God’s Word is filled with promises. It often seems that you cannot read a single chapter without finding at least one promise. A few weeks ago I was reading Romans 8. I hit verse 28, a promise most Christians have claimed on more than one occasion- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” It is a great verse and a great promise. But as I continued reading in this chapter I came to a verse I had probably read two dozen times before (verse 32).
“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?”
I stopped and read it again, and again. I probably read it six or seven times before I grasped what it was saying.
The Fathomless Promise
Many of God’s promises are amazing. In Matthew 6, verses 25-34, he who seeks the kingdom of God first is promised that “these things” (food, clothing, and shelter) will be provided. God gives us the promise of rest and relief if we bring our burdens to Him in Matthew 11:28-30. But in Romans 8:32 He promises us more than this- He promises us “all things”! I love things that include the word “all.” All-time greatest, all-inclusive resort, all-you-can-eat buffet.
For the child of God, the breadth of this verse is limitless. As the saying goes, “All means all and that all that all means.” Think about it. The very God of heaven is promising you and me all things- salvation, forgiveness, mercy, love, protection, provision, wisdom, righteousness, friendship . . . ALL THINGS! What could be greater than a promise of all things from an all-knowing, all-powerful God?!?
Glad you asked. I told you I liked things that contained the word “all.” I also really like things that are free! Here, God doesn’t just promise all things; He promises to give these things to us freely! I did not catch this the first time I read it. But it makes the promise even more amazing. It’s so amazing it is a difficult to understand what is being said, and to do so fully we must consider the doctrinal underpinnings of the promise.
The Foundational Principles
At least two things undergird this promise – the omnipotence of God and the fact that He purchased and now freely offers salvation. If someone other than God Himself was making this promise it would be much less amazing. As a matter of fact, it would not be believable. Also, if God the Father had given something less than his most precious possession (His only Son) to begin with or if He had not offered salvation as a free gift, the promise would similarly lose its significance. To put it differently, the first half of this verse is what provides substance to the second half. But the fact is that God IS the one making the promise and He did FREELY sacrifice Jesus Christ for each of us. Because God did not withhold what was most dear to Him, I can be confident that there is absolutely nothing He will withhold. It is on this basis that I can fully, unwaveringly rely on this promise.
The Final Point
You may think that salvation is God’s greatest promise. Salvation, as great as it is, doesn’t compare to the promise made in verse 32. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the basis for this verse, just as it is for salvation. But salvation is simply one side of this multi-faceted promise. You may disagree, but I truly believe this might be the greatest promise of the Bible precisely because it is rooted in the greatest gift ever given.
Read Romans 8:32; meditate on it. As I did a few days ago, I was left with one thought. It has come to mind numerous times since.
The fact that the God of heaven gave up His Son Jesus for me is proof that there is NOTHING that He will withhold from me.
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