What Does the Phrase “All Things” Mean in Romans 8:32?

from Mar 28, 2014 Category: Articles

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32)

The love of the Father expressed in the sacrifice of the Son achieves “all things” for those God loves. What exactly does the phrase “all things” mean?

The answer lies in the previous verses: God in His providence is working “all things” together in order to achieve a specific goal—our glorification (Rom. 8:28, 30). Everything that happens to us is designed to ensure that God’s plan—foreknowledge-predestination-calling-justification-glorification—is brought about. “All things” refers to the final, complete fruition of our redemption in glory.

The gospel guarantees that we will be brought home to glory. It is by grace that we are saved from the consequences of our sin; the same grace of God in the gospel brings us home. Better, Jesus brings us home. Our salvation is bound up not in something intangible and impersonal, but in a person—in Jesus Christ. The grace that ensures our final glorification is the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Our salvation is bound up not in something intangible and impersonal, but in a person—in Jesus Christ

The gospel—the good news (Greek, euangelion)—is that God has provided for sinners like me a Substitute, One who takes my place and bears the consequences of my sin. At the cross, the wrath that my sins deserve was poured out on the Substitute. Justice was satisfied and atonement was given. My sins were imputed to the Substitute; His righteousness (obedi”ence) was imputed to my account. I received the benefits of the cross by faith alone.

Who is the Substitute? He is Jesus, my Savior. Because Paul saw the cross as central to the gospel, he could say, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). And again, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). And again, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). The cross was of “first importance.”

This excerpt is adapted from Derek Thomas’ How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home.

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