At Christmas time we enjoy the gifts we give and receive, but within a few months these same gifts often set idle not being used. Christmas is a time for family and friends to renew their relationships in the spirit of the season. The sad truth we learn from this time of the holiday season is the fact that the greatest gift in all of human history and future events remains unopened.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
God so loved us that he gave his human creation the gift of his son. Why did he give us this precious gift? The world is caught in the corruption of sin and death. All human flesh has sinned, there are exceptions(Rom 3:23; 5:12). Because of our sin we perish in death and decay. How can we escape the horrible sting of death (1Cor 15:55-56)? The human race is destined to perish in their sin and corruption. It is important we understand that all human flesh will perish in sin and death.
Now we come to Gods greatest gift. For God so love the world that he gave us his son, that whosoever would believe in him would not perish in sin and death. The greatest gift of all is the very life force that is found in God, it is Gods eternal life. We who are sinners destined to die in the death and corruption of our sin, now have a free gift in Jesus Christ who will save us from our sin.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV)
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (KJV)
We perish because of our sins, but we are justified by Gods free gift found in Jesus.
1 Cor 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV)
The Bible teaches that this great gift imputes to us wisdom, redemption, righteousness and sanctification. These four attributes and benefits are the fruits of eternal life.
How do we react to Gods greatest gift?
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (KJV)
We read in this verse that natural human logic and reasoning will not receive the things of God, because Gods greatest gift is deemed as being foolish. The born again experience is foolishness to a perishing world, but to us that are saved the doctrine of the cross is the power of God.
Darwinian thinking only observes an ape ancestry in humanity, while those who have received Gods greatest gift understand our true spiritual nature. This very thought is the crux of the cultural revolution currently fighting for dominance in world view.
Ps 2:1-4 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, (3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (4) He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (KJV)
The Bible also teaches that toward the end of human history the kings of the earth will reject Gods greatest gift in order to sustain their Darwinian theory. These governments will set themselves against Christ and seek to cast away the fruits of wisdom, righteousness, redemption, and sanctification. This horrible season of human events will be the total rejection of Gods greatest gift.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (KJV)
Reveal = apokalupto (ap-ok-al-oop'-to/601); from 575 and 2572; to take off the cover, i.e. disclose: KJV-- reveal.
apokalupto- (Thayer Greek/English Lexicon)
1) to uncover, to lay open what has been veiled or covered up,
to disclose, to make bare
2) to make known, to make manifest, to disclose what before was unknown
We who are saved have received Gods greatest gift, and allowed a marginal influence in our lives. Jesus Christ, Gods greatest gift, is our wisdom, righteousness, redemption, and sanctification. We see from the writings of Paul that a revelation process is necessary for the fruit of righteousness to nurture in us from faith to faith.
The question before us to day is simple. Have we allowed the gift of God to remain covered with the wrapping of our natural human reason and logic? Do we resist the working of God through our belief that much of what we see in the Christian church is foolishness?
In order for Gods righteousness to nurture our spiritual walk and release the power of the cross in us, we must allow the covering (wrapping) of our human nature to be removed by our faith.
Rom 8:1-8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (KJV)
Consider with me the possibility that much of our spiritual frustration is the result of our carnal mind (human logic and reason) at war with God. Simply stated; those people who allow their thoughts to be dictated by human ignorance will be preoccupied with worldly pursuits. In order to reap the fruits of the Spirit we must pursue a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Again we come to the crux of the issue. As long as we allow our human reason to be the wrapping on Gods greatest gift our perception of God is rooted in the dogmas of our Christian religion, and we have frustrated the workings of God greatest gift (Gal 2:21). In order to remove the wrapping that covers Gods gift we must devote our lives to a personal relationship with Jesus.
The sinful world view of today is not offended by our Christian religion. This world view only fears those who have put aside their Christian religion in holy pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Are we Christians of religion of relationship? How we truthfully answer this question will determine the degree we allow our religion to wrap Gods greatest gift, or we yield to the working of the Holy Spirit to remove the foolishness of our religion in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Him.
Allow this Christmas season to be a holy moment of honest reflection. As you look at your gifts consider for a moment Gods greatest gift and our personal need to remove the wrapping from this gift of our vain an lifeless worldly pursuits and religious activity.