Summary: Thanks to the Sermont Central Contributor for the "G.I.F.T." format. God’s gift of faith is a life altering gift.
God’s Gift is Imputed
I. When you open your gifts on Christmas morning, remember the word “Imputed.”
II. Think of the word “Imputed” as meaning,
A. Not given according to your own merits, but rather according to someone else’s.
B. In other words, I’m not getting a gift I deserve, but rather a gift that someone else deserves.
III. Think of it a bit like the Santa Claus song
A. How does the song go?
You’d better watch out,
You’d better not shout,
You better not cry.
I’m telling you why.
Santa Clause is coming to town.
He see’s you when your sleeping.
He knows when your awake,
He knows if you’ve been bad or good, SO,
Be good for goodness sake.
B. The idea being,
1. If you “good” you will get a good gift, which you deserve
2. If you are not so good, then, well, maybe a not so good gift.
IV. In the case of God’s gift, if I get what I deserve,
A. I’ll get something worse than coal.
B. If I get what I deserve, I get to remain in my death, which is eternally separated from God..
V. God’s gift is not based on me, but rather based on His great love.
VI. I. is for an Imputed Gift - "(2:8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— "
A. That is the good news about salvation.
1. Salvation is a gift that is presented through the preaching of the gospel.
2. A preacher tells you about Jesus Christ,
a. If you believe the message, and
b. If you offer yourself to God believing that God will save you, based on the goodness of Christ and not myself
3. Then you have unwrapped the gift of salvation.
a. You don’t have to put off salvation until you have had time to go home and fix a few things in your life.
b. You don’t have to clean up your act and them come back.
c. You can be saved right now simply because you believe the message.
VII. The gift of salvation is imputed, which means that you can’t buy it, either. God’s Gift is A Free Gift
I. Ephesians 2, verse 9 states that God’s gift of salvation is given, “not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
Many people see religion as man’s attempt to appease God, and thus gain His approval.
A. If I go to church, God will be happy with me, and thus I gain His approval.
B. If I give to charitable deeds, God will be happy with me, and thus I gain His approval.
C. If I take a position in the church, God will be happy with me, and thus I gain His approval.
D. If I sing worship songs, and pray with feeling, God will be happy with me, and thus I gain His approval.
E. If the good stuff I do, outweighs the bad, God will be happy with me, and thus I will gain His approval.
II. Ephesians 2, verse 9 however makes it very clear,
A. God’s approval is not based on our own good stuff.
B. Truth be told, in actuality, salvation is not “free.”
1. Salvation requires perfection,
2. God’s approval, and thus our entrance into heaven requires not simply our good outweighing out bad,
3. God’s approval requires perfection.
4. Thus Romans 3, beginning in verse 23 is written, - 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
III. God’s gift of salvation is a free gift, as far as our need or ability to earn it, but make no mistake, eternal life was earned.
A. It was earned when the perfectly sinless, Jesus Christ went to the cross.
B. Salvation was earned by Christ, imputed to us through faith in Christ, and credited to us as a free gift, by God Himself.
C. The only work required of us is belief. God’s Gift Is A Transforming Gift
I. Finally, God’s gift is a transforming gift.