Jesus- All We Need for Christmas- Romans 8:32

Though the verse we are examining is not usually associated with Christmas, we will see that it is very relevant to the Christmas season, for it presents to us the best gift we will ever receive. Paul begins the verse with the Greek particle ge, which is used to indicate special emphasis. It is here a superfluous word, used to get the reader’s attention, to get the reader to pay very close attention, for something very important is about to be said. The word “He” here is literally “the one who”, and is capitalized to indicate clearly that the “He” referred to is God. We are then told what is so important to Paul here, that God did not “spare His own Son”. The word spare here is the Greek pheidomai, here as an aorist deponent indicative, a statement of fact about something that was done in the past. This word is used two other times in the New Testament (Romans 11:21, 2Corinthians 13:2)and is used to refer to judgment executed or carried out upon someone. God chose not to withhold judgment upon man’s sin, but to execute it or carry it out. His justice required that the wages of sin is death, and the sentence of death must be executed. We are then told that God’s judgment was carried out upon “his own Son”. The language Paul uses here is an intentional allusion to Genesis 22:16, in which God commends Abraham (in reference to his offering of Isaac) in that he did not “withhold your son, your only son”, and in which God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac. The phrase “His own” here is tou idiou in the Greek, an idiom (expression) for a member of one’s own household, one who dwells where God dwells, a member of His own “family”. God here did not spare “his own Son”, but sent His Son in human flesh, as one of us (at Christmas), and carried out His judgment upon sin on His own Son as our substitute. Paul then continues with the Greek alla, “but”, here as in “wait, there’s even more”. And what is more here is first that God not only did not spare His own Son, but also “gave” Him for us. The Greek gave here is the aorist active indicative of paradidomi, to “give beside or alongside”, here as a direct reference to Jesus coming as our substitute, given “besides” us, in our place and on our behalf. The judgment due to us was carried out upon Him, all of which is reinforced by the use of the Greek huper, “for” as in our place and on our behalf. We then find that He was given up for “us all”, a phrase which Paul uses throughout Romans to refer to Jews and Gentiles, or all of humanity. Paul does not stop there, however, and continues on with the Greek pos, “in this manner” or “by this means”. The means here is then presented in the word which the pos modifies in the Greek, the word translated as “graciously”. It here is the Greek charizomai, “to bestow in grace or present as a free favor”. The sending of Jesus as the substitute to die for our sins was purely a work of grace, bestowed by God upon us apart from any merit on our part, and whatever else He will give us here will also be purely a work of grace. Paul then uses a common technique among rabbis, an argument from the greater to the lesser. It basically tells us that since God has already given us freely the gift of the greatest magnitude, sending His own Son to receive judgment for sin in our place, will He not also freely give us many other gifts of a lesser magnitude. These gifts of lesser magnitude are specified here as being for “us”, for those who have accepted the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ, for all other lesser gifts are in Him. Paul then concludes by making known what those “lesser” gifts would consist of, here with the phrase ta panta, “all things”. This here refers to the fullness of salvation, and its context is established in Romans 8:29 as all things which work to conform us to the image of God’s Son. The Son here is used in reference to one who does the will of His father, who is about His Father’s business. The all things here then consist of anything which will serve to conform us to the image of Christ, to bring us into line with His will and plan for our lives. Jesus became one of us so that we all could become more and more like Him, Jesus Himself is God’s Christmas gift to all of us. He was given to us to die for us, to enable all who accept Him to be all they are meant to be, to bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). As we celebrate this season with gifts to one another, may we never lose sight of the fact that the greatest gift of all was given to us by God on Christmas, when God “sent His own Son”, and “gave Him up for us all”. Jesus truly is the gift that keeps on giving, and may we avail ourselves of every gift He intends to give us, and become all that He intends us to be, and do all that He intends for us to do, at Christmas and all through the year.

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