A Gift Wrapped in Flesh
Originally preached by Pastor Jonathan Laye, December, 2013
People are caught up in buying gifts to give to family and friends during this Christmas season. After putting thought and effort into finding the perfect gift, traditional wrapping paper may seem slightly unoriginal. For givers who wish to add extra flair to their gifts, consider wrapping the present in an unusual manner. Whether you get creative with your wrapping paper or use an interesting container to hold the gift, recipients are sure to appreciate the extra effort. One of the quintessential elements of gift giving is the presentation. Let us remember that the celebration of Christmas is all about the perfect gift that has been given to all mankind. A gift wrapped in perfection and sent in the most exquisite container that has ever been presented by a gift giver to a recipient.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” NKJ
Notice the motivation for God’s gift to mankind: His gift giving was based on His love for man. (Hope that is it’s own motivation for giving)
- Notice God loves the whole world, not just the good ones in the world. He loves the:
Vile person, wife beater, thief, oppressor, murderer, child abuser,
alcoholic, enslaver, immoral person, prostitute, street person,
- The basis of God’s love is His nature, “God is love.” (I John 4: 8, 16 NKJ) Therefore, He loves. He acts, demonstrates, and shows His love and that is His motivation for His gift. To love everyone is just natural for Him.
- Notice that love acts; it expresses itself. Love does not sit still, doing nothing, therefore His gift. Too many times we tell folks we love them but never do anything about it.
Notice the purpose for God’s gift of love, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- The purpose of God’s gift is: to save men:
- To save men from perishing (facing judgment, being condemned and suffering separation from God and loved ones.
- To save men to eternal life (a life of eternal joy and peace in the presence of a righteous God).
- To save men through belief in His gift. His love for man is fulfilled when man looks on God’s gift and embraces Him by faith.
Notice the Gift, “His only begotten Son.”
1. God demonstrated His love for man with the gift of perfection, His Son.
- He was sinless.
- He was filled with all power to fulfill all of man’s needs.
- He gave His all, His only Son. He could not have given any more than His Son. Jesus was the ultimate gift to man, the most costly gift God could give.
- He could have created and given another beautiful garden but that wasn’t good enough.
- He could have made another universe but that wasn’t good enough.
- He could have given each man a thousand angels to watch over them, but that wasn’t good enough.
- Jesus, His only Son, was the only gift good enough to be given equally and fully to each and every person who would ever live.
2. When God gave (edoken) the gift of His Son, it was twofold, He gave His Son to the world, and He gave His Son to die. His gift was a sacrifice for Him, a sacrifice of great cost. Have we ever given a sacrificial gift to someone?
- He gave His Son to be separated from Him, allowing Jesus to leave His presence, to leave the majesty and glory, worship and honor of heaven and sending Him to a world that was:
Fallen, rebellious, dark, hostile, bitter, depraved, revolting,
Full of wrath, angry, selfish, wicked, apostate, immoral
- He gave His Son to die for the sins of men, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;” Isaiah 53: 5(a) NKJ
- “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5: 6 KJ
- “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” II Corinthians 5: 21 NKJ
God Wrapped His Ultimate Gift To Man In Flesh
“And the Word became 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 NKJ
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,” Romans 8: 3 NKJ
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2: 7 KJ
- We could adore God’s gift wrapped in flesh as a little baby in a manger.
- We can stand in awe of God’s gift wrapped in flesh as a great healer.
- We stand amazed at God’s gift wrapped in flesh as a great teacher of truth.
- But we stand aghast of God’s gift wrapped in flesh bloody and beaten and hanging on a cross, condemned for the sins of all mankind, yet that was the very reason for God’s gift of love to the human race.
I am compelled to cry out with the Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.” II Corinthians 9: 15 KJ