Because God did not Spare his Own Son | by John Rogers

Psalm 103 opens with a summons to our soul to bless the LORD. To bless his holy name and to remember all his many benefits. But why have we received even one benefit as sinners against this holy and just God? John Piper writes in his book Don’t Waste Your Life that it is…

because for redeemed sinners, every good thing [as well as every bad thing that God turns for good] was obtained for us by the cross of Christ. Apart from the death of Christ, sinners get nothing but judgement. Apart from the cross of Christ, there is only condemnation. Therefore everything you enjoy in Christ—as a Christian, a person who trusts Christ—is owing to the death of Christ. And all your rejoicing in all things should, therefore, be a rejoicing in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

One of the reasons we are not as Christ-centered and cross saturated as we should be is that we have not realized that everything—everything good, and everything bad that God turns for the good of his redeemed children—was purchased by the death of Christ for us. We simply take life and breath and health and friends and everything for granted. We think it is our right. But the fact is that it is not ours by right. We are doubly undeserving of it. [For]

  1. We are creatures, and our Creator is not bound or obligated to give us anything—not life or health of anything. He gives, he takes, and he does us no injustice (Job. 1:21).

  2. And besides being his creatures with no claim on our Creator, we are sinners. We have fallen short of his glory (Romans 3:23). We have ignored him and disobeyed him and failed to love him and trust him. The wrath of his justice is kindled against us. All we deserve from him is judgment (Romans 3:19). Therefore every breath we take, every time our heart beats, every day that the sun rises, every moment we see with our eyes or hear with our ears or speak with our mouths or walk with our legs is, for now a free and undeserved gift to sinners who deserve only judgment. 

What Piper is saying is that we receive good things only because God did not spare his own son (see Romans 8:32). Because God did not spare his own Son but graciously gave him up for us all, we who were once objects of wrath have now become and remain objects of undeserved grace and mercy. His steadfast love toward us rests on his foundational love toward us—Christ crucified for us.

So, in the words of Isaac Watts:

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

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