Summary: A sermon on 2 Corinthians 9:15 talking about the gift of gifts (Outline and material adapted from Charles Spurgeon's sermon called "Praise God for the gift of gifts" at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/2247.htm)
During a British conference on comparative religions several decades ago, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C.S. Lewis arrived. “What is this meeting about?” he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. In his straightforward manner Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.” The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge seems to go against every instinct of humanity.
In this passage, Paul is stirring up the Christians at Corinth to be ready with liberal gifts for the poor saints at Jerusalem.
He finishes by reminding them of a greater gift than any they could bring.
Let men give as liberally as they may, we can always proclaim the value of their gift; but God’s gift is unspeakable, unthinkable, indescribable.
We cannot fully estimate the value of what God gives. Daniel Austin- I happened to be flipping channels the other evening and came across one of those “reality” shows (I don’t really know which one it was) and in this particular moment one of the people involved in this particular show was agonizing over the purchase of a gift for someone else on the show, it was very important that just the right gift be given to impress this other person. The drama captured my attention for a couple of minutes until I had the thought “really, how important can one gift be?” after which I surfed on.
The main emphasis here is on giving we are not going to talk about giving of time or money. I want us to dwell upon this one verse. 2 Cor. 9:15
Thesis: Tonight we are going to discuss three things in connection with God’s grace: 1) Salvation is the gift of God 2) This gift is unspeakable 3)Thanks should be given for this gift.
1. Salvation is the gift of God.
A. Salvation is possible because of grace. Without God’s mercy and grace through Jesus Christ, we would all be condemned.
B. We need to preach this truth again and again. We often forget.
C. Self-righteous people, people who do not understand the concept of grace.
D. What is grace? Unmerited, or undeserved favor. A gift that we do not deserve. Favor bestowed when wrath is owed.
E. I have been studying some material on the Old Testament lately. This book emphasizes retribution theology that is found a lot in the Old Testament. This is best shown in Deuteronomy 28. This is addressed to the Israelites. Vs. 1-14 of this chapter talks about the blessings of obeying the covenant; Vs. 15- 68 talks about the curses that will be in store for the Israelites if they disobey the covenant given by the Lord. Much of the OT illustrates both the blessings when the Israelites obeyed the covenant and the curses that came upon the Israelites when they disobeyed the covenant. The New Testament also talks about this spiritual law in a succinct fashion in Galatians 6:7: A man reaps what he sows.
F. The commentary on the OT that I have been studying gives some exceptions to this law. Ecclesiastes and other places in the OT talk about how this law sometimes does not seem to be in effect in some instances.
G. As I was thinking about a man reaping what he sows, I thought of the New Testament. We should all be thankful that we do not reap what we sow when it comes to our eternal salvation. Ezekiel 18 says that the soul who sins will die. Romans tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That being the case then all will die and suffer death in all its forms, spiritually, physically and eternally. But through Jesus Christ we don't get what we deserve, we get mercy. We also get a gift that we don't deserve and that is grace. We are not able to sow for our salvation but we reap eternal life. No matter how many exceptions we find in the OT, I think this one fact from the NT is worth praising God for. This does not negate retribution theology, but if that is all there is we would all be in big trouble.
2. This gift is unspeakable.
Unspeakable King James; indescribable NIV; Inexpressible English Standard
Does this mean that we cannot speak about it? Heavens no!
C. In other words it is inexhaustible. Can speak of it for years and not tell of it all!