Faithlife Sermons

Eternal Gift

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We grew up with the tradition that gifts are opened under the tree on Christmas morning. 2017 years ago, God sent us His "Eternal Gift", some may have already opened it, but many are still yet to. Our Eternal Gift of salvation is secured by facts fueled by faith. The Bible defined our salvation as a "process". It has it's past, present and future known as justification, sanctification and glorification. Grace is the source of salvation and our Insecurities shall not defeat our faith when we keep our Faith in God and our Trust in His Word.

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Opening

Today we shall wrap up our series for the month of December that we entitled “iShare”
Sharing the Purpose of Christmas
So far we have significantly rediscovered essential facts towards understanding the “Real Purpose of Christmas”
We begun this series by looking into the lives of Mary and Joseph,
particularly when they “willingly accepted” the favor and will of the Abba Father, to be the parents of the Son of God
The “Arrival of the Messiah” that we celebrate on Christmas brought us great reason for our celebration, which is our “salvation”
The fall of mankind unreconciled us from God. Every single one of us
Paul said that no one is righteous
Romans 3:23 NIV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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God doesn’t want anyone to perish
He pursued His people through the Patriarchs, through the Judges, prophets until He decided to Give His only begotten Son
BREATHE!
The “Arrival of the Messiah”, in other words, Christmas, Paved the “Road to Reconciliation”
God is offering us reconciliation through His one and only Son
Reconciliation with God above us
Reconciliation with the people around us
BREATHE!
Tap the next person on your right and ask...
How was your Christmas?
Now, tap the next person on your left and ask...
Was it Merry?
Let’s offer to the Lord our clap of praise
Who among you received a gift and “opened” them? Raise your right hand...
And those who did not received a gift? Raise your left hand...
What about those who received a gift, but didn’t open them? Raise both of your hands...
Perhaps you’re curious why I had to be specific which hand to raise
Well, it is because, I’d like you to keep this at the back of your heads as a reminder of Jesus’s words in His parable of the “Sheep and the Goats”...
Matthew 25:33–34 NIV
He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Matthew 25:41 NIV
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:46 NIV
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
2017 Christmases ago, God sent us an “Eternal Gift”
BREATHE!
What about those who received a gift, but didn’t open them? Raise both of your hands...
Show the Article
While reading the news the other day, I stumbled into an article about a man in Canada who kept a gift from his ex-girlfriend “unopened” for 47 years
During the holiday season, it has become a tradition for most people to open their presents under the tree on Christmas morning.
But one man in Eton, Canada opted not to open his for 47 years.
Adrian Pearce first shared his story in a Facebook post on Dec. 18, stating that he received the gift from his former flame. She dumped him and vowed not to unwrap it. He also shared a photo of the gift-giver.
Adrian Pearce first shared his story in a Facebook post on Dec. 18, stating that he received the gift from his former flame.
She dumped him and he vowed not to unwrap it. He also shared a photo of the gift-giver.
“The yellowed Cellotape (that’s what it was called then) will loosen a bit more, the corners will fray yet again and I will drag it out next season to enjoy the mystery of what lies inside,” Pearce wrote.
“The yellowed Cellotape (that’s what it was called then) will loosen a bit more, the corners will fray yet again and I will drag it out next season to enjoy the mystery of what lies inside,” Pearce wrote.
In another post on Saturday, Pearce revealed more details about his former partner, which he named as Vicki Allen. He narrated that she left him for an older guy named Wolf.
In another post on Saturday, Pearce revealed more details about his former partner, which he named as Vicki Allen.
He narrated that she left him for an older guy named Wolf.
“She gave me a present at the same time and I took the present home. I had a long walk home and I was all upset and angry, and all the things you feel when somebody breaks up with you,” he said in an interview with CBC News.
“She gave me a present at the same time and I took the present home.
I had a long walk home and I was all upset and angry, and all the things you feel when somebody breaks up with you,” he said in an interview with CBC News.
Because of his anger, he swore never to open the present, and carries that promise until today.
Because of his anger, he swore never to open the present, and carries that promise until today.
Even years after their falling out, he still put the gift under the tree in the presence of his wife and children, much to her ire. Eventually, his wife said the gift is not allowed to be placed there anymore.
Even years after their falling out, he still put the gift under the tree in the presence of his wife and children, much to her ire.
Eventually, his wife said the gift is not allowed to be placed there anymore.
This year, he thought of finally tearing off the wrapper to reveal what was hidden after all these years, but he eventually decided against the idea.
This year, he thought of finally tearing off the wrapper to reveal what was hidden after all these years, but he eventually decided against the idea.
He also recalled a time when he obtained Allen’s phone number, through her sister, after their break-up. “I was almost shaking I was so nervous,” Pearce said in the report, recalling the moment that he dialed the number, through which his ex-girlfriend can no longer be connected.
He also recalled a time when he obtained Allen’s phone number, through her sister, after their break-up.
“I was almost shaking I was so nervous,” Pearce said in the report, recalling the moment that he dialed the number, through which his ex-girlfriend can no longer be connected.
As for Pearce’s wife, he said that she was now okay with the gift. He even thought of finally ripping open the gift wrap together with his wife on the 50th anniversary of when the gift was given.
As for Pearce’s wife, he said that she was now okay with the gift. He even thought of finally ripping open the gift wrap together with his wife on the 50th anniversary of when the gift was given.
“I kept it initially because I guess I had hopes that we would get back together and open it together. Now it’s just become a habit after 47 years of looking at it and having the pleasure of not opening it,” he explained.
“I kept it initially because I guess I had hopes that we would get back together and open it together. Now it’s just become a habit after 47 years of looking at it and having the pleasure of not opening it,” he explained.
BREATHE!
2017 years ago, we also received a gift
The most unique and “Eternal Gift”
Most of us may have already opened this Gift
But some perhaps are yet to open it
BREATHE!
I am not going to ask you to raise either your right or left hand no more
You know yourselves, and God knows you
BREATHE!
One of my Uber Passenger last Thursday is a young fellah, 28 years of age, he was born in Zambales out of military parents who brought him here in the United States when he was one
I picked him up from Home Avenue and brought him to Miramesa. That was about 30-minute ride of good conversation.
According to him, he had his fair share of recklessness when he was younger.
He joined the Navy early on this decade, got out with his G.I. bill and went to college.
In his narration of his story, he admitted that he was not very focus in life.
He loves motorcycles, the fast ones, and he likes riding them.
Until one fateful day last October, he got involved in an accident.
He said it was life threatening. But miraculously, he got out of it with some physical injuries, but he’s generally okay.
That led him to a time of “realization”.
That led him to start opening God’s Eternal Gift.
And it took him 28 years before finally opening the Gift
But now he gained the much needed “focus” in life, and now he works as a Respiratory Therapist.
What about you? Have you opened your “Eternal Gift”
BREATHE!
Now, let’s talk about this “Eternal Gift”
Pay careful attention because today I’m going to teach some solid doctrines
In our christian faith, there are doctrines that we consider as “essentials” and “non-essentials”
I want us to focus on the “essentials”, and not to be caught up with the “non-essentials”
When you hear the word “Eternal”, what comes to your mind?
Maybe, things like everlasting, forever, infinity, endless
BREATHE!
The question is
Is our Eternal Gift Secured?
Because there were, or there will be times in our christian journey, that when we commit sin, that leads us to thinking… is my eternity secured?
That leads to feeling of “insecurity”
Let’s take a look at
Romans 8:1 NIV
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
If you’re going to stop there, you will be taking this verse very out of context
It will immediately give you the “Yes” answer to the question: “Is our Eternal Gift Secured?”
But, this could be very deceiving
This could wrongly mean that, we could accept Christ then continue to sin, and yet not be condemned
But, if you carefully look into the entire passage where that verse was extracted, you will learn many many things that are truly essential
Take a listen
BREATHE!

Text: Life Through the Spirit (Romans 8:1-17)

Romans 8:1–17 NIV
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
There is a reason why there is “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ. Read verse 2 carefully
Law of the Spirit of life refers to the authority of the Holy Spirit, who gives life and empowers believers to do what is right
So, it is the Spirit in those who are in Christ, that makes them “un-condemnable”
BREATHE!
In this passage alone that we are studying today, the conjunction “If” appeared 8 times
Hmmmm… We thought that our salvation is “unconditional”?
To better understand this, let’s take a look at the process of salvation
Since it is a process, it has its past, present and future
The “Past”
Romans 10:9–10 NIV
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
This is called “Justification”
BREATHE!
The “Present”
Luke 9:23 NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
That’s called “Sanctification”
Being made holy
BREATHE!
The “Future”
Romans 8:18–19 NIV
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
The Greek word used here for the word “glory” is “doxa”, it points to the transformation of the body through resurrection
And that is called “Glorification”
BREATHE!
Now that the Bible clearly defined the process of Salvation
What does these means in reference to our “Eternal Gift”?
There will be times that you may feel insecure concerning your “Eternal Gift”
But let me tell you this (show Illustration)
Our feelings should not defeat our faith
But instead, facts (which is the Word of God), shall drive our faith, that produces feelings
It cannot be the other way around
Look at the illustration, the passenger car cannot pull the engine
It should be the engine, powered by the fuel, that will drag the passenger car
In other words, Facts fueled by Faith, produces Feelings
BREATHE!

Our Eternal GIFT is Secured by Facts, fueled by Faith

Grace is the source of our Salvation
Ephesians 2:8–9 NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Insecurities shall not defeat our Faith
Philippians 4:6–7 NIV
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Emotions can not be the fuel of our faith
We walk by faith, not by emotions
Faith in God
Acts 27:25 NIV
25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
Trust in His Word
Psalm 119:41–42 NIV
41 May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise; 42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.

Prayer

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