solomon said, Bring me a sword and we'll cut the living in two (verse 24). And the true mother's heart yearned over her living baby: No, she said, Give the living to her. But the other woman said, Yes! cut it in half and we'll neither of us have a child. And in that way Solomon proved who the true mother was.
Now, friends, we don't give up our babies. We don't sell them. We don't eat them. We don't boil them for food. Our babies, our children, are too precious. But, my friends, God, whose Son was infinitely precious to Him, God delivered up His Son to death, for us! God did not spare His own Son.
Years ago, in Germany, there was a poor family and this poor family had four sons; and they were starving to death. They decided, therefore, that the only way they could survive as a family was by selling one of their sons. It was a very sad day; and the father and the mother explained to their sons the position. We are so poor, they said, we must sell one of you children to buy food so that the rest may survive. I suppose that meant sell them to be a serf or a slave to some other family. So they came to the firstborn son and looked at him; and the parents shook their head. Oh no, they said, we couldn't possibly sell the firstborn: he is the beginning of our strength. So they then came to the second one. Oh, we couldn't possibly sell him, said the mother, he is so like the father; he is the very image of his father. They then came to the third one. Oh, we couldn't possibly sell him: he is so like his dear mother. Until they came to the fourth one. Oh, we couldn't possibly sell him either: because he is the child of our old age. They came to this conclusion: they would all rather starve to death than sell one of their sons.
We are all the same. None of us would sell a son, or a daughter, for anything, for any amount of money! Yet even God, who loved His own Son infinitely was prepared to deliver up His Son's soul for us in this way.
My dear friend, does not this prove the love of God. Let's no one go home today from this building and say that God is mean. Let no one go home to their lunch and say that God is not generous. Let no one say, I don't know whether God is a God of love or not! I say: Look at the words of this text! and ask yourself, did you ever hear of anyone who would not spare his own son, but gave him away for the sake of others? Yet, that is what God has done.
How did God not spare His own Son? To what did God give Him up? Three things.
God, first of all, gave up His Son to the misery of having to live here for thirty-three years in this world. Did you ever think of it like this: the difference between Jesus Christ, on the one hand, and all His people on the other. Take Noah, and Abraham, and Enoch, and all the great saints of the Bible and of this world, think of it like this: they all left this world and went to heaven, where they are now, and where all God's people go to. So, they turn their back on the world, they leave his world (with all its miseries and death and sickness) and they go to heaven, where they're perfectly happy forever.
But God delivered up His own Son, and God did not spare His own Son the experience of coming down from heaven. Nobody had ever been in heaven and left it! to come to this world! But Jesus Christ did. He knew what it was to be perfectly happy (in heaven), to have the adoration of all the angels and all the saints in glory. He knew what it was there to be honored and worshiped! Now; having known all of that, God did not spare Him the experience of coming down, into this world. Can you imagine the difference?
Secondly, God did not spare Him the persecution, and the hatred, and the cruelty of men. He was the object of everybody's spite, and jealousy. As soon as He was born, king Herod sent soldiers to kill Him. As soon as He preached His first sermon in Nazareth the people of His village rushed Him to the edge of the cliff to dash Him to death. Hardly had He been baptized and begun His work as a preacher when they said, He casts out devils by the prince of devils. They insulted Him by calling Him a Samaritan; by saying He had a devil. They couldn't think of enough nasty things to say about Him.
God, thirdly, did not spare Him the Cross. Now the Cross is a word we often talk about. Sometimes people paint them in their windows in churches; nice little crosses. Sometimes they have wooden ones above the pulpit (something I don't like) but that's what some churches do. Some people actually wear these things round their neck-crosses. But a cross is a gibbet! A cross is a place of horror! pain! torture! misery! death! And God the Father did not spare Him, but delivered Him up to shame!
We have an expression, don't we, we say, 'name them and shame them'. That's what you do. If you really want to get your spite out of someone you go to the newspapers, or you go to the BBC, and you name them! and you shame them! This is what he did, and this is what he didn't do; that is what he should've said; and this is his name; and this is what we think of him. And it's in all the press, and so on.
Well, that's what they did with Jesus Christ: they named Him and shamed Him. Above His Cross, as He was suffering for us, there was His name-Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews (John 19,19). Of course, the Jews didn't like that. They said to Pontius Pilate, Don't call Him the King of the Jews; but say, He called Himself the King of the Jews (verse 21). And Pontius Pilate gave a rather funny answer: What I have written, I have written (verse 22).
But God did not spare Him all of that suffering of shame, to which we may add the pain, to which we must add death itself. God did not spare Him the experience of death-death of a slow, lingering kind. I would rather have a good clean bullet through my head (wouldn't you?) rather than be nailed to a cross to die by inches, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Six hours on a cross is not something that anyone would choose (if they had the alternative). But this is the very thing, the very thing that our Lord and Saviour was delivered over to by His Father. He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2,9).
Now do you believe that my friend? Is this what you believe? Tell me. Be honest. As you sit here today, do you believe that Jesus Christ died for us? Do you put your trust in this death? Do you realize the love of God in giving us so unspeakable a gift? Does it mean anything to you-personally? Or is it just something that goes in this ear and out of that one? You're not really thinking about what God is saying at all in His Word, you're thinking your own thoughts, perhaps. Well if you are, shame on you. If it means nothing to you - shame on you. If the love of God in giving His Son to death in the fashion I've described means nothing to you, makes no difference to your life; then, I say, shame on you. How terrible if God should not spare His own Son, and you and I have no concern and it made no difference to us.
2. GOD DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL
And, then, notice there's a second great truth here in my text. Not only is it said that God did not spare Him, but that God delivered Him up for our sakes, delivered Him up for us all.
Who was it that put Christ on the Cross? Oh, you say, I know, it as Judas Iscariot, really. He was the one that betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. It is true, my friend, that Judas did betray Christ; but it wasn't Judas who placed Christ on the Cross. Oh, you say, I know who it was. It was Pontius Pilate. He weakly gave in and allowed them to scourge Him and then to nail Him up. Or, somebody says, oh no it was the soldiers. It was the soldiers who crucified Him. They were the ones who wielded the hammer and the nails and put His blessed body on the Cross. And somebody else says, No it was the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, the scribes and the elders, they were the real culprits-the Jews and their general assembly in Jerusalem-it was they who brought about His death. Well, of course there's some truth in everything there.
But, my friends, when all is said and done, it was God who put Him on the Cross. God delivered Him for us all! These lesser creatures, these men, these mortals, they were but playing their little, miserable part. The great and glorious gift of a crucified Redeemer was the work of God. That's what my text tells us: "God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all," according to His eternal will and purpose. God delivered up His Son for us all! Not just for the Jews! but for the people of Scotland, and England, and China, and Africa, and India, and any other place you care to name. It was a universal gift. Whosoever will, let him come and take of the blessing of this gift (Revelation 22,17).
And it was the wonderful love of God which lay behind all that God is said here to do. God's not sparing His Son but delivering Him up for us all - it is the proof that God is a God of love. God manifested His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5,8). Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and gave up His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4,10).
Now, the Apostle Paul draws a conclusion from what he has just said, and it is in my text. It's a kind 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" (text). If God has given us Christ, is there anything that He will not give us? And the answer which is anticipated and expected is very simple: No. If God has given us Christ, He will give us everything.
If God has given us millions upon millions of 'pounds worth'-you know, we talk about 'pounds worth', don't we. How much is something worth? How much is your house worth? How much is your car worth? How much is your baby worth? But you can't measure it, can you? We know how much a car is worth. Just open one of these magazines and you see hundreds of them all being sold for five thousand or ten thousand pounds, depending upon the quality and the make and all of the rest of it. Houses, well, we measure in maybe a hundred thousand pound, or a hundred and fifty, or two hundred if it's a very good one. We can tell the worth of a house or the worth of a car. You can't tell the worth of a baby. You don't get magazines telling you the worth of a child. There's no worth you can put on a child.
My friend, what is the worth you can put on a Christ! What is the worth you can put on a Saviour! on a Son of God! What is the price you can put on the giving of the Son of God! To death! To blood! To agony! To take away the sins of the world. Can you put a price on it? Where's the catalog that will tell us the price of a Christ!!
Well, says Paul, if God did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up to death, will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
What sort of things will God give? Well, I can imagine sitting here there's a true child of God; and they are troubled today. Maybe their health is not good any more. Maybe they're wondering how they're going to get through this life; and they're saying to themselves, I have no idea how I'm going to go to the end of my life. I have no strength to continue. I feel tempted, and weak, and weary - how can I persevere? Well my dear Christian friend, the answer to your question is in my text. The God who gave you Christ will freely give you all the grace and help you need to go on - even to the very end. God will see you through. How do we know? Well, because, if He gave us Jesus He will give us everything else - freely! Put away your worries, my dear friend. If you're a child of God He will give you everything else to bring you safely home.
What else will God give? Well, He will give you all the material things you need. It could be there's somebody here who says, I'm short of money. I'm short of some material provision. I don't know how I'm going to make ends meet. Well, dear friend, take the matter to God! If God has given you these millions pounds worth of blessings in giving us Christ, is He going to keep from you fifty pence worth of good things which you may need now to get you through the present difficulty? My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4,19). And that's the way we're not afraid in this life whatever they take from us. We may have our manses taken from us, and our churches taken from us; but God can give us other churches, and other manses. And they may take all sorts of other things from us: our salaries, our pensions; but God can give us other salaries, and other pensions. It's what happened in 1843. God is not suddenly become a beggar! He hasn't suddenly forgotten His checkbook! God hasn't lost His resources!
I'm sure you know the amusing story in the life of Martin Luther. His wife noticed that he'd been very depressed for some days, so she played a trick on him, as wives can do. She came down one day all dressed in black, looking very somber. Oh my dear, said Luther who loved his wife, Has somebody died? Oh, yes, she said. Who has died, my dear? She wouldn't tell him at first, so he pressed the question, Tell me, who has died? Do you not know? she said. I don't, he said, or I wouldn't ask. Oh, I'll tell you in a moment, said she - kept him waiting. Who has died? said Luther. My darling husband, did you not hear? God has died. That's why we have to be so depressed. And, of course, immediately he saw the ludicrous folly of doubting God.
If God has not spared His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, is that great God not going to give us all things necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1,3)? He will. He will! My Christian friend, be of good cheer! He will! There will be a city of spires again in Britain. There'll be great churches again in Edinburgh! in God's good time. There will be wonderful congregations again in this country, and in the Highlands, and Ireland. It's not all finished with the gospel. God's purposes are more wonderful than what you and I see before our faces.
3. GOD WILL GIVE GRACE TO HIS PEOPLE
Let me give you still a further application of my text. My dear friend, God will give you grace to get you safely over death. Now, I'm speaking to some who, like myself, have some gray hairs; and gray hairs are a voice. When you get gray hairs the voice says this: that your days are getting few; so you better be prepared for the change. And the Christian, when he sees his change is getting near, and that death is facing him ever more closely, says to himself, I'm rather afraid. We're all a little afraid at the thought of death because death is an enemy; and we've never been this way before; and we don't know what death involves. Dearest Christian friend, let me remind you the God who gave His Son Jesus Christ to be crucified for us will freely give you all that you need to carry you over the River Jordan into the Promised Land.
Imagine you were an Israelite, and that you were standing on the eastern shore of the Jordan when Joshua and the tribes of Israel were waiting to cross over into Canaan. And you can imagine one of these Israelites scratching his head. You see, Jordan was then in full flood. It was a springtime or something and the river was overflowing its borders and its boundaries; and you can imagine a puzzled Israelite would scratch his head and say, How on earth is Joshua going to get all these two and a half million or something over this river in spate onto the other side? How can we go across this river? And then he saw that at God's command as the priests came carrying the ark - as soon as their feet touched the water, the water stopped flowing and stood in a great heap of water. They'd never seen such a thing-at least not for forty years, since they crossed the Red Sea. And they all went across on dry land, and got safely to the other side.
So it was with all those who were in the shipwreck with Paul. They all got safely to land. That's how it is with all the people of God. They all get safely to heaven! They all get safely across the river of death.
Our dear elder Mr Murdo MacDonald got there quite recently. He knew much frailty; and that dear loving man now sees the face of the One whom God spared not, but delivered Him up for us all! And your eyes will see Him too; because God will give you not only grace, but glory! He will bring you to the place where your eye shall behold the King in His beauty, and the land that is very far off (Isaiah 33,17). And you will be like those of whom the Bible speaks in my reading: They shall look upon Him whom they pierced (Zechariah 12,10; John 19,37).
Are you a non-Christian here today? Or, are you an unbeliever? Are you a despiser of the gospel? Are you simply a formal person who comes to church, but you don't have any love for God or for Christ? Well, I have to confess I think you must be made of stone. You must be made of something worse than stone - you must have a heart of solid iron - if you're not grateful to this God today, for giving you His own Son to take away your sin, and your guilt, and your filthiness; and to give you an everlasting inheritance in the glory of God above in that happy world called heaven
As I close, I want to say to everyone, everyone, take this Saviour as the Saviour of your personal life - today! if you never did so before; and then, step out into this world, knowing, that if God did not spare Christ but gave Him up for us all, He will certainly never keep back anything necessary for your temporal and eternal good.
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