The Gift of God
By David J. Stewart
Nothing in Life is Free
“For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Eternal life is a gift, complements of the Godhead, i.e., God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Nothing in this life is free, not even salvation. That’s right, not even salvation! Jesus paid a great price with His own precious blood. It is Jesus Who has the scars in His hands, feet, head, back and side. Jesus was beaten beyond recognition... “As many were astonied at thee; HIS VISAGE WAS SO MARRED more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men” (Isaiah 52:14).
Listen to the Prophetical Words of king David concerning Jesus Christ... “For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all MY BONES: THEY LOOK AND STARE UPON ME. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture” (Psalm 22:16-18). Jesus' skin had been torn right off His bones. Perhaps this was from the cat-o-nine-tails whip (a whip with nine strands of leather, each with a piece of glass, rock or jagged metal at the end). Perhaps the bones Jesus spoke of were in His wrists, pulled apart by the nails and the weight of His body hanging on the cross. Most of the pictures of Jesus hanging on the cross show a little blood, but this is not accurate. Jesus must have been bathed in blood from head to toe, hanging naked upon the cross in shame for our sins.
The Roman soldiers ripped Jesus beard out, smote Him over the head repeatedly with a rod to drive the crown of sharp thorns into his scalp, He was physically beaten with their fists, stripped naked, spit upon, scourged with a whip and mocked. Jesus did this for us because He loves us so. Oh, yes my friend, Jesus paid a great price for your salvation. The gift of eternal life which is freely offered to us cost God a great price. I bid you, please do not say “no” to Jesus. The trifle sufferings of this life cannot be compared to the eternal damnation of those who die in their sins without Christ as Savior. Hell is forever. The sad thing is that no one needs to go to Hell, Jesus has paid the price.
Eternal Life is Offered as a FREE GIFT to All Humanity
Eternal life is a gift. Even though a gift is free, it MUST be accepted. If I buy someone a gift and place it under the Christmas tree, the gift will sit there until someone claims it. Jesus has purchased you a gift, it is sitting in Heaven with your name on it, but you MUST reach out by faith and receive it. If you don’t, then it will go unclaimed. Eternal life is a FREE gift from God... “But not as the offence, so also is the FREE GIFT. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the FREE GIFT is of many offences unto justification” (Romans 5:15,16). How much plainer could the Bible be concerning the gift of eternal life?
Let’s say you go out and buy me a nice gift. When you offer it to me, I open my wallet and try to pay you some money. You say, “no, no, it’s a gift!” I continue to try to pay you for your gift, but you refuse. This is no different than the person who seeks to impress God with their own self-righteousness. Eternal life is a gift my friend and there’s nothing you can do to buy it. If you try to earn it, then it is no longer a gift. You can observe the Seven Sacraments all you want, but it will avail you no good on Judgment Day. You had better receive the gift of God, so that Christ's righteousness will be imputed to your record. We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
A Gift Has No Strings Attached
I have often used the illustration of a gift in Sunday School or while out soul-winning. If I offer you a gift, all you have to do is to REACH OUT AND TAKE IT. That is all you have to do and nothing more if it is truly a gift with no strings attached. Salvation is a gift with NO strings attached.
I once witnessed to an Islamic Muslim man who didn’t believe Jesus was ever crucified. I asked him, “Do you KNOW if you died today that you would go to Heaven?” He abruptly responded in amazement by saying, “How arrogant!” He said it was wicked arrogance for anyone to even think of claiming to “know” that they were going to Heaven. He believed that a person must win the favor of Allah by their own merit. He said that all we can do is our best and hope that Allah will be merciful. He has been deceived of the Devil.
First, the Bible says we can KNOW we’re saved in 1st John 5:13... “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life...”
Second, if the Muslims believed the Bible (which they don’t), they would KNOW that eternal life is a free gift. Every religion in the world can be categorized as either “DO” or “DONE!” Either you believe you must “DO” something to merit salvation OR else you believe Jesus did it all for you and it is “DONE.” The Muslims are following a “DO” religion; whereas, all true Christians are following the “DONE” religion. Jesus paid it all.
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