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Unwrapping God's Gifts

Romans 5:1-9

Last week I talked about God’s Christmas List, and what he wanted us to give Him. This week we are going to look at the gifts that God has "under the tree for us" On Christmas morning in our house, at 6:00 a.m., we read the Christmas Story out of the Bible and then proceed to tear into our presents. We never stop to say, “do I really want to open this? No! As long as it has our name on it we open it. Well God has gifts with our name on it as well, we just have to open them. Why do we wait? Shouldn’t it be like on Christmas morning? The eagerness and excited anticipation on what you could be getting?

In our family, we always have gotten ‘one big gift’ and other smaller gifts from our mom and dad. Our Father God does the same. We all know the God’s big gift…that is the Gift of His Son Jesus (what could be bigger than that!) But there are other gifts He gives as well. They have our name on them, we just need to open them.

1.The Gift of Justification

"Therefore being justified by faith…" Romans 5:1a

Justification is God telling us that we are exempt from sin’s penalty, God’s judgment for sin, and made acceptable before God even though we are sinners.

Swindoll writes: "Justification is the sovereign act of God whereby He declares righteous the believing sinner--while he is still in a sinning state," in other words, while we still sin and have a sinful nature.

2. The Gift of Peace with God

"…we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" Romans 5:1b

"Peace with God" in essence means reconciled to God. It means the barriers of hostility and enmity that separated us from God, barriers like our sin, our spiritual death or lack of spiritual life have all been removed by the person and work of Christ. "Peace with God" means the peace of salvation through the Prince of Peace.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

"For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the midde wall of partition between us." Ephesians 2:14

Today, the root of the troubles of the world is not the failures of government, nor even the absence of money to finance new programs, but the fact that man is at enmity with God. What men need is "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." So, on that glorious night when He was born, the angels sang, "glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace."

3. The Gift of Access to God

"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:2

The apostle Paul reminds us here that there is one mediator between God and man, Jesus. So how do we come boldly before the throne of Grace to find grace to help in our times of need as the author of Hebrew (4:16) tells us to? Through Christ who has given us access into the very presence of the Almighty as believers in His Son.

Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30 issues this invitation:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Christianity is the way of ACCESS. Does this impress you? It should because all the other religions of the world shut man out from God; they provide no access to God. Why? Because they keep man from God by turning them away from Jesus Christ, because they do not seek to come to God by way of Jesus Christ.

4.The Gift of the Love of God and the Holy Spirit

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us." Romans 5:5

In the context of this passage, this is God’s love for us. The Apostle John expressed it like this,

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:9-10

God’s love gives assurance and removes fear and doubt or shame when we fail, and we all do, and so that it gives significance and meaning to life, is very much a work of the gift of the indwelling Spirit of God who assures our hearts of God’s endless and unconditional love.

In John 14 Jesus tells his disciples that He is going home to be with His Father, but he promises them the someone will come after Him.

"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:15-18

"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:25-26

5. The Gift of Deliverance From Wrath

"Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:9

Wrath here refers to the judgment of God that must be poured out on a Christ rejecting world. Notice carefully, the "much more" emphasis which follows the statement of verse 8, "that Christ died for us." This verse, like many others, promises that those who have put their trust in Christ will not come into judgment or face God’s wrath because Jesus Christ, our Savior, took God’s judgment in our place.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

Hardly anybody talks about the wrath of God but it is real and we need to acknowledge it.

I don’t know if you ever did this or not, but when I was little I use to beg mom and dad to let me open my presents early “just one?” I would ask. They never caved. I always had to wait until Christmas morning at 6:00 p.m. to open all my presents. The night before was always filled with excitement knowing Christmas was the next day, and I always seemed to have trouble sleeping wondering what about the presents that were waiting for me. We should be that excited about God’s gifts too, but the great thing is that God’s gifts are ours to unwrap whenever we want it, we just have to ask. Be like that child again, ready and eager to open His gifts.

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