by Arthur W. Pink, 1952
THE GREAT GIVER
"He who 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
The above verse supplies us with an instance of Divine
logic. It contains a conclusion drawn from a premise; the premise is
that God delivered up Christ for all His people, therefore everything else
that is needed by them is sure to be given. There are many examples in Holy
Writ of such Divine logic. "If that is how God clothes the grass of the
field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire—will He not
much more clothe you?" (Matt. 6:30). "For if, when we were God's enemies, we
were reconciled to him through the death of His Son—how much more, having
been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10). "If
you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children—how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those
who ask Him!" (Matt. 7:11). So here in our text the reasoning is
irresistible and goes straight to the understanding and heart.
Our text tells of the gracious character of our loving
God as interpreted by the gift of His Son. And this, not merely for the
instruction of our minds, but for the comfort and assurance of our hearts.
The gift of His own Son is God's guarantee to His people of all needed
blessings. The greater includes the lesser. His unspeakable spiritual gift
is the pledge of all needed temporal mercies. Note in our text four things:
1. The Father's costly
This brings before us a side of the truth upon which I
fear we rarely meditate. We delight to think of the wondrous love of Christ,
whose love was stronger than death, and who deemed no suffering too great
for His people. But what must it have meant to the heart of the Father when
His Beloved left His Heavenly Home! God is love, and nothing is so sensitive
as love. I do not believe that Deity is emotionless, or stoical. I believe
the sending forth of the Son was something which the heart of the Father
felt—that it was a real sacrifice on His part.
Weigh well then, the solemn fact which premises the sure
promise that follows: God "spared not His own Son!" Expressive, profound,
melting words! Knowing full well, as He only could, all that redemption
involved—the Law rigid and unbending, insisting upon perfect obedience and
demanding death for its transgressors. Justice, stern and inexorable,
requiring full satisfaction, refusing to "clear the guilty." Yet God
withheld not the only Sacrifice which could meet the case.
God "spared not His own Son," though knowing full well
the humiliation and ignominy of Bethlehem's manger, the ingratitude of men,
the not having where to lay His head, the hatred and opposition of the
ungodly, the enmity and bruising of Satan-yet He did not hesitate. God did
not relax ought of the holy requirements of His throne, nor abate one whit
of the awful curse. No, He "spared not His own Son." The utmost farthing was
exacted; the last dregs in the cup of wrath must be drained. Even when His
Beloved cried from the Garden, "if it be possible, let this cup pass from
Me," God "spared" Him not. Even when vile hands had nailed Him to the tree,
God cried "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, the man who is my Partner,
says the Lord Almighty. Strike down the Shepherd!" (Zech. 13:7)
2. The Father's Gracious Design.
"But delivered him up for us all." Here we are told why
the Father made such a costly sacrifice. He did not spare His Son—that He
might spare us! It was not lack of love to the Savior—but wondrous,
matchless, fathomless love for us! Oh marvel at the wondrous design of the
Most High. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son."
Truly, such love passes knowledge. Moreover, He made this costly sacrifice
not grudgingly or reluctantly, but freely—out of love for us.
Once God had said to rebellious Israel, "How shall I give
you up, Ephraim?" (Hosea 11:8). Infinitely more cause had He to say this of
the Holy One, His well-beloved, the One in whom His soul daily delighted.
Yet, He "delivered Him up"—to shame and spitting, to hatred and persecution,
to suffering and death itself. And He delivered Him up for us—descendants of
rebellious Adam, depraved and defiled, corrupt and sinful, vile and
worthless! For us who had gone into the "far country" of alienation from
Him, and there spent our substance in riotous living. Yes, "for us" who had
gone astray like sheep, each one turning to "his own way." For us "who were
by nature the children of wrath, even as others," in whom there dwelt no
good thing. For us who had rebelled against our Creator, hated His holiness,
despised His Word, broken His commandments, resisted His Spirit. For us who
richly deserved to be cast into the everlasting burnings and receive those
wages which our sins so fully earned.
Yes, for you fellow Christian, who are sometimes tempted
to interpret your afflictions as tokens of God's hardness; who regard your
poverty as a mark of His neglect, and your seasons of darkness as evidences
of His desertion. O, confess to Him now the wickedness of such dishonoring
doubtings, and never again question the love of Him who spared not His own
Son, but delivered Him up for us all.
Faithfulness demands that I should point out the
qualifying pronoun in our text. It is not God "delivered him up for
all," but "for us all." 'This is definitely defined in the verses which
immediately precede. In v. 31 the question is asked, "If God is for us, who
can be against us?" In v. 30 this "us" is defined as those whom God did
predestinate and has "called" and "justified." The "us" are the high
favorites of heaven, the objects of sovereign grace. God's elect. And yet in
themselves they are, by nature and practice, deserving of nothing but wrath.
But yet, thank God, it is "us all"—the worst as well as the best, the
five-hundred pounds debtor, equally as much as the five-pence debtor.
3. The Spirit's Blessed Inference.
Ponder well the glorious "conclusion" which the Spirit of
God here draws from the wondrous fact stated in the first part of our text,
"He who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how
shall he not with him also freely give us all things." How conclusive
and how comforting is the inspired reasoning of the apostle. Arguing from
the greater to the lesser, He proceeds to assure the believer of God's
readiness to also freely bestow all needed blessings. The gift of His own
Son, so ungrudgingly and unreservedly bestowed, is the pledge of every other
Here is the unfailing guaranty and pledge of perpetual
reassurance to the drooping spirit of the tried believer. If God has done
the greater—will He leave the less undone? Infinite love can never change.
That love which spared not Christ—cannot fail its objects nor begrudge any
needed blessings. The sad thing is that our hearts dwell upon what we have
not—instead of upon what we do have. Therefore the Spirit of God would here
still our restless self-communings and quiet the repinings of ignorance with
a soul-satisfying knowledge of the truth, by reminding us not only of the
reality of our interest in the love of God, but also of the extent
of that blessing which flows therefrom.
Weigh well what is involved in the logic of this verse.
First, the great Gift was given unasked; will He not bestow others
for the asking? None of us supplicated God to send forth His Beloved; yet He
sent Him! Now, we may come to the throne of grace and there present our
requests in the virtuous and all-efficacious name of Christ.
Second, the one great Gift cost Him much; will He
not then bestow the lesser gifts which cost Him nothing but the delight of
giving! If a friend were to give me a valuable picture, would he begrudge
the necessary paper and string to wrap it in? Or if a loved one made me a
present of a precious jewel, would he refuse a little box to carry it in?
How much less will He who spared not His own Son, withhold any good thing
from them that walk uprightly.
Third, the one Gift was bestowed when we were enemies;
will not then God be gracious to us now that we have been reconciled and are
His friends? If He had designs of mercy for us while we were yet in our
sins, how much more will He regard us favorably now that we have been
cleansed from all sin by the precious blood of His Son!
4. The Comforting Promise.
Observe the tense that is used here. It is not
"how has he not with him also freely given us all things," though
this is also true, for even now are we "heirs of God" (Romans 8:17). But our
text goes further than this: "How shall he not with Him also freely
give us all things?" The second half of this wondrous verse contains
something more than a record of the past; it supplies reassuring confidence
both for the present and for the future. No time-limits are to be set upon
this "shall." Both now in the present and forever and ever in the future God
shall manifest Himself as the great Giver. Nothing for His glory and for our
good, will He withhold. The same God who delivered up Christ for us all
"does not change like shifting shadows."
Mark the manner in which God gives: "How shall he
not with him also freely give us all things?" God does not have to be
coaxed; there is no reluctance in Him for us to overcome. He is ever more
willing to give than we are to receive. Again, He is under no obligations to
any; if He were, He would bestow of necessity, instead of giving "freely."
Ever remember that He has a perfect right to do with His own as He pleases.
He is free to give to whom He wills.
The word "freely" not only signifies that God is under no
constraint, but also means that He makes no charge for His gifts, He places
no price on His blessings. God is no retailer of mercies or barterer of good
things; if He were, justice would require Him to charge exactly what each
blessing was worth, and then who among the children of Adam could find the
payment? No, blessed be His name, God's gifts are "without money and without
price"—unmerited and unearned.
Finally, rejoice over the comprehensiveness of
this promise: "How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
The Holy Spirit would here regale us with the extent of God's wondrous
grant. What is it you need, fellow Christian? Is it pardon? Then has
He not said, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9)? Is it
grace? Then has He not said, "God is able to make all grace abound
toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may
abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8)? Is it a thorn in the flesh?
this too will be given "there was given to me a thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor.
12:7). Is it rest? Then heed the Savior's invitation, "Come unto Me .
. . and I will give you rest (Matt. 11:28). Is it comfort? Is He not
the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3)? "
"How shall he not with Him also freely give us all
things?" Is it temporal mercies that the reader is in need of? Are
your circumstances adverse so that you are filled with dismal forebodings?
Does your cruse of oil and barrel of meal look as though they will soon be
quite empty? Then spread your need before God, and do it in simple childlike
faith. Do you think that He will bestow the greater blessings of grace—and
deny the lesser ones of Providence? No! "My God shall supply all your
need" (Phil. 4:19). True, He has not promised to give all you ask, for we
often ask "amiss." Mark the qualifying clause: "How shall he not with Him
also freely give us all things?" We often desire things which would come
in between us and Christ if they were granted, therefore does God in His
faithfulness withhold them.
Here then are four things which should bring comfort to
every renewed heart.
The Father's costly sacrifice. Our God is a giving
God and no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
The Father's gracious design. It was for us that
Christ was delivered up; it was our highest and eternal interests that He
had at heart.
The Spirit's infallible inference. The greater
includes the less; the unspeakable Gift guarantees the bestowment of all
other needed favors.
The comforting promise. Its sure foundation, its
present and future scope, its blessed extent—are for the assuring of our
hearts and the peace of our minds.
May the Lord add His blessing to this little meditation.