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The Greatest Giver of All

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Another Christmas is here.  Have you ever noticed that most conversations turn to what we want to receive as gifts?  I guess that is human nature, we love gifts.  I know I do, I love gifts so much I thought I might tell you about the greatest gift giver I have ever known.  His name is God.  Did you ever think about God that way?  It’s true, God is a gift giver!  He is the giver of good and perfect gifts.  Look at the Scripture….

James 1:17

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. NKJV

I guess you could say that we could learn a lot about giving from God.  So, why don’t we stop and look at the GIFT God has given us.  We will use the acrostic G I F T to help us remember what He has given.

Grace

Let’s start off with the letter “G”.  “G” stands for grace – God has given us grace.

John 1:17

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. NKJV

2 Corinthians 9:8

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. NKJV

What is grace? Someone explained it this way: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  And that is really true, but the real definition is actually:

Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves. Grace is one of the key attributes of God. We know that because the Word tells us that the Lord God is "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth" (Ex 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience as the source of help and with deliverance from distress.

Isn’t that great?  God gives us what we don’t deserve.  I am so very happy about that because I know what the Bible says you and I deserve….death or eternal separation from God.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death…NKJV

But instead of giving us what we deserve, He treats us like one of His family.  He has made us a joint heir with His very own Son, Jesus.  And you know what a joint heir receives – an inheritance.  God actually gives us an inheritance.  Let’s look at the Scripture that tells us these things.

Inheritance

First of all let’s examine the Bible to see why I say we are joint heirs with Jesus:

Romans 8:16-17

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirsheirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

NKJV

A joint heir is inline for a part of the inheritance, and we are no different.  Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus the following:

Ephesians 1:13-14

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

NKJV

Peter goes on to say:

1 Peter 1:3-4

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, NKJV

So, our inheritance is in heaven.  What is it?  It’s heaven itself – Peter was telling them that their inheritance was not the land of Canaan, it was heaven.

The apostle Paul's glorious concept of a spiritual inheritance for Christians is primarily of Jewish origin. But the doctrine was strongly influenced by Greek and Roman inheritance practices. Three of these influences were:

(1) inheritance was regarded as immediate as well as ultimate,

(2) all legitimate heirs usually shared the inheritance equally and jointly rather than a division favoring a firstborn son, and thirdly and most importantly

(3) legally adopted children enjoyed full inheritance rights along with natural offspring.

The Bible tells us that we are adopted into God’s own family, therefore, we can enjoy the full inheritance rights with Jesus.

One word of caution - this spiritual birthright cannot be inherited by sinners.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. NKJV

Again, those who are redeemed, including you and me, become God's adopted sons with full inheritance rights.

Galatians 4:1-7

1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

NKJV

According to Paul, the Christian's spiritual inheritance is based strictly on our relationship to Christ.

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.... And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:26,29).

This brings us to our third letter…

Faith

God has given us GRACE and an INHERITANCE but that isn’t all.  He also gives us FAITH.  How do we get this faith?  Through the Word of God.

 

Romans 10:17

17  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

NKJV

What is this faith?

Hebrews 11:1

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. NKJV

"The substance of things hoped for (i.e., it substantiates God's promises, the fulfillment of which we hope, it makes them present realities), the evidence of things not seen."

The word evidence (engchos) means 'convincing proof' or 'demonstration'.  In other words, faith accepts the truths revealed on the testimony of God (not merely on their intrinsic reasonableness), and that testimony is given to us in the Holy Scripture.

 Jesus spoke to Thomas after He revealed Himself to Him…

John 20:29

29 Jesus said to him,  "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." 

NKJV

He is talking about those who have faith.

Finally we come to the last letter – “T”.

Truth

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

NKJV

 

As a result of the truth we also are set free.

John 8:36

36  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 

NKJV

 

Free from what?  Free from the bondage of sin!  We no longer are held by the power of sin and the penalty for sin has been paid.  We are free!

At the end of the word GIFT there is a “T”.  A small letter “t” looks like a cross doesn’t it?  And on that cross the greatest gift of all time was nailed!  It was Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son.  You see, all our sins were laid on Him and when He died, He died for you and me.  Why would God give us so great a gift, His only Son?  Because there was no other way.  Remember what we read earlier in John 14:6…

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

NKJV

But the gift didn’t stay on the cross.  Jesus rose again and He went to prepare a place for us.  The Bible says it this way:

John 14:2-4

2  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4  And where I go you know, and the way you know." 

NKJV

It’s our inheritance!  Do you know the way today?  It’s Christ!

So you see God really is the best gift giver ever isn’t He? 

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