18th December 2018

God’s Gift to Humanity

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners– of whom I am the worst.”
1 Timothy 1:15 (NIVUK) 

In the Western world Christmas is a period when the minds of many people, whether Christian or secular, turn to the giving and receiving of gifts. Choosing what presents to give loved ones often proves to be problematic, however most people warm to a personalised gift where the thought behind and the care taken in choosing a gift are appreciated.

Ahead of time, in eternity, before the foundation of the world, God already knew what he would give to humanity. 1 Peter 1:20 says “He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed…for your sake.” It was the greatest gift he could bestow—the gift of his son, Jesus Christ. The incarnation is God’s free gift of Christ to humanity and it reveals the thought behind the gift: that God is so kindly disposed to every individual that he even gave his own son as a pledge of God’s grace. This gift came humbly wrapped both physically (wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger) and spiritually (Philippians 2:6-11) and expresses the heart of God. It tells us something about the giver and the extent of his love and favour towards humanity. It dissipates any idea of God being harsh and unmerciful. In Christ we find a God we can love, a God who is gracious, kind and loving.

In a sceptical world full of different and sometimes contradictory ideas it is easy to believe that God is not good or that Christ died for others but not for us. But as the opening scripture implies, no one, not even those who consider themselves to be the worst of sinners, is excluded from his intention to save every human being through his gift, Jesus Christ. It is a redeeming gift to sinful humanity.

As we exchange gifts perhaps it’s a time to reflect upon the fact that God’s gift in Christ enables a much greater exchange—the exchange of our sin for his righteousness. The real message of Christmas is not the gifts that we give to each other. Rather, it is a reminder of the gift that God has given to each of us. God gives his grace and goodness to us as a free gift in Christ and the appropriate response to a gift is to accept it rather than reject it. It is a gift that keeps on giving: wrapped up in this one gift are numerous other life-changing free gifts such as eternal life, forgiveness and spiritual peace. Perhaps this Christmas period is the time to consider accepting the greatest gift that can be offered: Jesus Christ.

Prayer
Father, we thank you for the gift of your son, and that Jesus willingly gave up his glory to become a human being for the salvation of all humanity.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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