The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"The Freest Gift"
Why is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ provided to sinners as a free gift, in fact, as the freest gift ever given?
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The answer will require eternity to comprehend in all its measure and magnitude. "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). God gave a gift in the Lord Jesus Christ described by the Apostle Paul as "unsearchable riches" (Ephesians 3:8). A journey into forever awaits believers in our discovery of "so great salvation," provided by so great a price paid by the Lord Jesus in order to make available to trusting hearts the freest gift (Hebrews 2:3).
Presently, let us consider a particularly wondrous aspect of God's grace as it pertains to our innermost being and character. The issue involves our Heavenly Father's eternal purpose in Christ whereby He ever works in born again believers to make us like the Lord Jesus: "conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29). This involves the pure unselfishness of Divine love, a stark contrast to our native human disposition of self-centeredness. "All we like sheep are gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). Left to ourselves, we all ultimately look to our own benefit and self preservation. Salvation in Christ begins and continues God's working in us to transform our disposition from the unholy trinity of "I, Me, and My" unto the love that "seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5). This necessitates our redemption in terms of a free gift purchased by another because otherwise we would be required to maintain focus on our own well being. Indeed, were it the case that we had to work for salvation in either receiving or maintaining our standing with God, our main emphasis would have to remain upon ourselves. Conversely, because "freely ye have received," our hearts are able to set forth on a voyage of devotion to God and others (Matthew 10:8). The gift makes possible our escape from self-centeredness into the glorious light of God's loving devotion to others.
Our redemption in Christ removes our sins not only in the sense of pardoning us from condemnation, but also in freeing our hearts from the delusion of thinking we must somehow save ourselves. By emptying our hands of such a burden, God's grace frees us to "bear ye one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2). The freest gift liberates us unto unselfish dedication to God and others. Any other notion of how we might become and remain righteous fails the test. Only God's free gift in Christ relieves the burden of our sin, fills our hearts with our Lord's love, and enables us seek God's glory and the benefit of others because grace has led our hearts to rest.
"For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His."
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever."