Think of your favorite Christmas gift – the best Christ gift you ever received. What if I told you that there was a Christmas gift out there that surpasses your favorite Christmas gift? In today’s sermon, I want to focus on the best Christmas gift ever. My thought today comes from a couple of scriptures that Paul wrote in his letter to Rome.
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one[b Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’sRomans 5:18-19 NKJV
obediencemany will be made righteous.
When me and my brother were little, back in 1996, Nintendo had released the N64 (Nintendo 64) in America. We were obsessed with that video game console. Every time our parents would take us to Walmart, we would go to the electronics section just to play the console. So, when our parents asked us what we wanted for Christmas, we responded, “N64!”
My dad was a funny man! Of course many saw the pastor but
Long story short, on Christmas morning there was this big box sitting in front of the tree because it was too big to sit under the tree. I and my brother were absolutely thrilled to get that N64 and to this day that is the best Christmas gift I ever received. I don’t know if you have a “best Christmas gift” story but I hope you do!
The free gift that came to us
You see, the best Christmas gifts gives us pure happiness and joy. We are left with absolute wonderful memories of the the feeling that the gift brought us in the moment we ripped off the gift wrapping paper. With all of that in mind, I want you to know that there is a gift that trumps and surpasses the best Christmas gift you ever received.
That gift, Paul says to us, is a free gift that that came to all men; this gift was bearing justification of life to all men (v.18). I want you to understand that we did not have to work (labor) for this gift nor did we have to purchase this gift. Paul says to us that this gift was a free gift. We love free things right? I know I love things that are given to me and I didn’t have to buy it!
So, what’s the gift that was given to all men? Let’s understand this gift and why this gift was given to us.
Here’s what Paul says at the start of a passage of scripture you should read (Romans 5:12-21):
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—Romans 5:12 NKJV
Before this gift was given to mankind, there was something else that was given to mankind – sin. Through one man (Adam), Paul writes, sin entered the world. You and I are both sinners from the time we are formed in the womb of our mothers. Sin is wickedness to the Lord’s righteousness and so it separates us from the Lord.
Though sin was given to us, it does not necessarily sound like a gift. Why is that? Well sin leads to death – not the physical death that awaits all life, but spiritual death. This is why Paul writes about the offense leading to death, and that death reigned from Adam (v.13-14). However, Paul introduces to us the free gift when he says:
15 But the free gift is not like the [eoffense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.Romans 5:15 NKJV
Paul states right away that the free gift is not like the offense (sin). Why is that the case? Sin brought spiritual death to many people, however, the free gift came through the grace of God. So, let’s understand that the reason for the given of the free gift is due to the fact that sin entered into the world. Let’s notice that Paul also states to us that sin did not come from the Lord (God) because the free gift is not like the offense (sin). Let’s also notice that Paul tells us that the free gift is Jesus Christ. Through Christ life abounds to many where the offense (sin) brings death to many.
I am certain that many of you knew this already – you knew that Jesus is the best Christmas gift ever. So, I want to dive deeper into this gift. I want you to truly see what it is that God has given to you.
The gift of God’s grace
Over in the letter to Ephesus, we see Paul expound even more on his thoughts about the gift of God. Paul writes:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
You see, Paul tells us that the gift of God was given through the Lord’s grace. For by grace are you saved through faith, is what Paul writes to us. Understand, there is nothing that you have done for you to be saved from the offense (sin). God loved mankind, so He gave mankind His only begotten Son so that we can have everlasting life (John 3:16). God’s love is a gift!
Recently, I shared some bible studies on the subject of love that you should check out if you have not done so already. Our love is based on human emotion. The Greeks have several words for love; the one’s we are familiar with include eros, philia, and storge – these are loves of the world. However, the Lord’s love cannot be of the world because He is not of the world. God is not human, He is spirit. Therefore, God’s love does not come from a place of human emotion.
God’s love is an action that is unconditional. The Greeks called the love of gods as agape. Paul introduced to the Greeks the one true God, and over time we saw the way of Christ spread through Greek culture. So, today, we say that agape love is the love of God – love in the highest form. This is the love that we are to strive for. This is the love that God showed to mankind when He gave mankind His only begotten Son.
The personification of God’s love
Understand this, God gave of Himself. God’s love was personified and manifested in the form of Jesus Christ – the Messiah. Let us understand that when God gave us Christ, He gave to us His love – that agape love. The best Christmas gift to us includes that love that we should possess because God gave it to us freely.
Now, there’s more to this gift than even the agape love. For you to see this, we’re going to go to the gospel according to John. John writes to us:
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:John 1:12 NKJV
The Him that John writes about in this scripture is Jesus Christ – the free gift. So, let’s understand what John has written here. John says to us, that those who received Jesus – the free gift – to them, Jesus gave the right to become children of God! Do you see how amazing and how wonderful this gift is from God? Do you see why I and many will agree that Jesus is the best Christmas gift ever? He gives us a right to claim God as our Father!
Rights: a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something.
Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
We are, through our faith in Christ, entitled to everlasting life with the Lord! See, everybody is going to have an everlasting life, but everybody will not have an everlasting life with the Lord. Through grace we have faith in Christ, and He gives us the right to everlasting life in God’s heaven – what a wonderful Christmas gift!
Use the gift
Years ago, I would preached about how people would not even open the gift that God had given to them. One thing I have come to realize is that many people actually do open the gift but they do not use the gift! This is a major problem. God, through Christ, has given to us agape love, salvation, and everlasting life. We cannot open the gift, see that it is a nice gift, and then put the gift back up under the tree.
My mom, when she open her gifts for Christmas, likes to put her gifts back under the tree. I’m not sure if this is a mom thing, a women thing, or if others do this as well. My cousins told me that one of my aunts do this as well, and evidently their mom (my grandma) did this too. I don’t wait to use my gift, I start using them right away!
Well, we as genuine believers can’t leave Jesus under the Christmas tree (or inside of us). You see, we open the gift, take Jesus out the box, and simply keep Him to ourselves (of course metaphorically speaking). Well, the Lord is not a sit still God – He moves. Therefore, we should also move as well – use the gift!
We will go a whole year, from January to December, and not spread any kind of love. When Christmas time comes rolling around, we say, “give love at Christmas”. Let’s not wait to use what the Lord has given us for one time of the year – let’s use what God has given us for the entire year. The best Christmas gifts don’t stay under the tree! We have been given the best Christmas gift ever, so let us use this gift – share Him with others!