When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the greatest gift of all: eternal life. This is the most precious gift of all: a gift is so wonderful, so precious, that it cost God the one thing He valued above all else: His only Son.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Eternal life is, indeed, a priceless gift. All else will get old, get used up or worn out, it may get stolen, or lost, or may just one day ruin and or rust away, but this gift is eternal. It will never grow old, never be used up, never be worn out, never be lost or stolen, and never ruin or rust away.
But even that most precious and wonderful gift is still not the extent of God's gifts to us, through Jesus Christ. For when we receive Jesus, and the gift of eternal life, we also receive many other gifts. Like smaller boxes packed into larger ones, His gifts to us are many and varied. But we cannot receive these other gifts without receiving the main gift, that of Jesus Christ, and the eternal life He alone offers.
In the book of Romans chapter 1, verses 1-5, we see seven of the wonderful gifts within the gift: other things we get when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The first gift within the gift of eternal life is justification. By faith, we are justified. What does that mean, exactly? In legal terms, it means the debt we owed has been paid in full, and we are free of any charges. Justified: "JUST as IF I'D" never sinned. "JUST as IF I'D" never done wrong. "JUST as IF I'D" been holy and spotless all along. That's what justified means. That's what Jesus did for us: made us justified, when He saved us from our sin. He paid the debt we could never pay, and we are free and justified.
And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:39)
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal. 3:24)
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)
The next gift within the gift is peace. We have peace in God. No matter what the circumstances surrounding us, we can rest in perfect peace, knowing that He is in complete control.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
In addition to peace in God, we also have peace with God. We have been justified, sanctified, forgiven, and made pure and blameless, thanks to the precious blood of Jesus. He makes us at peace with God. What a marvelous gift!
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God… (Eph. 2:14-16a)
The third gift we receive is access to God's grace, knowing that His grace is sufficient for all our needs. We don't need a mediator to have access to the very throne of grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man, so when we receive Christ, we have free access, any time, for any reason. And God is never too far away to hear, or too busy to listen.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5) In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Eph. 1:7)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. (II Cor. 9:8)
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:16)
Hope is the fourth gift we receive. Hope in the Biblical sense isn't merely wishful thinking or vain and useless dreaming. Biblical hope is the confident assurance that our God will fulfill all our expectations, just as He says He will in His holy Word. Hope in the Biblical sense is not just the knowledge that God CAN do something, it is the confidence that He WILL - that is our hope, and we will never be ashamed of that hope - God will always come through!
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Rom. 15:4)
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 15:13)
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, who has loved us, and has given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work. (II Th 2:16-17)
The fifth gift we receive is the gift of rejoicing . We can have joy in our hearts, even in the midst of trials and tribulations in our lives. Our joy doesn't come from things in this world, it is much deeper and therefore more meaningful than that. It is a joy based on our hope: God's promise for our future. Even if life on this earth is less than perfect, even if it is filled with pain, misery, and suffering, we rejoice in the assurance that this world is not our home; our home is in heaven with our Lord for all eternity. That knowledge puts our temporary difficulties in perspective, and we can rejoice in God's provision for His children, another one of His wonderful gifts within a gift!
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man can take from you. (John 16:22)
But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1Peter 4:13)
The sixth gift we receive is to be surrounded by the glory of God. We take delight in whatever glorifies Him; therefore we can not only endure tribulation, but actually rejoice in it, because we know we are not merely victims of circumstances. No, His word promises us that in Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors. We walk in His glory, made manifest in our lives by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God? (John 11:40)
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)
And speaking of the Holy Spirit within us, that is the seventh gift within a gift: the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit, who is the third portion of the Trinity, will lead us, teach us, guide us, remind us, intercede for us, and instruct us in all righteousness. He will comfort us, and will never leave us or forsake us. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our spiritual gifts, (see I Cor. 12:7-11) He also gives us the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance; these are more gifts within the gifts within the gift!
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. 3:16)
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, (Rom. 8:15-16)
Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our infirmities: for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom. 8:26)
When we receive the gift of the Savior, whose birth we celebrate this time of year, we receive many other gifts as well. Take a few minutes this Christmas to praise Him for the many wonderful gifts of Christmas.
And if you have never received the gift of eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as your own Savior, there is no better time to do so than right now, when we celebrate His birth. If you aren't sure what you need to do to be saved, visit this page on salvation that explains it very simply. Talk to your Pastor, or a good Christian friend. Or email me, and I will be happy to help you.
Won't you please accept this wonderful gift this Christmas? You'll receive more than you could ever imagine! Jesus is truly the gift that keeps on giving!