What do you think about at Christmas and Jesus Christ?
Some think about beautiful snow covering the ground and hanging in the trees limbs as they bend under its weight; some think of the Christmas tree decorated with dazzling lights and ornaments that twinkle in the dark of the evening; some think of turkey, the smell and everything that fills ones plate. For some there is the surprise of a gift from a friend or family member all wrapped up in shiny paper waiting to be opened. Everyone enjoys opening that gift and the wondering what is inside waiting to be found.
What is a gift anyway?
A gift is truly a gift when someone gives you something not for anything in return. This means it is free of anything in return from you. When you receive this gift it is now truly yours for your use or desires. It now totally belongs to you and in essence it is as if it had been yours all along. There is nothing owed to the giver because it now does not belong to the giver but to you. Now a gift is not made mine by my seeing it, or because I know what the gift is, but it is mine as soon as I receive and embrace it as my own. To speak of earning a gift would be a contradiction in terms of what a gift truly is.
The Christmas story is found in the biblical account of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ as related in the Gospels of the Bible
Just like us giving and receiving gifts at Christmas, God gave us a gift, who is Jesus Christ. Salvation is the gift of God; but salvation is not only unearned, but undeserved. It is not only a gift, but so much more, it is a gift by grace.
A gift can not be earned by works.
Eph. 2:8.9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Men's gifts are seldom given upon the undeserving, that is why so often that they give ground for boasting. Salvation though is the gift of God in Christ Jesus. and where salvation is a gift, the only course left for the receiver is to take it and thank the giver. Would we ever say of a gift, see what I have received, or boast of your skill and wisdom in how you received it? No we would say, see what has been given me, in love, wealth and generosity of the giver.
Our salvation is a gift. From beginning to end, God is the giver and we are the receivers. It is not to those who do great things or works, but to those who receive His abundance of grace and receive His gift freely.
In the Gospels, God proclaims, He that believes shall be saved; and thus He bestows His own favor on all who believe. Salvation, from the beginning to end, is entirely a work of God; and a gift of His undeserved favor.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
After all our sinfulness and rebellion, God's gift of pardon through Christ does seem too much to receive; but the riches of His divine mercy are so great that it is not too much for Him to give. When God forgives, it is total and there is not one sin left unforgiven. As we celebrate Christmas and we consider the saving grace of Jesus Christ we need to think that it was indeed too great a gift for man, but it was not so for God.
Entrance into eternal life is God's free gift to all who believe and who abide in faith.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.