Monday, December 15, 2014

Growing In Grace and Knowledge -- “The Father Sent the Son to Be the Savior of the World” (1 John 4:14)

In a world that is continuing to march toward God’s historic and prophetic purposes, we would do well to stop and remember John’s words above.  Those words bring us comfort; those words bring us hope; those words remind us that we are not alone, and that evil does not triumph in the end.

The Sovereign God of the universe, in an act of amazing sacrificial love, provided for mankind an escape from the judgment, punishment and condemnation that is due him because of his unending sin.  God was neither required nor obligated to do so.  John, in his gospel, tells us that the motive for God sending the Savior of the world was love, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).  Despite the wicked and rebellious ways of mankind, God’s love compelled Him provide the way of salvation for all those who would believe and receive His son, Yeshua (Jesus), the Savior of the world. 

Paul reminds us that it is, “by grace you have 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,” (Eph. 2:8-9).  “Grace,” unmerited favor; God giving us something that we don’t deserve:  eternal life through the Savior of the world.  “Grace,” unmerited favor; God giving us something that we don’t deserve:  forgiveness of ALL our sins, past, present and future (Col. 2:13b).

As Paul points out, “it is the gift of God.”  We understand the word “gift,” especially this time of year.  A gift is something that we give to others to celebrate a special occasion and to bring them joy.  A gift is also something we receive from others without the offer of payment.  It’s a “gift” – not a purchase. 

God’s “grace-gift” to all who will believe and receive Jesus as their Savior is salvation (rescue) from the judgment, punishment and condemnation that we deserve.  We can neither earn nor buy this salvation, for if we could, then there would be reason for us to “boast” about our accomplishments.  It is the “gift of God, not of works.”

The Savior of the world, Jesus, makes this very clear, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” (John 5:24).

This is the true gospel.  This is the ultimate “gift,” the one that should bring us the greatest joy:  God has provided the Savior to save us from ourselves; to save us from our sin; to save us from judgment and eternal condemnation.  Praise the Lord!  

This time of year we sing the songs of Christmas in celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world and rightly so.  However, in keeping with the theme of this article, allow me to close with some lyrics that have been special to countless believers; lyrics that will remind us of this amazing gift that the Father has given to us.

How Great Thou Art
“And when I think of God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.”

And Can It Be
“Amazing love!  How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world,” (1 John 4:14).

What greater gift could be given? 

May the Lord bless you as you and your families as you celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world.