Ps.34:10 "The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing."
To Obtain All that is Good for Us
We’re looking at the death of Christ and considering from a variety of angles asking the question why, of for what purpose, did Jesus come to earth to die? This evening we are going to look at a very encouraging and practical text that is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Here it is:
Rom.8:32 "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?"
The verse is made up of two halves – the first is a statement and the second a question that follows on from it. The two halves are put together in such a way as to tell us that if the first is true then the second is absolutely certain as well. We can paraphrase the verse into two positive statements and then that will make things abundantly clear:
If God the Father did the greatest, the hardest, thing in delivering his Son to suffer and to die then we can be certain that he will not hesitate to do the oh so much easier thing of giving us all things with him.
Since God the Father has given us his Son then it is unthinkable that he might withhold other blessings which of necessity must be smaller than the gift of this Glorious Son.
So this evening we are looking at this truth: One of the reasons why Jesus died was that he might secure "all things" for us. The fact that he suffered and died for us is also the guarantee that we may look confidently and expectantly to the LORD to carry on his gracious giving to us.
If the death of Christ on the cross is then designed to secure "all things" for us we need to know clearly just what that means.
The "all things" that Paul writes about here are to be understood as "all those things that are for our good" or "all those things that are necessary for promoting our ultimate well-
When we take a moment to examine the context we see at once that we simply cannot interpret these "all things" in any way we fancy. We can’t for example take it to mean that we will all live lives of ease and of comfort because just a few lines further we find Paul writing about suffering and death and these are realities which still confront many Christians today.
Paul then asks whether tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or the sword will ever separate the Christian from the love of Christ and the expected and implied answer is a resounding "no". The no comes, not because the Christian won’t ever be confronted by such difficulties but, because the Christian, made strong by the love of Christ, becomes one who can be described as "more than conqueror".
If then, the term "all things" must be further defined we can say that it means that God promises to grant to all Christians because Christ has died for them all those things which are good for us and which are useful and profitable in promoting his ends in our lives.
Again in the immediate context God’s purpose is clearly in view. He intends to transform and change us into the image of his Son. What a wonderful prospect this is! God plans and fully intends to make us like Jesus!! The "all things" that he graciously grants us following the death of Christ are all designed to further that goal. Nothing that we need to be transformed in that way will be denied to us, absolutely nothing. The "all things" will bring us everything we will ever need if we are to be brought to experience the everlasting joy promised to us in the gospel.
This is great news and it is backed up elsewhere in Scripture. We have already seen it referred to in both Ps.34 and Ps.84 and it is also contained in another promise found in Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi:
Phil.4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Here again the context directs us as to just how we are to understand such a magnificent promise. A few verses earlier Paul wrote:
Paul had himself experienced God’s grace poured abundantly into his life. What he had received had, however, not rendered him immune to hunger or other genuinely felt needs but instead he received grace that did enable him to maintain his faith so that he could face adversity with joy. Hunger may not always have been satisfied but grace never failed to meet his deepest needs. Paul had found the recipe for successfully and joyfully living the Christian life. It was a life that looked with confidence to God to meet his real needs. God’s grace was sufficient for Paul granting everything he needed to press on, to keep on keeping on, and to rejoice even when some felt-
Such grace will be sufficient for you too! What encouragements there are for the Christian to press on knowing that nothing that he really needs will be lacking! The death of his Saviour guarantees it.
Paul, as every Christian, had a constant never-
Heb.4:16 "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
The context is once more informative. The writer to the Hebrews is describing Christ’s role as a high priest. He was a son who learned obedience through what he suffered, an obedience that led him all the way to death itself. And having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, These "all things" blessings once more are seen to flow out of Christ’s death for us.
We should also take great encouragement from the fact that this "all things" is something that God specializes in – after all it was Jesus who declared in:
Mt.19:26 ""but with God all things are possible."
And again Jesus said to his followers that:
Mt.11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father"
Some folk hesitate before becoming a Christian because they take a good look at themselves wondering whether they could hope to keep it up were they to launch out on the road of Christian discipleship.
Others looking at themselves may begin to follow Christ because they’re simply convinced -
Still others imagine that salvation is some sort of collaborative effort which Jesus does his bit and then it is over to us to finish it off and they doubt their ability so don’t bother and give up.
On the one hand we can perhaps applaud such assessments of human ability. No-
So if you haven’t already come to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and for a new life then do so now! There is great encouragement here in this verse for you to start – Jesus has died for sinners and h has secured everything that is needed for your salvation to be secured.
If you are a believer then you too must encouragement from this
Salvation – is all of grace
1. Beginning the race – you began the race when by grace you realised your need of Christ and you pleaded with him to save you. But salvation is more than just beginning the race isn’t it?
Sometimes you have found running this race tough going – and maybe some of you have stopped running, maybe some of you are even considering giving it all up because nothing seems to be working out right.
2. Keeping going in the race – but you both must and can keep on going, not because you are able to do so but because he gives you all you stand in need of to allow you to keep on going:
Heb.12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
And you can! God is committed to conforming you the image of his Son and that won’t happen if you give up. He’s sent his Son to die for you – he won’t withhold what you need to endure, to pervevere, to simply keep on keeping on.
What an encouragement!
3. Finishing the race – of course the goal of starting a race and of persevering in the race is not to drop out but to one day finish the race and get across the finishing line.
The apostle Paul wrote about finishing the race in the last chapter of the last book he wrote:
Looking forward he anticipates a reward but see also it is a reward promised to Christians in general – you and I, we can all successfully finish our race because we will never be denied the help, the gracious help, we need. Praise God!
And so we could continue:
Sanctification and conformity to Christ
1. Resisting temptation – it’s possible. We can flee "Flee from sexual immorality", we can "flee from idolatry", we can flee "from the love of money", we can "flee youthful passions."
After all the Bible tells us there is a way of escape from every temptation and God has promised that we’ll never be tempted beyond our ability – God is faithful. Yes, you’ll be tempted but he is faithful and you will be enabled to endure. Christ endured and he indwells us by his Spirit – the design is to be made like Christ!
2. Carrying out duties
If resisting temptation is negative then sanctification has its positive aspect too. Yes we flee foul things, bad things, impure things but at the same time we pursue something entirely different:
1Tim.6:11 "But as for you, O man of God, .... Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness."
And we do so looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith: he was successful and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. So we too can: "submit ourselves to God." We too can "resist the devil", and we too can know that he will flee from us.
Because Christ has secured all things that are for our good!
Finally we can expect to be fruitful in the varied tasks the Lord gives us. As we run the race we have much to do – we are to have good works that others can see and for which they may glorify God.
It doesn’t matter what your service is you never need say you can’t do it because the resources you need are promised to you. I’m not suggesting that we will all match up to the expectations of others for they are often unrealistic but serving God relying on his promised help will secure at the end the Master’s "Well done, good and faithful servant." And that is surely what matters most.
To God be the Glory