Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Gift of God

Ephes. 2:8-10 (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

It is the gift of God. The gift of God, salvation by grace through faith. God gives us many gifts, but this is the gift. It is the most important gift. Even the faith by which we receive the gift is a gift itself. Faith is not our work, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. We have nothing to boast about but the gift of God that is salvation. They way little children boast about their Christmas gifts at Church on Christmas morning. That is we should share this gift with others, show them the gift, let them play with it. We don’t boast about ourselves, but about the gift. We did nothing to deserve it. God wants all to have this gift. That is one good work he has prepared beforehand for us to do, share the gift with others.
Christians do that by the way. They do share the gift with others. Not all have the gift of evangelism. I do believe this is a gift from God. I have a friend that seems to be able to walk by a guy on the street and convince him of the Gospel. We know it is the work of the Holy Spirit. No one knows that better than him. But wow is he proficient at it! The Holy Spirit seems to use him more than others. I don’t know why. Some of us have that particular gift more than others I suppose. It is a gift we all might pray for. But then there are gifts others have that he doesn’t, like organization and administration. God labels those as gifts of the spirit, administration. (1 Cor. 14:28) He even puts the gift of administration above the gift of tongues.
But there are gifts and then there is the gift. All who have faith in Christ have the gift. And we are incorporated into one body where those gifts converge. We are not Christians on our own. So in a sense all the gifts belong to us by virtue of us all sharing the same gift of faith and salvation. We work together using our gifts to the benefit of the whole. Some may be shy, not good at evangelism. They may even fell guilty about that. But yet they have other gifts they use to support the church. In doing this they support the work of the church. New members joining a local congregation are never the work of the pastor alone, or some gifted evangelist alone. It is the fruit of the work of the whole congregation, all those who support that congregation in prayer, with their gifts, their money, and their time. The Holy Spirit works through everyone in the church, everyone he has created in Christ Jesus for good works. And we do them most often when we aren’t looking, but always to the glory of God who has given us the gift of salvation, a gift that no one may boast .

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