The gift had been paid for and delivered. The title already has his name on it. Yet, until he got in and turned the key he didn’t really own it. He could have assumed it to be a scam, payoff, or threat. He could have called the police and reported a missing vehicle. He could have called a taxi. Instead, he thanked God, got in, and drove away.
A great gift has been given to you. It has already been paid for and delivered. Many would like to argue how it all happened, let me tell you my opinion. We will use a familiar verse as our guide through this process.
God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son so that
everyone who believes in Him
will have eternal life.
1. Sovereignty of God. God is in charge. He is the author and finisher of your faith. He is the One who has furnished the gift. He has done it His way and elected that Jesus was the only path by which a person can receive forgiveness. Too often we feel that humanity is in control. The reality is that only God is sovereign. In that position He has chosen to allow humanity to decide whether to refuse or receive his sovereignty.
2. Sacrifice of God. Without a nominal understanding of the Old Testament, you might miss this significance. The covenant agreement in place demanded a blood offering to cover one’s sin. Because humanity had refused to honor this covenant, God was establishing a new covenant while simultaneously fulfilling the current one. A pure lamb had to be slaughtered for sin to be forgiven. This was required by God in light of the depravity of Man. When God gave His One and Only Son He was providing Himself as the sacrifice (Trinity).
3. Sufficiency of God. Jesus Christ’s death is sufficient for all mankind. There is not one person for which His death is insufficient. No human, who approaches in repentance by faith will be refused because of insufficiency. May we not twist the scripture to fit our theology! Jesus did not die for a few. He died for all! His death is sufficient for those who receive and refuse. Grace can be resisted. God has given you the freedom to follow His predetermined path or your own. While He knows what your decision will be, He has forced you to make that decision.
4. Supremacy of Christ. He rose from the dead 3 days later. He rose from the dead. Jesus called for Lazarus. God called for Jesus. He got up…and he walked away. How much more do you want? He was dead. Now He lives.
Living he loved me.
Dying is saved me.
Buried He carried my sins far away.
Rising He justified freely forever.
Someday He’s coming O glorious day!!!!!
So far God has done everything. Why? Because you and I have sin. Sin separates us. The reason for the sacrifice was to forgive sin. This was a gift. A free gift. God has given this gift to humanity. What you do with it is up to you.
5. Salvation is a Choice. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in this passage, He used an action word: Believe. Anyone who believes means that humanity has a part, albeit small, to play in this process. Mankind has done nothing to deserve this gift. Mankind, because of depravity, has no way of earning this gift. However, they can choose receive this gift or refuse this gift. Those who would suggest that Man has no choice has passed over this part. I include Acts 2 (repent) and Romans 10 (confess, believe) as further examples of the choice we must make. The “Sinner’s Prayer” does not do the saving. In fact, those words have no value eternally outside of them being a way you respond. It is in your choosing to receive this gift that a response comes into play. To pray a prayer like the “Sinner’s Prayer”, is to be an initial vocal response to what you have chosen to do in your heart. To vocalize this response helps to solidify it in your mind and give accountable support from the one helping you.
The gift has been wrapped and tagged. Will you receive it? Will you open it and experience the fulness of joy you’ve longed for your whole life?