No Condemnation in Christ Jesus  by Octavius Winslow, 1852

The Gift of God's Son, the Guarantee of All Other Blessing

"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32

Each successive application which the Apostle makes of the great doctrine he had been so ably discussing, serves but more fully to unfold the glory and sweetness of the truth. We can scarcely light upon a passage in this brilliant and consolatory chapter, so rich and comprehensive as the present. Our admiration is divided between the vastness of the truth it contains, and the exquisite grace and appropriateness with which it is introduced. It was just the truth needed to give repose and enlargement to the mind, after threading its way through the mazes lucid, though profound—of God's predestinating purpose and plan. As if anticipating the cold, impassive view of God, which some might be disposed to cherish, Paul introduces a fact which would at once dispel the false conception, vindicate the Divine character, and exhibit it in all the glow and effulgence of its infinite benevolence and love. There can be nothing contracted or frigid in the disposition of that Being who, from the fathomless depths of his nature, gave so costly a proof of his love as his Son. He must be love, if this is the manifestation of love. You have, it may be, deemed him partial and cold—you have thought him distant and repelling—you have settled down with the crude and gloomy notion, that because your lot was unchangeably fixed, believe as you may, and act as you will, it is of little purpose; and thus all your thoughts and efforts after salvation have become impeded and paralyzed, and you have resigned yourself to sinful, sullen despair. But lo! a truth bursts upon your mind, developing a new idea, and presenting to your view a new portrait of God, thus changing the whole current of your thoughts and feelings respecting him. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." "What a wondrous declaration!" you exclaim; "this surely is not that Being whom my conceptions pictured to my view so frigid, contracted, and arbitrary. He spared not his own Son! Is this true? Then, there is love in God; then, there is salvation in God; then, there is hope in God. I had thought him cold, unjust, and austere. But lo! he appears wearing the character of love—breathing the spirit of love—displaying the acts of love—and laying at my feet the most costly and precious boon of his love. O God, bow my heart before this unspeakable love of yours!"
"His own Son." We are here met with a great and glorious truth, the Sonship of our Lord. There may be much of mystery connected with it; nevertheless it is a revealed doctrine, and as such, we believe and are sure that it is true. With what clearness did Christ himself propound this doctrine to the caviling Jews! "Jesus answered them, My Father works hitherto, and I work. Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." Now it must be borne in mind that this declaration of his Sonship involves also a declaration of equality in all respects with the Father. So the Jews evidently understood it. In a far different, because in a far higher and diviner sense, the Lord Jesus is declared to be the Son of God than believers, who are also denominated the "sons of God." The passage before us makes this distinction. "His own Son," a mode of expression peculiar to the essential relation of Christ to God. Just as a father would distinguish, by the same phraseology, his own son from the son he had adopted; so God distinguished his Eternal and Essential Son from his adopted sons. Christ is elsewhere called the "only-begotten Son of God," that is, the only one claiming so close an affinity with the Father. And can the essential equality of the Son with the Father be more distinctly declared than in the quotation which the apostle makes from one of the Messianic Psalms, and applies it, as it originally was, to the Eternal Son of God: "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him." And if all the angels of God are commanded to worship him, surely then our Lord spoke no blasphemy when he "made himself equal with God."
God "spared not his own Son." Expressive words! Knowing what redemption required justice, stern and inexorable, demanding full satisfaction—the law, rigid and unbending, demanding perfect obedience—he withheld not the only sacrifice that could meet the case. "He spared not his own Son." He did not relax anything of the requirement, nor abate anything of the suffering. Oh no! the utmost payment was exacted, and the last drop of the cup was drained. Had there been the least relaxing of the law's stringency, or the slightest curtailment of the law's penalty, then there had been no salvation for us. And all this was the unveiling of love. To spare his people, he spared not his Son.
"Delivered him up for us all." If any other expression were necessary to deepen our sense of the vastness of his love, we have it here. Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy—but the Father, for love! "Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." In this great transaction we lose sight of his betrayers, and his accusers, and his murderers, and we see only the Father travailing in the greatness of his love to his family. And to what was he delivered? To the hands of wicked men—God's "darling to the power of the dogs." To poverty and need, to contempt and infamy, to grief and sorrow, to unparalleled suffering, and a most ignominious death. "It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he has put him to grief." And for whom was he thus delivered up? "For us all" for the church purchased with his own blood. For all in that church he has an equal love, and for all he paid an equal price. Oh, deem not yourself—poor, unlettered, and afflicted as you may be—less an object of the Father's love, and less the purchase of the Savior's merits. Oh, blessed, comforting truth—"For us all!" For you, who are tempted to interpret your afflictions as signals of wrath, and your sins as seals of condemnation, and your poverty as marks of neglect, and your seasons of darkness as tokens of desertion, and your doubts and fears as evidences of a false hope and of self-deception; for you, dear saint of God, Jesus was delivered up.
And now let us consider this unspeakable gift of God as the guarantee of all other blessing. "How shall he not with him freely give us all things?" How beautiful and conclusive the reasoning of the Apostle! Arguing from the greater to the less, he proceeds to assure the believer of God's readiness freely to bestow all needful blessing. To this he stood pledged. The gift of his own Son, so freely and unreservedly bestowed, was the security and the channel of every other mercy. When God gave his Son, the reconciliation had not actually been effected, justice had received no satisfaction, and the broken law no repair. Thus, "God commended his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If, then, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, will he freely give us all things. "All things!" How comprehensive the grant! "According as his Divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." Holding the security in the hand of faith, you may repair to your Heavenly Father, and ask for all that you need. So to speak, God has bound himself to withhold no good thing from you. He is pledged, and from that pledge he will never recede, to grant you all you need. What is your demand? Is it the Spirit to seal, to sanctify, to comfort you? Then draw near and ask the gift. "For if you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" Is it pardon? Then ask it. He who provided the sacrifice for sin, will he not freely bestow the forgiveness of sin? Is it grace? Having given you the Reservoir of grace, is he not as willing and "able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work?" Is it comfort? Having given you the "Consolation of Israel," will he not prove to you the "God of all comfort?" Is your necessity temporal? Are your circumstances adverse? Filled with forebodings of approaching difficulty, the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal dwindling, are you anxious and fearful? Take your temporal need to God. What! will he bestow the higher blessings of grace, and withhold the inferior ones of providence? Never! And can you press to your believing heart the priceless, precious, unspeakable gift of his Son, and yet cherish in that heart the gloomy, misgiving, thought of God's unwillingness and inability to supply all your need?
"Freely give." God's gifts are both rich and gratuitous. He always bestows more, never less, than we ask. It would seem as though he could not open his hand to a poor comer, but it overflowed with a bounty worthy of himself. Here are met all the objections to our coming which spring from our unworthiness, unfruitfulness, and unfaithfulness. Having nothing to pay, nothing in return is required. "Without money, and without price." Free as the sunlight—free as the balmy air—free as the mountain stream—free as the heart of God can make it, is every blessing which he bestows. "Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?"