Gifts from God: the Son, Salvation, & the Spirit

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the gift of prayer. We looked at the passage in Matthew 7 that compares our parenting to God's perfect parenting. How even our imperfect parents love to give good gifts. And how much better of a gift giver God is because He knows us perfectly.

Well, I kept seeing references to gifts in the Bible. And I couldn't stop thinking about all the gifts our Heavenly Father has given us. Obviously, there are the tangible things - family, shelter, food, friendship, church family, etc. But the Bible tells us there are far greater gifts than those. Ones that transcend material possessions or human companionship.

Remember - God is the BEST GIFT GIVER. EVER. He loves us & has demonstrated that love in many ways. The gifts below are just a few of the wonderful ways He proves His love over & over. But they are probably 3 of the most important gifts you'll ever receive.

So, let's take a look at these lavish gifts that our Heavenly Father gives us.

The Gift of His Son

His Son.

God GAVE us HIS SON! I mean, I know that's why we celebrate this time of year. I know that in my head. But when I let that thought penetrate my heart - wow!

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

We are sinners & owe a debt we cannot pay.

But God made a way.

God the Son came down to dwell with us. He put on flesh, lived a sinless life, and gave up His life on a cruel cross to pay what we never could.

And then He rose again, crushing the power of death forever.

And the world celebrates this incredible gift without even realizing it! What other time of year do shopping malls decorate so elaborately or radio stations change their entire playlists?

It's just a peek at what Heaven will be like when our faith is sight & every knee will bow at the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10).

It is through the Son that we receive the next gift...

The Gift of Salvation

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8)

I was just a little girl when I accepted Christ as my Savior. I didn't understand all of the theological ramifications of that decision, but God used the faith of kindergarten Elaine. As I grew in my faith, I started learning the depths of what Christ did for me & what salvation really meant. When I went to college, we had a whole unit in our doctrine class about the doctrine of salvation (the fancy seminary word is soteriology in case you were wondering).

I feel pretty inadequate to articulate the expanse of salvation clearly, so I'm going to borrow some wisdom from The Gospel Coalition's page about salvation.

“Salvation” (rescue) is the broad term, but this salvation that Christ purchased for us in his death has multiple dimensions, answering our multi-dimensional need.

  • In redemption we are liberated by the payment of the ransom price of Christ’s blood.
  • In forgiveness our debt is cancelled, the debt having been paid in full in Christ’s redeeming death.
  • In justification we are declared righteous before God the judge by virtue of Christ’s substitutionary death and gift of righteousness.
  • In reconciliation we are brought from enmity into fellowship with God.
  • In adoption we, in union with Christ the Son, become God’s children.

Looking at that list, we can say with Paul, "Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places...In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight" (Ephesians 1: 3, 7-8)

This gracious gift whereby we can be rightly related to Him takes me to the next gift...

The Gift of His Spirit

If we look at Luke's recording of the passage we talked about before (Matthew 7:7-11), we can see that Jesus specifies that one of the good gifts God gives us is the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). In John 14 & 16, Jesus goes into detail about the Holy Spirit's ministry - helping, convicting, guiding, glorifying the Son.

And we just have to flip over to Acts 2 to see what happened when the Holy Spirit arrived! Rushing wind, flames, speaking in tongues - there was no doubt that God kept His promise & sent the gift of the Holy Spirit.

And that same Spirit "dwells in you" (Romans 8:9).

The Holy Spirit is the seal set on our salvation, the guarantee of what's to come. "In Him [Christ] you also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:13-14)

One of the most comforting parts of His ministry is that He intercedes on our behalf. "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself interceded for us with groanings too deep for words." (Romans 8:26)

{And we're back to prayer - how do we ask, seek, & knock? With the Spirit's help.}

And through the Spirit, we are fruitful. (Galatians 5:22-23) And we also receive spiritual gifts that we may bless other believers (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).


Can you tell why I couldn't ignore just how many times the Bible talks about gifts? These 3 - the Son, Salvation, & the Spirit - are so foundational to every other thing. I had to share in hopes that it builds you up & cheers you on as it did me.

Usually, December is filled with so many Christmas activities that we tend to lose sight of what it's all about.

So, during this unusual year, maybe God is giving us the chance to slow down & focus on the gifts He has given.

Maybe, just maybe, we'll find out that we're not really missing out on anything important. Because all of those festivities are empty of meaning without Jesus - the greatest gift ever given.

And as I watch my kids open their LEGO sets & Polly Pockets, I'll try to remember the countless good gifts my Father has given to me. And I hope you will, too.


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