Today Pastor Choi continues his series on God’s Adequacy as our sovereign Benefactor. God provides us all things good with Christ. All things ‘good’ are defined by God not by us. All things good never means a plethora of possessions, either. It rather has everything to do with being with God, knowing God, and enjoying Him. Finally, Pastor Choi exhorts God’s people to give God all they have—their complete trust and absolute loyalty.
Following is a summary of the sermon:
No Good Thing Is Withheld Romans 8:32
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32, NASB)
Last Sunday, I talked about the adequacy of God as our sovereign Protector. When it comes down to human fears, God is greater than all of them and all the challenges we face in our lives. As our protector, He never forgets or overlooks our needs. He listens to our cries. Our trust in God surely quells the panic.
Today, we will continue on God’s adequacy as our sovereign Benefactor. He provides all things we need: spiritual, emotional, and physical. Today’s Scripture, verse 32, declares that God who didn’t spare His own Son for our salvation never withholds anything good from us both in this life and in the life to come. Do you believe that with no doubt? I do. In fact, I asked myself: Based on my life experience, will I solemnly testify that God indeed withholds nothing good from me? The answer is a resounding “YES!”
Let me read to you today’s verse one more time: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all: Why did God send His own Son Jesus to the cross to die on our behalf? Because He loves us. Why would He give us all things freely? Because He loves us. God is love and His love is the foundation of our relationship with God.
Think for a moment. Don’t you think it easier for God to keep to Himself the most precious possession and give us the rest? That’s what the noblest parents in the world would do for others: having to choose between their own children and their most cherished possessions, they would give up possessions holding onto their children. In fact, that’s what we all would do: between our children and anything else we cherish, we would give up everything but keep our children. Here’s the twist. God didn’t. He delivered over His own Son His most precious Child as a ransom for us. That tells us how much He loves us when we don’t deserve such love and grace. By the way, the word “deliver” is to hand over. It is the same word used when Judas Iscariot delivered Jesus over to the Jewish authorities. God loved us so much that He handed over His own Son to death. He didn’t spare His own Son so as to spare us from the judgment over our sins and iniquities. Think about that! How amazing that is! If God loves us that much, Paul says, will He also not give us all other things free?
How will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Verse 32 reminds us that God freely gives us all things good with Christ. Key phrase: with Him. All things come to us with Jesus in a package deal. Christ, God’s Gift, is the box. All things are in it. You accept the box, open it, and enjoy everything in it. Same thing with Christ and good things. Accept Christ and receive all things good in Him, all the blessings that come along with Him and in Him. Reject Christ, and reject all God’s blessings. You cannot have Christ without all things good. You cannot have all good things apart from Christ, either. They are inseparable. Here’s a good story. The Painting of the Son.
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out the package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’ There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’ But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’ Another voiced angrily. ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandt’s. Get on with the real bids!’ But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give $10 for the painting.’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. ‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’ ‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters,’ [someone shouted.] ‘$10 is the bid, won’t someone bid $20?’ The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’
A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’ The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’ ‘What about the paintings?’ ‘I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!’ (Story : The Painting of The Son http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-the-painting-of-the-son/#ixzz3icdLpK7H)
All things ‘Good’: Two points. First, ask yourself a question: in whose definition are all things ‘good?’ In ours or in God’s? By the way, in whose definition the Bible calls things good? Of course, in God’s. Come to think of it, God’s definition of good things is far better and safer than ours. His understanding is eternally superior to our understanding of what is good. What we may think good may not be the case in God’s sight. What God thinks good for us may appear terrible to us. E.g. Cross is the worst punishment in human eyes, yet the best gift in God’s eyes. One day Jesus told “His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matthew 16: 21-23, NASB). I would rather rely on God’s interpretation of what is good for me than my own, because He knows best, He is never changing, and He sees the entire picture. Our human understanding is limited, always changing, and not reliable at all times.
Next, ‘all things good’ never means a plethora of material possessions. E.g. Jesus—we cannot serve God and money at the same time [Matthew 6:24]. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil [1 Timothy 6:10]. E.g. Lottery winners. At first, all of them thought wealth would make them happy after winning multi million dollars. Opposite are the facts. Many of the couples get divorced afterwards. All of them squander their winning dollars. Relationships go sour. Money made their lives miserable. E.g. 2. A mafia gangster made a million dollars in one day. In his apartment, he opened his briefcase full of cash. He flung all these hundred dollar bills in the air laughing. However, a few seconds later, as the money landed on the floor, he began to sob uncontrollably feeling so empty in his soul. Here’s excellent advice from Paul to those who want to be rich in the present world: fix your hope not on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). When it comes down to good things, we’d be far better off listening to God and His definition.
J. I. Packer explains on this phrase ‘all things good’: “The passion for possessions has to be cast out of us in order to let the ‘all things’ in. For this phrase has to do with knowing and enjoying God, and not with anything else. The meaning of ‘he will give us all things’ can be put thus; one day we shall see that nothing—literally nothing—which could have increased our eternal happiness has been denied us, and that nothing—literally nothing—that could have reduced that happiness has been left with us (p. 270, Knowing God).” God with us is the ultimate source of our happiness (Hebrews 13:6).
What are things ‘good’ in the Bible? The best gift of all is salvation in Christ (Hebrews 6:9). None of us fully understand now or appreciate how great this gift of salvation in Christ is. May God open our eyes to see how blessed we are and to see His glory (2 Corinthians 4:6). In fact, many non-believers mock at salvation. E.g. A friend of mine distributed gospel tracts at a fair: a couple laughed at him saying, “Sure, we will go to Hell! We will burn in there!” They walked away laughing. We will find out who’s going to laugh in the end. Folks, if you have nothing to be thankful for, begin with this one. Thank God every day for your salvation in Christ.
Now, I discovered in the Bible things that are good as the following three (not limited to, but including):
- Basic necessities: food, shelter, and clothing. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Paul to Timothy: Be content with what you have. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content (1 Timothy 6:8). Be free from the love of money, being content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).
- Means to do good works. E.g. Grace and strength. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed (2 Corinthians 9:8).
- Anything that brings us closer to God. E.g. the Word of God—the sweetness of God’s Word (Hebrews 6:5). How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103). E.g. 2. Good heavenly gifts (Hebrews 6:4) and fruit of the Holy Spirit such as peace, joy, love, …self control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Many of us dither over giving our absolute loyalty to God. Why? Simply because of our unbelief in God. Let’s call a spade a spade.
Packer analyzes: “We are not persuaded of the adequacy of God to provide for all the needs…. Therefore, we feel obliged to break the first commandment just a little, by withdrawing a certain amount of our time and energy from serving God in order to serve mammon. This, at bottom, seems to be what is wrong with us. We are afraid to go all the way in accepting the authority of God, because of our secret uncertainty as to his adequacy to look after us if we do (Ibid.).”
E.g. A huge crowd was watching the famous tightrope walker, Blondin, cross Niagara Falls one day in 1860. He crossed it numerous times—a 1,000 foot trip 160 feet above the raging waters. He not only walked across it; he also pushed a wheelbarrow across it. One little boy just stared in amazement. So after completing a crossing the fellow looked at that little boy and he said, “Do you believe I could take a person across in the wheelbarrow without falling?” “Yes, sir, I really do.’ The fellow says, “Well then, get in, son” [Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations].
Do you fear that “God lacks strength or wisdom for fulfilling His declared purpose for you?” (Packer, p. 271). Then, ponder on the truths that “God created the worlds, rules them, and ordains all that takes place, even the fall of a sparrow” (Ibid.).
Do you fear that God may disappoint you? Then, please listen to Romans 8:28, “In everything God works for good with those who love Him.” Never think that “you will be the first exception, the first person to find God wavering and failing to keep his word” (ibid.).
Do you doubt God’s constancy? Remember God never changes: Malachi 3:6, Jesus is the same: Hebrews 13:8.
Give God all you have–your complete trust and absolute loyalty. Never doubt that He is your sovereign Provider. Hold back no longer. Dwell on God’s promises. He will not withhold anything good from you.