The Gospel Gift

What God Gives Us

The Gift of Remembering

We all love gifts. Many of us opened unique gifts today that we’ll be very fond of for the foreseeable future. Some opened very useful things we didn’t want to buy for ourselves, like socks or plates or all the chocolate from our kid’s fundraiser that we already ate. Others opened gifts that they have no idea what to do with (because they don’t know what it is).


As people come to faith in Christ, there’s an emotional wave and rush of things happening. They tell family, meet new people, get baptized, join a church, are showered with small group recommendations, and much more. It can be overwhelming, and in the midst of it, lose sight of what the gospel is. They fall into the third category we mentioned above. And it’s not just new believers, even Peter lost sight of the truth of the gospel and needed to be reminded of it (Gal 2:14). 


So let's follow in Paul's steps and remind ourselves of what the gospel is.

The Gospel is the Means

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16)


There is more balled up in the word salvation, but it will be enough to focus on forgiveness. Jesus paid for all of our sins, past, present, and future! He then gave us all of his righteousness. We’re not just found innocent, we’re seen as perfect. We go from a righteousness deficit to a surplus, an abundance. 


This radical forgiveness and gift of perfection is called justification by theologians. The London Baptist Confession of Faith defines justification this way: but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone.


Perfection is ours by no merit of our own. We come empty handed and leave with riches of righteousness. What do we gain by being forgiven? What is this gift for?

God is the End

There are really only two religions. The first chapter Romans shows us that we either worship God or worship creation. We are worshiping beings - we can't not worship - the question becomes, "what do we worship?" One author gives us this scenario to discern a bit about our hearts: 


The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?


Power, fame, money, relationships, food, sports, comfort, security all come with promises of satisfaction. Idols are often good things we try to make God things, but they can’t satisfy our deepest desires or needs. 


“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” (1 Peter 3:18)


Forgiveness is so that we might turn from idols to know, worship, and love God himself. Jesus even said that eternal life is to know the One True God and Jesus Christ whom he sent (John 17:3). Forgiveness isn’t for the sake of having our sins taken care of so we can go to heaven and avoid hell. Forgiveness is about removing sin, guilt, and shame, so that we can enjoy God.


Where Adam sinned and clothed himself physically to hide his fault. Jesus obeyed and clothed us with his excellence spiritually, so we can be with God.

Glory!

There are people in every society that have higher status than others. Whether it's justified or not, it is true. Some people are famous just for being famous. Certain people are famous just because they're attractive. Others have roles in society that carry special weight, like a governor or president.


These people have a unique "glory" to them that makes encounters with them special. You would be bewildered if your favorite music artist or political pundit called you and invited you to lunch. In the economy of "glory," no one outweighs the King of King and Lord of Lords, but the gospel gives us direct and unrestrained access to him forever.


The invitation of this Christmas morning is to see the gospel of the glory of Christ and what we've been given in him. Rejoice in forgiveness and celebrate the God we've come to know.

Hail the King - Citizens

Hail the King - Citizens and Saints


[Verse 1]

We have been justified

By faith through Jesus Christ

It’s only by his grace we stand

Once bound by sin and shame

Now slave to righteousness

Our faith perfected by his love


[Chorus 1]

Praise the Savior, he has won

Our sin defeated, through his blood

Now exalted, Jesus reigns

Hail the King, praise his name!


[Verse 2]

While we were weak he died

Making us reconciled

To God for all eternal days

And even in our fading flesh

Our only hope and rest

Is found in faith that Jesus saves


[Chorus 1]

Praise the Savior, he has won

Our sin defeated, through his blood

Now exalted, Jesus reigns

Hail the King, praise his name!


[Chorus 2]

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the Glory of God


[Bridge]

Our hope of glory is

Found in the one who gives

Great joy to sing about

The love that He poured out

Forever lifted high

Is our Savior Jesus Christ

The gift of God given in love


[Chorus 1]

Praise the Savior, he has won

Our sin defeated, through His blood

Now exalted, Jesus reigns

Hail the King, praise His name!


[Chorus 2]

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God!

We rejoice in the Glory of God