Matthew 1:21, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”
What makes the gospel such good news? The Apostle Paul summarized it in Ephesians 3:8 as “the unsearchable riches [or gifts] of Christ.” Thus, those who receive the living Christ into their lives are free to enjoy His spiritual riches. I submit to you that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has gifted us with:
(1) HIS PRESENCE
The Son of God dwelt in a perfect Heaven, surrounded by myriads of angels eager to do His bidding. God the Son had access to everything, was everywhere present, knew everything, and could do anything He chose to do. However, in spite of all this, He chose to leave Heaven to live among sinful humanity as Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23); Philippians 2:5-7). Called by the human name Jesus, the Son of God gave us the gift of His actual presence among us on earth.
He came as an infant, dependent on a human mother to feed Him and wipe His nose. He came in poverty; His birth took place in a stable. His country was occupied by the Romans, a brutal foreign power. Despite all these indignities, He purposed to live a human life on earth
(2) ETERNAL LIFE
On earth, He sacrificed His body and blood to pay for our sin that we might have eternal life with Him. Jesus said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hatch everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). The only person to ever live a human life worthy of Heaven came to redeem us so that we might receive forgiveness from God, be clothed with His righteousness, and one day join Him in Heaven. We, who were dead in trespasses and sins, can be made spiritually alive and be united with God the Father through the God-Man, Jesus the Christ. He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
(3) LIVING HEARTS
We are all born spiritually dead, with spiritual hearts of stone. “A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh,” God promised through the prophet Ezekiel. “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:26, 27). “I am come that they might have life,” Jesus Christ declared in various times and ways (John 10:10, 28; 5:24; 6:63).
My brethren, when we receive Christ’s gift of eternal life, God gives us spiritually living hearts. We are transformed from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive, in right relationship with the living God. We can now develop and grow in the likeness of our Lord, and put forth spiritual fruit for Him (John 15:1-5; Galatians 5:22, 23). Our hardhearted selfishness ebbs as our desire to help others grow.
(4) EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS
The God, who cares, cares for us and every one of our needs. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). The promise of 2 Peter says God has given unto us, His children, everything we need for our physical and spiritual lives while on this earth.
After giving my life to Jesus Christ, my wife and I brought our needs to the Lord in prayer, and He never failed to provide for an actual need. As we cast our physical and material cares upon Him, our Lord kept showing His care for our lives (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus also provides everything we need for godliness. He sends His Holy Spirit to be our guide and comforter. He provides grace through the hard times. He indwells all believers. Even in our temptations we are not alone. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
(5) OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE HIM
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” Jesus showed us the way. He served the Father with everything He had. He gives us the honor and privilege to serve Him as His messengers, ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Jesus saves, but He invites us to carry His message to people everywhere, near and far. He has good works planned for us to do for Him. We honor Him by pursuing those good works (Ephesians 2:10). So, let’s celebrate Christ’s birth each day by remembering the gifts He has given us and by devoting ourselves to honoring Him with our lives.
The Apostle Paul’s passion for the Ephesian believers was that they might realize, like we should, that all their and our needs could be met by Christ’s resources. He prayed for them and asked God the Father to give them spiritual strength, close fellowship with Christ, and better understanding of His love for them, resulting in greater Christlikeness (Ephesians 3:16-19). He prayed because he believed our God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Galatians 3:20). Thus, our additional riches in Christ would be:
(1) A LOVE that can never be fathomed; (2) A LIFE that can never die; (3) A PEACE that can never be understood; (4) A REST that can never be disturbed; (5) A JOY that can never be diminished; (6) A HOPE that can never be disappointed; (7) A GLORY that can never be clouded;
(8) A HAPPINESS that can never be interrupted; (9) A LIGHT that can never be extinguished; (10 A STRENGTH that can never be overcome; (11) A BEAUTY that can never be marred; (12) A PURITY that can never be defiled; and, (13) RESOURCES that can never be exhausted.
Are you enjoying Christ’s gifts and riches? Or are you pushing on in your own strength? Paul’s prayer gives us reason to be thankful. God has everything we need!
Meekness and majesty – perfect description
Of Jesus our wonderful Lord;
Humbling Himself to obtain our redemption,
Our Savior forever adored. – Hess
THE HIGH AND HOLY ONE BECAME THE MEEK AND LOWLY ONE