By: Senator Bill Heath (R-Bremen)
After the Bremen First Baptist Church Christmas Musical on December 9th, our pastor, Herman Parker made the following remarks. I was immediately compelled to share his words with you. Maybe this will help you keep the true purpose of the Christmas season in mind.
“In 2 Corinthians chapter 9, the apostle Paul was talking about the grace of giving. The last verse of that chapter says, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” The month of December is a month of giving. More gifts will be exchanged this month than at any other time of the year. It is a wonderful thing to be able to give. The bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive.
But, I want to say just a word about that unspeakable gift that God gave. His motive was pure. Sometimes we give gifts with the wrong motive. We give out of obligation or of necessity or maybe for expediency. We may not want to give the boss a gift, but we feel like we have to. We may not want to give our friend a gift but they gave us a gift last year. It may be to my advantage to give, so I give to get. Our motives are not always pure when we give.
But, when God gives, his motive is always pure. The Bible says that God so loved the world that he gave. He didn’t have to give. Nobody made him give. He was under no obligation to give. He gave because he wanted to. He wanted to give because he loves. His motive is pure. His gift is priceless. Sometimes we give inexpensive gifts; sometimes we give gifts that are quite expensive. But no gift has ever cost anybody as much as the gift that God gave. You see the Bible says that He has given to us eternal life. The wages of sin is death, the apostle said. But, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Lord himself said, “I know my sheep and they hear my voice and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life, they will never perish.” But that gift of salvation, that gift of abundant life, that gift of triumphant life, that gift of eternal life, did not come cheaply. God gave his son, and our choir has sung about that. He came as a baby. He grew up into manhood, living a perfect life, never committing a single act of sin, no evil thought, no evil word, no evil step, no evil deed, his life was impeccable. It was perfect in every way. And yet God gave him to this world to die. And he died on a cruel cross. He died not because of any wrongs he had done. But you see, for God to give us eternal life and salvation, somebody had to pay for our sin.
Our God is a holy God. In fact, He is so holy that His justice must be inflexible. And inflexible justice says that no sin can go unpunished. God cannot allow any sin to go un-judged. All sin must be punished. If God excused one sin, if He overlooked one sin, if He ignored one sin it would do violence to His holy character. He said all sin must be judged. So either we had to be judged for our sins or somebody who had never sinned could be judged for our sins. That is why Jesus died. He who knew no sin became sin for us and died in our place.
What a price the gift cost God. The need for that gift is universal. We all need it. I need it, you need it. For the Bible says we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. And unless you receive that gift from Him you cannot be forgiven your sin. You cannot go to heaven without receiving the gift of salvation – the gift of eternal life.
How do I do that? Well, the Bible says eternal life is through Jesus Christ our Lord. You can’t separate eternal life from him. You have to receive Him to receive eternal life. You do that by confessing that you are a sinner. Lord, I know I have sinned; I have come short of your glory. You must also acknowledge that Jesus died on the cross for your sin, He was raised from the grave to live forever more and he stands as undisputed Lord. How do I receive the gift of salvation? By repenting of my sin, and by faith, trusting what He did at the cross and inviting Him to be Lord of my life.”
If you haven’t received the unspeakable gift, I pray that you receive it this Christmas.