Christmas breeze - gifts of Christmas - Part II
Do you know that this culture of gift-giving at Christmas was because of God's gift of Jesus to us? This is a great thing to reflect on as we draw nearer to Christmas, which is just a few weeks away and everyone is trying to find the perfect gift.
Last week, we said Jesus Christ, God's gift to man, is the perfect gift, because He represents the three criteria for a perfect gift. He is expensive, He meets our need for eternal life and He was given with the right motive. When we apply these three criteria that we have discussed about the perfect gift, we will find that the gift of God in Jesus surpasses our human expectations. The perfect gift is expensive, meets the need of the recipient and is given with a pure motive.
JESUS THE GIFT OF GOD
So, God sent the perfect gift to us - Jesus Christ. Let's examine the three elements that we have mentioned about the perfect gift, and we will find that the gift of God in Jesus surpasses our human expectations.
1. Jesus is God's most expensive gift
God gave His Son to us, this was a sacrificial giving. "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect". 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV). God knew His Son would be crushed for us and yet He gave Him anyway. God is a generous God. You may be thinking, God knew that His Son would be raised from the dead, so it was nothing. But Jesus' death was painful and expensive for God.
In Jesus all the treasures of heaven have been given to the whole human race. Christians are unimaginably rich. If you are in Christ, then every possible blessing that God could possibly give is already yours. It is an inheritance, a personal gift from our Father. Everything you need is provided by God in Christ. Everything you need for your salvation from sin, spiritual nourishment, instruction for life and provision for life; peace, freedom from fear, divine health, protection, provision, is provided by God in Jesus Christ:
Then God's gift Jesus,
2. Offers the right solution to our sin problem
God wants to fill our lives with purpose and promise but we have a problem ... SIN. Here is what Isaiah says about the problem of sin, "...your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you ..." Isaiah 59:2 (NIV). God wants to bless us but can't because of our sin. This is true for both the non-Christian and the Christian with unrepented sin in their lives.
a. For the person who is
not a Christian:
As non-Christians, the Bible says all of us are lost without God and our eternity in Heaven is unsure. Because of sin, we are without His protection and without real joy. Sometimes God still shows us His favour and persons can easily mistake this favour for His approval of sin, but it is really a testimony of His goodness and His desire for you to turn away from your sin. "Don't you realise how patient He (God) is being with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance." Romans 2:4 (TLB). If He is good when you were not a Christian, how much more when you are His own.
b. For the Christian
Those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour have a relationship with God, but if we harbour sin in our lives, our fellowship with God is broken. We are still His son or daughter, but the closeness of the relationship is broken. We move outside of the blessing of God and expose ourselves to torment and harassment by Satan. As Christians, we have unlimited access to God and walk in authority. However, unrepented sin bars us from what is rightfully ours. "Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have withheld good from you." Jeremiah 5:25 (NASB)
Every sin is an offence to God and has a consequence. God cannot be in the presence of sin and will punish sin. "... because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgement will be revealed." Romans 2:5 (NIV). If we depend on ourselves to live to please God, we will always fall short. We are not good enough and will never be. "There is no one righteous, not even one ... there is no one who does good, not even one." Romans 3:10 & 12b (NIV).
So far, we have examined two of the three elements of a perfect gift, it must be expensive, and meet the need of the recipient. Join us next week when we examine further the final element of Jesus, God's perfect gift to us.