Saturday, August 20, 2016

No Strings Attached

John 3:16 “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.

Have you ever given someone a gift with no strings attached, no expectation of thanks, no anticipation of reciprocation? If so, you have a small taste of Christ’s joy in giving salvation. Yet, we find it so hard to accept this gift of God at face value.

I read a story of a master craftsman who spent months constructing a beautiful coffee table out of the finest wood available for his friend. He carefully hand-planed, meticulous sanded, and scrupulously carved all manner of intricate designs around the sides and applied seventeen coats of varnish to the surface until it glistened like a mirror. The craftsman brought the table wrapped in a soft cloth to his friend and unveiled it. The table was a thing of consummate beauty. But the craftsman’s friend said, Oh, I think it is just magnificent, but I couldn’t simply accept it as a gift. You have done all the work. Surely I must do my part.” With that the friend picks up a piece of sandpaper to sand the table. The master craftsman grabbed his friend’s wrist and said, “Stop that! You’ll ruin it all. It is finished.”

Hebrews 9:26-28 “But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.”

So too is the great redemption of Jesus Christ has brought to this world. Christ bore our sin in His body on the cross. In John 19:30, just before He gave up His spirit, Christ said, “It is finished!” This is an interesting word in the original text. It is “Tetelestai”, a commercial word which means, It is paid; the debt is paid in full.” Now He offers heaven – eternal life – to you and me as a gift. We can add nothing; indeed. Christ’s sacrifice is perfect. Christ suffered infinitely upon the cross and paid an infinite price.

Hebrews 10:10 “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

The only “sacrifice” we can give to the Lord is a sacrifice of praise for what He has done. We’ll never be able to repay Him for our salvation. Stop trying to earn it. Just receive this “no strings attached” gift of God from Christ by faith with a heart full of gratitude. "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.”

In Christ, Brian

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