Monday, June 26, 2017

"Freely Given" Part 1

"Freely Given"   

Part 1  
     "Freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8).   
     "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).
    "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:12).
    "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3).

    The Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles Paul and Peter unite to bear witness and testimony to the freest gift ever given, purchased by the highest cost ever remitted.  Unto all who believe in the Lord Jesus, God grants "without price" pardon for sin, spiritual birth, assurance of eternal life, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit  (Isaiah 55:1).  We could never begin to purchase such a bestowal of "unsearchable riches."  God therefore justifies and ultimately glorifies all who receive the freest gift, purchased by the highest cost.

   "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19).

   God created the human race as dependent beings, formed to receive His life in innumerable ways.  We were then to serve as steward sons and daughters who utilize and apply His gifts for the glory of the Lord Jesus and the fulfillment of His will.  Before He created Adam and Eve, the Lord had already prepared the earth as their home, the sun, moon, and stars as their guides, plants as their food, and fish, birds, and animals as the subjects of their calling to exercise dominion (Genesis 1).  They did nothing to earn such provision.  Indeed, Adam and Eve did not even exist when God made His preparations for humanity.  The first man and woman were created and ushered into the abundant provision of God, and would have freely known such goodness had sin not entered their hearts.  The devil deceived our original forefathers into believing they must work for their sustenance rather than trust - "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).  Gods, by definition, rely on themselves.  This is Satan's own personal darkness, and he infected humanity with the poison through the first man's fall - "in Adam, all die" (I Corinthians 15:22).  

   God's redemption in Christ restores those who believe to their proper role as dependent sons and daughters who receive and then steward His good gifts by the wisdom, leading, and enabling of His immanent presence.  Our Christian life begins with the reception of a freely given gift.  Our Heavenly Father then calls us to proceed accordingly - "as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).  Thus, we live our lives as the recipients of God's gracious goodness  in all things.  We respond, receive, work, and act.  But we do so in the recognition of our Heavenly Father's universal provision of "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  We work for Him by working from Him.  This does not eliminate the sweat of the brow in our present existence, nor do we live without many challenges.  However, believing the truth of all things "freely given" progressively transforms our perspective and attitude.  The Christ who redeemed us lives in us, and also constitutes the spiritual environment in which we "live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:25).  The more we know and understand this definitively declared Biblical truth, the more we will experience the blessed reality  of God's ongoing giving, and our ongoing receiving and application of His grace in the Lord Jesus…

"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him."
(I Corinthians 8:6)

Part 2 Tomorrow - Forgiveness, Freely Given

Weekly Memory Verse 
    Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 17:28)

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