Tuesday, September 25, 2007
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: 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 by giving up His own life. It was Christ Who shed His blood. It is Christ Who wears the scars in His hands, feet, head, back and side. Jesus had been 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 (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. The Roman soldiers ripped Jesus beard out, hit Him over he head repeatedly with a long staff to drive in the crown of sharp thorns, physically beat Him with their fists, stripped Him naked, spit upon Him, scourged Him with a whip—Jesus had been abused beyond recognition. Oh yes my friend, Jesus paid a great price for your salvation. I bid you please do not say “no” to Jesus. The trifle sufferings of this life cannot be compared to the 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, you MUST reach out by faith and take it. If you don’t take it—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 can 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 more ridiculous than the person who seeks to impress God with their own good deeds and religion. Eternal life is a gift my friend and there’s nothing you can do to earn it. If you try to earn it, it is no longer a gift. You can keep the seven sacraments all you want but it will avail you no good at the judgment.
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 is merciful. These are all lies 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 gift. Every religion in the world is 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.