Receive the Gift
“To doubt the guarantee of eternal life is to doubt the [gospel] message itself.” -Zane Hodges, Absolutely FreeThe problem is we haven’t been trained to receive it. From paychecks and vacation days to acceptance and our sense of worth, we have been trained to work for the things we want or need. Gifts from others can often feel like debts we have to pay back. This education of earning or repayment diminishes our identity as created beings who are dependent upon God to give and sustain our life. With all the commandments and laws in the Bible, it may be tempting to think we have to earn our salvation or pay God back for the gift of His Son by being good boys and girls in return. But the law only reveals the depth of our need for, not our process of, salvation. The Gospel of God’s grace is scandalous in confronting our habit of earning and repayment with a re-education in receiving.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24We were first created by God to receive. Receive life. Receive God’s good creation. Receive salvation from the penalty of sin. Receive eternal life. Receive the Holy Spirit. The only way to be sure of our salvation is not by becoming good enough, but by realizing that God is good enough to give His children good gifts. All that remains is to receive eternal life as a gift.
Have you ever dreamed you were standing in front of a crowd in just your underwear? Feeling exposed and embarrassed is a familiar nightmare. But for the first humans in the Bible, this was a very real experience. After Adam and Eve sinned, eating from that fateful...