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OceanSide church of Christ

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THE GIFT OF GOD

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   Gift

1.     Something given

2.     Something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

 

B.    Most of the time gifts are something desired, cherished, and appreciated.

 

C.   The Father of heaven is a gift-giver.  One of the most precious gifts He has given is His Son Jesus Christ.

1.     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.

2.     I John 4:9

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

D.   In the person of Jesus, God has given us many things that benefit us greatly.  We need to comprehend these gifts and appreciate them.

I.       IN JESUS, GOD GAVE US A BABE IN A MANGER

          A.      Luke 2:7

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

B.       The birth of this child was ordinary enough.  Yet, this child was anything but ordinary.

1.        A virgin had conceived and had brought forth a child (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:22-23).

                     2.        God was now clothed in human flesh (Matt. 1:23; John 1:14).

3.        The announcement of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds reveals the nature of His mission on behalf of man (Luke 2:10-110.

 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

 

 

II.      THROUGH JESUS, GOD GAVE US A PERFECT EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW

 

A.   I Peter 2:21

 

For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.

 

B.    Christ was not a teacher first, then a doer.  He was a doer first, then a teacher (Acts 1:1).

 

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.

 

C.   Note how Jesus’ life resembles ours in setting the perfect example for us.

1.     He was commanded by the Father (John 12:49).

 

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

 

2.     His desire was to obey the will of God completely (John 4:34; 5:36; 6:38).

 

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

3.     The standard of His example is very high.  He committed no sin at all (Heb. 4:15; 7:26; I Pet. 2:21).

 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

D.   Jesus’ standard is perfect.  When we follow it, we cannot go wrong.

 

III.    THROUGH JESUS, GOD GAVE US A MASTER TEACHER

 

A.   Jesus came and set the standard for all teachers.

 

B.    There are many things that we could study in the life of Jesus that would be of benefit to teachers.  We will look at only three things.

1.     He always spoke God’s Word (John 8:38; 12:49; 14:10).

I speak that which I have seen with my Father...

 

2.     He spoke with plainness and boldness so the common people heard Him gladly.

a.     The conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:28-29)

 

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:  for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

b.    Mark 12:37

 

…And the common people heard him gladly.

 

3.     He always challenged His listeners.

a.     The Sermon on the Mount:

1)     Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).

2)     For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20).

3)     Love your enemies (Matt. 5:44).

4)     But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

5)     Enter ye in at the strait gate… (Matt. 7:13).

b.    The Jewish leaders (Matt. 15:1-9; 23:1-39)

c.    Jesus spoke more about hell than any other New Testament writer.  He spoke more about money than any other New Testament writer.

 

IV.     THROUGH JESUS, GOD GAVE US A LOVING SACRIFICE

 

A.   Man has a problem:  sin.

1.     Sin contaminates one’s life.

2.     Sin separates one from God.

3.     Sin eliminates one from eternal life.

 

B.    The only way to deal with sin is by the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22).

 

…and without shedding of blood is no remission.

 

C.   Instead of man having to shed his blood, God’s love for man prompted Him to sacrifice His precious Son on man’s behalf.

1.     Ephesians 5:2

 

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

 

2.     Hebrews 9:26b

 

…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

 

D.   Because of this wonderful sacrifice, we can ask and answer as Paul did in Romans 7:24-25.

 

O wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

V.      THROUGH JESUS, GOD GAVE US A LIVING LORD

 

A.   In the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus had to die (Luke 23:46).

 

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:  and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

 

B.    Had Jesus remained in the tomb, His death would have been meaningless.  He would have been a mere man.

 

C.   Death and the hadean realm could not, and did not, hold Him. 

1.     Early upon the first day of the week, the angels proclaimed:  He is not here, but is risen… (Luke 24:6).

2.     His resurrection was witnessed by more than 500 individuals (I Cor. 15:8).

3.     It was the power of the apostles’ preaching during the first century.

a.     Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:24, 31-32).

 

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

 

b.    Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:30)

 

But God raise him from the dead.

 

VI.     THROUGH JESUS, GOD GAVE US A KING OF KINGS

 

A.   In Acts 1:9, we read of the ascension of Jesus.

 

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

 

B.    Jesus ascended to the right hand of God.  Upon his arrival there, He was given a kingdom and dominion (Dan. 7:13-14).

 

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him:  his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

1.     This is Daniel’s vision of the Lord’s ascension.

2.     When He came to the Ancient of days, He was given a kingdom.

 

C.   Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God and is ruling and reigning over His kingdom at this present time.

1.     Hebrews 1:3b

 

…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

2.     Jesus will continue to sit and rule until the destruction of the last of His enemies, that being death (I Cor. 15:25-26).

 

For he must reign, till he hath put all things under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

 

D.   Peter told his readers that they were a “holy nation” (I Pet. 2:9).  They were not a nation without a King.  We are also part of that holy nation.  We are not King-less either.  Jesus is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords (I Tim. 6:15).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   This is a time of gift-giving in the United States.

1.     Many will receive nice gifts.

2.     Many will receive gifts that are valuable.

3.     Many will receive gifts that are useful.

 

B.    These temporal gifts will never surpass the value and the usefulness of the gift of God’s precious Son.  He means so much to us in so many ways.

 

C.   With Paul, we must say:  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift (II Cor. 9:15).