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Summary: This message looks at the greatest gift Christ can give us: salvation

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INTRODUCTION

* “Gifts You Won’t Find Under the Tree*

* The gift of salvation is unique because of its source: God himself

* Salvation is the greatest of all gifts: it is the greatest theme in Scripture (both OT and NT)

* Salvation is referred to as a gift for many reasons: our text points out three...

1. Salvation is a gift because of what is delivers us from (v. 1-3)

- Verse 1, “you were” = Before & After

A. Without this gift, we are dead (v. 1)

* Transgressions = falling aside when one should have stood upright

* Sins = to miss the mark; to wander from the right path; to do or go wrong

* Natural consequence of sin = death

* Spiritual death without God’s intervention

B. Without this gift, we are deceived (v. 2a)

* Our lives were lived with a sinful attitude; we were deceived by this world because the world is the enemy of God

* Without the first Christmas, we would still be deceived and unaware of our need for God

C. Without this gift, we are disobedient (v. 2b)

* Before Christ our nature and character was influenced by the spirit that prompts people to disobey God

* Our sin caused us to ignore and disobey the will of God for our lives

D. Without this gift, we are defiled (v. 3a)

* We were controlled by our natural desires: our flesh

* Nothing about our lives was acceptable - 100% defilement

E. Without this gift, we were doomed (v. 3b)

* “objects” = children by natural descent; born of sinful parents, into a sin-cursed world, with a nature bent to sin and exposed to God’s wrath

* Before Christ: without Christ, without God, and without hope = DOOMED

- We WERE...but we no longer have to be exposed to these things because of the gift of salvation

2. Salvation is a gift because of Who it points us to (v. 4-9)

- Verse 4, “But...” = the dark side of sin can be overcome by the work of Jesus Christ

- Salvation points us to Jesus Christ; what Paul said Christ gave us when he provided salvation for us...

A. With this gift, God gave us love (v. 4)

* John 3:16 = agape love

* Christ showed love by his mercy

* His mercy is continuous = Lamentations 3:22-23

B. With this gift, God gave us life (v. 5)

* We were dead, but now have life!

* John 5:24

C. With this gift, God gave us liberty (v. 6)

* Liberty = freedom from the power of sin

* Salvation gives us a new perspective on life

* Colossians 3:1-2

* Why God gives this gift (v. 7) = to point people to Jesus

* How God gives this gift (v. 8-9) = grace

3. Salvation is a gift because of what it encourages us to do (v. 10)

* Workmanship = a piece of art

* We do not serve in order to be saved, but because we have been saved

CONCLUSION

* Only thing keeping many from this gift is their choice to receive it...

* John 1:12


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