Summary: Receive Christ’s gift of His Spirit, who delivers you, who dwells within, and who directs you to know God intimately.
Just a few days before Christmas one year, a postal worker at one of the main sorting offices found an unstamped, handwritten, messy envelope addressed to God. Curious, he opened it and discovered that it was from an elderly woman who was in great distress because all of her savings – $200 – had been stolen. As a result, she wouldn’t have anything to eat for Christmas.
The man went to his fellow postal workers and took up a collection for the woman. They all dug deep and came up with $180. Putting the money in a plain envelope, with no note or anything, the postal workers sent it by special courier to the woman that very day. A week later, the same postal worker noticed another unstamped letter that had been addressed to God in the same handwriting. In it, he found a brief note:
Dear God, thank you for the $180 that you sent me for Christmas, which would have been so bleak otherwise. P.S. It was $20 short, but that was probably those thieving workers at the post office. (www.SermonCentral.com)
Poor guys. They try to help, and they get blamed. Their generous gift was not fully appreciated.
I wonder if we truly appreciate God’s gifts to us this Christmas. Last week, we saw that the Holy Spirit gives us the supernatural ability to serve, spiritual gifts, that allow us to have a significant impact on the lives of others (Romans 12:3-8).
This week, we’re going to explore the Son’s Gift to us this Christmas, and what a gift it is! The Bible says that God richly “pours out” the Holy Spirit “through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:6). The Holy Spirit is Christ’s generous gift to you if you choose to accept Him, if you choose to receive Him by faith.
Do you know what that means? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Romans 8, Romans 8, where we find out what it means to have such a wonderful gift, the Son’s gift of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (ESV)
Oh, dear friends, please trust Christ with your life, and accept the gift of His Spirit, who sets you free!
RECEIVE THE SPIRIT WHO DELIVERS YOU.
Welcome God’s Spirit into your life, who liberates you from the law, who releases you from a legalistic trap that could only arouse your sin and condemn you for it.
What a wonderful gift Christ has given us in His Spirit. If you choose to receive Him, you are no longer trapped and condemned. Instead, you are free to live and be all that God intended for you to be.
Oswald Chambers once said, “The Spirit of God is always the spirit of liberty; the spirit that is not of God is the spirit of bondage, the spirit of oppression and depression. The Spirit of God convicts vividly and tensely, but He is always the Spirit of liberty. God who made the birds never made birdcages; it is men who make birdcages, and after a while we become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg.” (Oswald Chambers, “The Moral Foundations of Life,” Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no.13)
That’s where a lot of people are today. They feel cramped and trapped, because they are trying so hard to “be good”; they are trying so hard to please somebody they know they could never please – whether it’s a parent, a spouse, or a god who is always frowning on them.
It’s like they’re trying to be good, so Santa Claus will bring them some nice presents. You know how the old song puts it:
You better watch out! You better not cry!
Better not pout, I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He's making a list and checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you're sleeping.
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness sake!
Santa is very performance oriented. You better be good, or else you might just get a lump of coal for Christmas.
Well, God is NOT like Santa Claus. God does not base His gifts on our behavior. No! God has already blessed every believer with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). So the believer lives out of the abundance of God’s blessing, not with a need to earn His blessing.
No believer EVER has to fear ANY condemnation whatsoever. That means God will NEVER punish ANY believer for his or her sins, because God has already punished Jesus Christ His Son for their sins. There is no double jeopardy with God. The believer’s sins are already paid for. Jesus paid for them on the cross. So you are absolutely free from the penalty of sin if you have put your trust in Christ.