“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?” (Rom 8:32.)
In Part 1, we learn that God is also loving others in a very special way. The intensity or degree of His love is greater for His children – the believers – than for the children of the devil (1 John 3:1), if ever He loved them. He provided His own children with “bread,” not just with crumbs (Matt. 15:26-27).
God’s love for the believers is not only “little,” but so much (Luke 7:47) – not because He owed them something. Rather, because of His grace, His love for them “surpasses knowledge.” Jesus Christ described His great and astounding love for them in these words, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9)!
Aside from the rain, sunlight and air, then, what other special favors He gave to those He loved much? Many “things”! Not just physical things.
We read in Prov. 3:11-12, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” God gave them discipline (Kindly see also Heb. 12:7-8 & Rev. 3:19).
In Ps. 108:4-6, we read, “For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. “ He gave them help and deliverance.
Ps. 107:19-20: “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” And in Ps 86:13, “For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” He saved them from pain and difficulty or danger.
Let us read Ps 31:21-22: “Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’ Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” Also Ps 86:5-7, “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. “ He gave them His attention and responded to their cry.
Eph 2:4-5 tells us, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” He gave them spiritual life – thus, it was possible for them to respond to God’s call.
Now, let’s go to 2 Thess. 2:16-17, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” Notice that God gave the believers “eternal encouragement and good hope” and could strengthen them “in every good deed and word.”
Consider also Ps. 31:16, “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. “ It reminds me of 2 Cor 4:4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. .. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” While the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, the God of all ages made “His light shine” in the believers – to “see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”
Read now 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” God “gave (the believers) the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Others, the Bible called them as “children of the devil” (1 John 3:10).
Jesus’ prayer in John 17:26, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." Jesus gave the believers the great privilege to become familiar with God the Father.
2 Thess. 2:13-14 declares, “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” And Eph. 1:4-5: “…In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Though there are those who taught that “us” refers to all persons and all are chosen, I prefer to believe what Ephesians 1:19 declared, “…us WHO BELIEVE.”
The believers were not saved because they had chosen or willed to be saved. But because of God’s special love for them, even from everlasting, from the beginning --“before the creation of the world” (Eph. 1:3) they “were appointed for eternal life” –– so they believed (Acts 13:48).
God caused them to believe – by opening their hearts to respond to the message of the gospel, just like what happened to “a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira” (Acts 16:14).
Realize now the overwhelming favor that God gave to those He loved so much. We read John 3:16, "For God so loved (“everyone who believes” – verse 15) the world that he gave his one and only Son (“Having loved his own who were in the world…” -- John 13:1), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus Christ gave Himself – the “Bread” -- especially to all the believers – “His own who were in the world” -- to those who “were appointed for eternal life.”
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ( Rom. 5:8). “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us…” (1 John 3:16.) And Ephesians 5:2, “…live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
And if God “gave His one and only Son” to all those He loved much, would He refrain to give them repentance, forgiveness, faith, new heart, new spirit, perseverance, His Spirit and other things for their eternal joy?
Romans 8:32 should really encourage us: “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? (I believe that the “things” here refer more to spiritual than physical things.)”
As Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord, "In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling” (Exodus 15:13).
Certainly, great is our appreciation for God’s love because of what He gave. But when we believe that He gave us even extra special favors, while others were not – especially, we didn’t see any reason why He gave us the preference – our appreciation would soar to immeasurable height!!
Let us then join the psalmist who said, “GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (1 Chron.16:34).
Really, you will be able also to “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself” (Matt 22:37-39).
For “WE LOVE because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Yes, “Though you have not seen him, YOU LOVE HIM; and even though you do not see him now, you BELIEVE IN HIM and are FILLED WITH AN INEXPRESSIBLE AND GLORIOUS JOY” (1 Peter 1:8-9).
Like the psalmist, we will say to God: “I will BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN YOUR LOVE…” (Ps, 31:7).
Finally, let’s heed also 1 John 2:15, “Do NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” As Paul also wrote, “For CHRIST’S LOVE COMPELS US, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should NO LONGER LIVE FOR THEMSELVES BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM and was raised again” (2 Cor 5:14-15).
PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, the Sovereign Lover, who is capable of loving with a kind of Love that “surpasses knowledge” – just like your Power and Wisdom we cannot fully explain – we praise You and truly humbled by what You have so far allowed us to taste of Your love. Merciful Father, help us to experience more of it and use us, as your loving instrument, so that others could also delight in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!