The Gift of God

Eternal life… is it really a gift?  If you are like most people you have always heard that you have to do something for God to accept you.  After all, doesn’t being a Christian mean that you have to do certain things and not do other things?  Or maybe you’ve reasoned, “I’m a pretty good person, I’m certainly a lot better than my neighbor who…” – add whatever sin you want.  The truth is that the Bible says we are all guilty, or have missed the mark, when it comes to being good enough for God to accept us.

So how do we remedy this position of guilty before God?  Men have come up with many ways they think will lead to a right standing with God.  I’ve listed a few of them in the diagram below:

God’s Way Man’s Way
  ?

 

1.  Be good 

2.  Keep the law, 10 commandments

3.  Give money

4.  Do good deeds

Let’s take a moment to see what God says in the Bible about each of these solutions.

  1.   Be Good

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”  Romans 3:23    To sin means to miss the mark or fall short of God’s standard.  So none of us are good enough to earn God’s favor.             

  1. Keep the 10 Commandments

“…a man is not justified by the works of the law … since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”     Galatians 2:16   ” For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.   James 2:10  Even if we could perfectly do everything according to the law we would still not be acceptable to God.  The truth is we have all broken the law at some point and we have become guilty according to the law.

  1.   Give Money – 

“…you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…”   1 Peter 1:18-19  You cannot buy your way into heaven.

     4.  Do Good Deeds

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness…”       Titus 3:5     Even the good deeds we do for others will not help us in any way earn our way to heaven.

We could add any number of other things to this list and in every case it would not earn God’s favor.  So how do we receive God’s gift of eternal life?

Let’s look at our diagram one more time and see what God’s way of salvation looks like:

God’s Way Man’s Way
Believe!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

John 6:47

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved…

Acts 16:31

1.  Be good

 

 

2.  Keep the law, 10

commandments

 

3.  Give money

 

 

4.  Do good deeds

 

Isn’t that amazing?  That God tells us that we can have eternal life, a relationship with Him that lasts forever, by simply believing in Jesus Christ!  So what does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ?

We need to understand who He is and what He did.  The Bible is very clear that Jesus is God.  Because of His love for us he became a man.  This is why we celebrate Christmas!  In Matthew 1:23 we read, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us.'”  Jesus Himself said, “I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)  Jesus was the only human who has ever lived that was sinless.  He was God in human flesh.

We also must understand what He did!  Jesus, by His death on the cross paid the penalty for sin and allows God to offer us eternal life as a gift. His resurrection from the dead proved He was who he said He was (God in the flesh) and that He did what He said He would do (pay for all sin)! Christ’s shed blood was the payment, and only acceptable payment, to God for our sin.  “And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  (Hebrews 9:12)  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  (II Corinthians 5:21)

To believe in Jesus is to be persuaded that He is the Christ, the Son of God and that He offers you eternal life, eternal salvation, as a gift.  In John 6:47, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”  Christ died and rose again- that’s history; Christ died for me – that’s salvation!  If you do not know that you have eternal life why not believe in Jesus right now?  When you believe the Bible says that God gives you His gift of eternal life.  Hear what these verses say:

 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)

“For by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The word for gospel means good news!  What better news could there be than this; “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

So let’s return to our original question.  Is eternal life really a gift?  The answer is YES!  It is a gift that you receive by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ.  Once you believe you become a child of God and are declared righteous in His sight because of what His Son, Jesus, did for you.

As His child, you begin a journey, a walk with God.  You don’t travel the road by rules and regulations and law but by a relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Because you are a child and possess eternal life, you can never lose your salvation.  You may lose your fellowship by not walking in the proper relationship with God but the Bible is clear that eternal life is just what it says; eternal!

If we can help you better understand God’s amazing gift and how you can become His child forever, please contact us.

Forever in His Grace,

Kenny Hodges

kennyebc [at] gmail [dot] com