The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Everyone probably has received one of those gifts that you either will never use or ever wear. The person who gave it may have had the best intentions yet they just don’t know you. The best gifts are not only the ones that you want but the ones that you can keep on using.

What would be a gift that keeps on giving? Maybe it would be a gym membership, or a monthly jam or jelly subscription (yes, they do exist). At our house we joke that when someone is sick, it is a gift that keeps on giving, as the sickness gets passed around from person to person.

The best gift that one can ever receive is Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Cor. 9:15)! Paul uses the word inexpressible because our vocabulary fails to give the proper meaning of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

This gift is not a one time gift, but continuously is given to us through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This gift not only is presently given but it is for all eternity. How is Jesus the gift that keeps on giving? In the letter to the church in Galatia, Paul mentions the working of salvation or the gift of why Christ came?

He writes, But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV).

Galatians, which very similar to the book of Romans, addresses that aspect of why Christ came and what does it all mean? Jesus came, born under the law to save those who are under the law (Gal. 4:4-5). We can see three aspects to what Christ has done in this passage.

First,  The Gift of the Work of the Son 

At the perfect time, Christ came onto the scene both historically and personally. He did not came late or early but when the “fullness of time” came, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The same is true that the Gospel was presented to you and you believing and confessing Christ as Lord was part of God’s sovereign and perfect plan. 

The work that Jesus Christ, the Son gives us is adoption and redemption. Adoption in a Greco/Roman culture was significant. It usually happened when a wealthy man who didn’t have any children would then adopt one of his slaves. The slave then would become a child of the owner and receive the inheritance from the wealthy man. 

This is the picture of what God has done with us through Jesus Christ. We were the slaves to sin yet God in his grace and mercy through the work of Jesus Christ we have become not only free from sin but also adopted as God’s children. 

Second, The Gift of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the believer to be able to glorify God, proclaim the Gospel, and edify the saints. Yet, Paul isn’t referring to those gifts in this passage. He is referring to the ability to call out to God, “Abba Father.”

This calling out is a passionate plea with God that we can draw near to Him because of the work of the Holy Spirit. “Abba Father” is equivalent to saying “Daddy” or “Papa”. Jesus had this relationship with the Father and because of the work of Jesus we can too (Mark 14:36). 

Third, The Gift of Sonship

Paul reiterates in this passage in Galatians about the importance of adoption into the family of God. In verse 7 hr writes, “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” The strength of knowing that you went from a slave to a son or daughter of God is huge. You didn’t just go from a slave to a free person. You were brought to the nearest positionally relationally to God than ever possible because of what Jesus has done for us.

Sinclair Ferguson mentions the importance of  Sonship for the Christian by saying, “The notion that we are children of God, His own sons and daughters … is the mainspring of Christian living … Our sonship to God is the apex of creation and the goal of redemption” Not only as sons and daughters but as co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:16-17). 

Thank God for his inexpressible gift, Jesus Christ who keeps on giving now and forever!