The Greatest Gift
In thinking about gifts and giving I thought of a man who gave half of all he owned to the poor and repaid those he had cheated four times what he took. I’m talking about Zaccheus. This seems incredibly generous, a great gift even. But then I think about the poor widow who put her entire livelihood of two mites into the temple treasury. To give all the money you have seems pretty extravagant. But then I think about Hannah who prayed with tears and anguished pleas for God to give her a son. When He did, she gave him back to the Lord and only saw him once a year from the time he was three. What a sacrificial gift! I consider the giving of these men and women and the faith required for these gifts and it can be convicting! tells us of a gift that is so much more generous, so much more extravagant, so much more sacrificial, that it makes these gifts pale in comparison. God loved the world, and because of that love, He gave us His Son!
This is the fourth communion service we have spent examining . So far we have looked at the phrases “For God so loved”, “the world”, and “that He gave”. Today we will consider the phrase “His only begotten Son”. Jesus Christ is the Greatest gift anyone can ever receive.
Jesus Christ is the Greatest gift anyone can ever receive. As we again consider this morning, we will explore three reasons from this verse why Jesus is the greatest gift. As we come to understand the sacrifice of Christ more fully, we will be better able to live for Him. First of all, Jesus is the greatest gift because…
As we again consider this morning, we will explore three reasons from this verse why Jesus is the greatest gift.
As we come to understand the sacrifice of Christ more fully, we will be better able to live for Him.
As we walk in obedience to his Word, He will be glorified in our lives.
As we consider that Jesus is the greatest gift, I want us to ask ourselves two questions. How important is Jesus to you? Is He important enough to obey? We are going to learn just how incredible Jesus is as we discuss how He is the greatest gift. First of all, Jesus is the greatest gift because…
First of all, Jesus is the greatest gift because…
1. The Greatest Gift Is Unique
1. The Greatest Gift Is Unique
What if you were given the same gift for Christmas every year. Not like another of the same kind, but the exact same gift, repackaged and wrapped. Do you think that might get a little old? You might even think, “you know what, just don’t get me a gift this year”. One of the things that makes a gift great is when it is unique.
Christ is the greatest gift ever given because there is no one like Him!
That is literally what the term “only begotten” speaks of. It is the Greek word μονογενής (monogenēs) meaning only; one and only. Unique, radically distinctive and without equal. That is a fitting description of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is radically distinctive and without equal! He is one of a kind. He is unique.
“Only Begotten” - μονογενής (monogenēs) only; one and only. unique - radically distinctive and without equal (in a category). Attributive adjective, accusative, singular, masculine.
He is one of a kind. He is unique.
My mom collects horse figurines. If you were to go into her room and look above her window she has a special shelf for these horses. On that shelf full of beautiful, elegant horses in various postures is a wooden carving of an appaloosa (S). This carving is flat, it is badly painted, and it is fairly plain. Yet it has this place of honor because I made it for my mom when I was little. It is unique, one of a kind. With some gifts it is the giver and not the gift that makes it unique. Christ is unique, not because of His imperfections or flaws, but because of His matchless perfection! Christ is unique, not only because of who sent Him, but because of who He is! Jesus Christ is one of a kind!
Very briefly I want to explore some of the reasons why Jesus is unique. First we will consider how Jesus is…
Unique In His Preexistence
“Preexistence” simply means that Jesus has always existed. He existed in eternity past, exists in the present, and will exist for eternity future. This reality is clearly laid out in Scripture. One of the clearest passages is , (S).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
There is no one like Christ! He is God from eternity past! He enjoyed fellowship with the Father and the Spirit. Yet, He left all that and became a man! The fact that He became flesh brings us to a second reason for His uniqueness. Jesus is…
Unique In His Parentage
Jesus was born of a virgin having been conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is explicitly stated in (S).
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
There has never been and never will be another like Jesus the Christ! Being born of a virgin is enough of an impossible miracle, but to also be conceived by the Holy Spirit? That is incredibly unique! Both were necessary for Him to be the Savior and Redeemer that He has become through His death , burial, and resurrection. His unique parentage brings us to a third reason for His uniqueness. Jesus is…
Unique In His Person
The angel told Mary that he would be called the Son of God. Our Western minds and understanding have a tendency to think of a son as less than the father. But that was not the case in Jesus time. Because a son was the heir of the father and the family line continued through him, an adult son was considered equal with the father. bears this out (S).
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
For Jesus to claim that God was His Father was understood as a claim of equality with God. And it is a fitting claim! As we have already seen in , Jesus is God! Because Jesus is God we find that He was also…
Unique In His Power
Jesus did things that no one else could do. Look up a few verses at . You can’t do these things without God being with you! When John the baptist had a moment of doubt while in prison, Jesus sent him a message in (S).
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Not only did Jesus do things that no one else could do, He spoke as no one else ever has! (S).
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
No one spoke like this man. When He was only 12 years old He made the teachers marvel at His wisdom and understanding! No one could match Jesus in His power to perform miracles and ability to speak truth. The final reason Jesus is unique that we will consider this morning is that Jesus is…
Unique In His Passion
Turn to . There is no comparison to what Christ has done for us! The agony that He endured for the sake of sinners, for those who were ungodly, without strength, and enemies of God is truly unique.
My mom collects horse figurines. If you were to go into her room and look above her window she has a special shelf for these horses. On that shelf full of beautiful, elegant horses in various postures is a wooden carving of an appaloosa (S). This carving is flat, it is badly painted, and it is fairly plain. Yet it has this place of honor because I made it for my mom when I was little. It is unique, one of a kind. With some gifts it is both the giver and the gift that make it unique. Christ is unique, not because of His imperfections or flaws, but because of His matchless perfection! Christ is unique, not only because of who sent Him, but because of who He is! Christ is unique because He is God manifest in the flesh! Christ is unique because He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life! Christ is unique because He is equal with God! Christ is unique because He has the power to raise the dead, heal the sick, and speak the hardest truths in love! Christ is unique because He died in our place, bearing our sin, as the sacrificial Lamb of God! His death satisfied God’s wrath and made a way for man to be reconciled to God! Jesus Christ is one of a kind! He is the greatest gift that has ever been given because He is unique. Sing with me…
Jesus Christ is one of a kind!
“The Power of the Cross” (verse 1)
Jesus is the greatest gift because He is unique. Secondly, Jesus is the greatest gift because…
2. The Greatest Gift Is Extravagant
2. The Greatest Gift Is Extravagant
Have you ever gotten a gift that was so extravagant that it blew you away? For my 30th birthday Jess knew that I really wanted an Xbox. So she coordinated with everyone and we were able to get one! It was very extravagant to me. According to , God gave us the most extravagant gift ever given. He gave us His Son! When we opened this morning I mentioned Hannah and the giving of Samuel to the ministry. She prayed for this child in . Then in the end of the chapter she brings him to the temple and leaves him there because she is so grateful for God’s answer to her prayer. Hannah's gift is extravagant! Yet, for her gift she is greatly blessed. describes this blessing (S).
And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.
Though Hannah demonstrates incredible faith in loaning Samuel to God for life, God’s gift of Jesus Christ is greater. While Hannah gave her first son, she had more. God gave us His one and only Son! Nothing compares to this gift! The most extravagant gift you could ever receive is nothing next to the gift of Christ!
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
In seeking the redemption of sinners, God didn’t spare His Son! He delivered Him up! He gave Him to die for sin! What a gift! In Peter reminds his readers… (S)
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Redemption cannot be purchased with money! It cannot come through human will or material possessions!
Redemption was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ!
That is an extravagant gift! God didn’t spare his Son, He delivered Him up that through his death we might be redeemed by His precious blood! Christ is the greatest gift that could ever be given because He gave Himself for us. Sing with me…
"The Power Of The Cross” (verse 2)
Jesus is the greatest gift because He is unique and He is extravagant. Lastly, Jesus is the greatest gift because…
3. The Greatest Gift Is Transformative
3. The Greatest Gift Is Transformative
The Greatest Gift Is A Love Gift
The Greatest Gift Is A Personal Gift
When I was 12 years old my parents gave me a gift that changed my life forever. They didn’t know it would be so life-changing, and in fact, for four years the gift lay forgotten in a box in my closet. When I was 16 I found this belt buckle they had given me, and I have been collecting them ever since. A great gift is a gift that changes your life. Jesus changes your life.
Read with me again. When we place our faith in the gift of Jesus Christ, when we believe in His death burial and resurrection, we receive eternal life! In Jesus says this (S).
The Greatest Gift Is A Lasting Gift
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Then the apostle John writes in (S).
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
Trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation brings eternal life! We pass from death to life! Is that a transformation? Amen! The Apostle John states here that the evidence of our regeneration is transformed living.
My ability to be confident in my salvation is directly connected to my obedience.
If I am disobedient, I may still be saved, but I won’t be confident. Jesus Christ is the greatest gift and He has brought about the greatest transformation. I have passed from death to life!
Our transformation is further depicted in (S).
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
We are no longer what we once were! We have been brought near! Probably the most well known passage on our transformation in Christ is (S).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
When we trust Christ we are transformed by the power and grace of God! We are no longer enemies, strangers, and far off. We are adopted as children! Gifted by the Spirit! And given intimate fellowship with God Himself! Our eternal destiny is changed! We will not perish, we have everlasting life! The result of these transformations is to be transformed living. The change in our eternal destination should generate a change in our behavior. We no longer live for ourselves, we live for the glory of God! In light of His sacrifice, we can do no less! Sing with me…
“The Power Of The Cross” (verses 3-4)
Turn with me to . This is a time for believers to remember the price that was paid. To be reminded of the penalty of sin. Taking part of communion does not save you. This is simply a way for us to be reminded of what Christ has done. If you know the Lord as savior this morning, please join us in bread and juice as we remember Jesus Christ. These are only symbols, they represent the body and blood of our Savior. Examination – verses 26-32
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
The Bread (His Body) vv. 23-24 #488 “He Keeps Me Singing” (Chorus Only)
The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #81 “What A Wonderful Savior” (Chorus Only)
Don’t reject the greatest gift in existence! Jesus Christ is the greatest gift because He is unique. There has never been, nor ever will be, anyone like Christ! He is unique in every aspect. He is also the greatest gift because He is extravagant. God gave us His one and only Son! The God of all eternity, who spoke the world into existence, was born as a man and died a criminals death to purchase our redemption! That is an extravagant gift! Christ is the greatest gift because He transforms all who receive Him. Every single believer becomes a new creature at salvation. We are called to walk in newness of life.
Jesus Christ is the greatest gift that could ever be given. Will you accept Him? If you have then let me ask you a different question. How important is Jesus to you? Is He important enough to obey?
How important is Jesus to you? Is He important enough to obey?
May our dedication to Christ be evident to all this week.
May He be glorified in our lives as we walk in obedience to Him.
“His Robes For Mine”
His Robes For Mine
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.