A Free G.I.F.T.

Let' Be honest...everyone Loves free stuff.

Free food, free clothes, free toys, etc. What if I were to tell you that the greatest gift in the history of mankind can be yours – absolutely FREE?! Sound too good to be true? Well, believe it. The greatest gift of all time is free, and it can be yours today. What is this free gift? It is the gift of eternal life. No, this is not a joke. It is not a myth, a fairy-tale, or a science fiction movie. This is reality. The Bible tells us…

"...the free Gift of God is eternal life in christ jesus our lord."
Romans 6:23

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."
Ephesians 2:8

Would you like to know how this free gift can be yours?
The word G.I.F.T. can be used to help us understand this amazing reality.

G = God

The Bible tells us many things about God. Two of the most important things the Bible tells us about God are…
  • God is Love - The Bible tells us that God is love, and that God loves each and every human being. He loves me. He loves you. He loves us regardless of what we have done, or what we have failed to do. In fact, nothing…absolutely nothing…will change the fact that God loves you. There is nothing we can do that will cause God to stop loving us or love us less. Pretty amazing, right?! (e.g. Exodus 34:6, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 8:38-39, I John 4:8)
  • God is Good – The Bible also tells us that God is good. However, by “good” I don’t mean “nice.” While God is most certainly good in that sense as well, I mean that God is morally good. God is perfect. He is righteous. He is just. Because God is morally good (i.e. perfect, righteous, just), He cannot condone what is evil, sinful, or wrong. (e.g. Deuteronomy 32:4, James 1:13, Revelation 16:7)

I = I Am A sinner

Now, for a little uncomfortable…yet obvious…truth. We are all sinners. Sin is the word the Bible uses to describe wrong-doing or disobedience to God. We have all done something wrong. Not one of us is perfect. We are the opposite of everything we have just said about God. We are NOT perfect. We are NOT righteous. We are NOT just. The Bible says it this way in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Is this uncomfortable? Yes. But is it obvious? Yes. (Isaiah 59:1-2, Romans 3:23)

Here is where the problem of our existence comes to light. If God is morally good and cannot condone what is sinful; how can we, who are sinful, have a relationship with Him? How can we, who are not perfect, have eternal life with a perfect God? The answer is forgiveness!

F = Forgiveness

Because God is love, He has made forgiveness available. However, it was not easy. While God loves us even while we are sinners, because He is just, He cannot simply ignore our sin. Justice requires that wrong-doing be punished. Our sin has created a “debt” that must be paid. However, because this debt is too great for us to pay, God paid it for us.

Approximately 2,000 years ago, God’s only Son, Jesus, left heaven and entered our world as a man. Being both fully God and fully man, Jesus did what no one else has ever been able to do…He lived a perfect, holy, and sinless life. He did absolutely nothing wrong. Jesus then did the unthinkable, He paid our debt. He allowed the sin of the world, our sin, to be placed upon Himself. Jesus was then punished, not for His sin but for our sin. He did this through His death on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, He did so as punishment and payment for all our sin.  (John 3:16, Hebrews 9:22, I Peter 2:24)

But the death of Jesus is not the end of the story. After dying on the cross as punishment for our sins, Jesus defeated death and the grave by rising from the dead. This is what we celebrate every Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not dead. He is alive. Furthermore, He promises that we too will rise from the dead and live for all eternity. (Matthew 28, I Corinthians 15:20-23, I Peter 1:3)

However, while God made this forgiveness available to all, He will not force it upon anyone. Just as we may refuse to accept a gift offered to us by another, we are free to reject God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation. How then do we accept this free gift?

T = Trust

The answer is trust…or what the Bible refers to as faith. In Ephesians 2:8 we read, “For by grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH.” The faith the Bible speaks of, the faith that is necessary to receive the free gift of eternal life with God, has four necessary components.

  1. Admit - First, we must admit that we are sinners. While this is often difficult to do, the evidence is clear. We are all sinners. We have all broken God's law. We have all rebelled against Him and done what we knew was wrong. Because of this sin, we cannot save ourselves.
  2. Believe – Second, we must believe. We must have faith that Jesus is who He says He is and that He did what He said He would do. We must believe that Jesus…God in the flesh…lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, rose on the third day, and will one day return to earth.
  3. Confess – Third, we must confess that Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior. In other words, based on what we believe, we choose to follow Jesus as our Lord, Savior, Teacher, and the ultimate authority in our life. The Scripture tells us in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
  4. Repent – Finally, we repent. Due to our belief in Jesus and our decision to confess Him as our Lord and Savior, we must of our sin. We ask God to forgive us for our past sins, and we strive to obey and please Jesus in our life going forward.
Would you like to accept the free gift of eternal life today?
You can do so right now by believing, confessing, and repenting.
If you would like to talk to someone about this decision, we would love to meet you.
Please feel free to contact me by phone (334-396-9811) or email (daniel@easternoaks.org).
Dr. Daniel Gillenwater
Senior Pastor