And here we are 12 days later! The final gift of Christmas is salvation! Oh, and what a wonderous gift it is!
Salvation is the beautiful, glistening bow on top of the 11 other stacked packages. Salvation is the redemption from the powers and penalties of sin. Without His salvation, we would be doomed to eternal life in hell, literal separation from God. In his kindness, God has chosen to redeem us. A gift we can never repay.
John 2:9 tells us, “Salvation comes from the LORD.”
Acts 4:2 says, “Salvation is found in no one else.”
We must understand a few things about salvation. It is a gift. We cannot earn it, and we do not deserve it! It is a gift given to us through the sacrifice of God’s son. We must believe in and respond to Jesus as our savior. We must place our faith in him and walk in a relationship with him. This gift is kind of like one you receive on Christmas morning that is labeled, “some assembly required.” Philippians 2:12 says “to continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” It is a maturing process.
Reflect with me for a moment on the previous 11 gifts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, grace, and forgiveness. All of these come to us through the acceptance of Christ as savior and a continued relationship him. They are also the very nature of God. He is all these things. They make up his very being. God created us in his image, but sin has stained our lives. However, once we are called to the Lord, our response should be to mature in these exact characteristics of God. Jesus went through every trial that we face as humans. He knows first-hand how hard this life is for us and how difficult the maturing process will be, but 2 Timothy 3:15 gives us directive on how to continue maturing.
There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.
It is clear that to continue maturing and working out our salvation we must be in the Bible asking questions, seeking answers and guidance, and getting to know the character of God in Jesus. As we learn just how holy He is we realize how incredibly sinful we are. But the good news is this realization leads us to feel sorry for our sins. This Godly sorrow leads to repentance. We ask for forgiveness and this leads to salvation, pardon from sin. (Paraphrased from 2 Corinthians 7:10)
When times were tough and he became discouraged, David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a wiling spirit to sustain me.” Ps 51:12 Life overwhelmed him causing him to lose sight of this precious gift. We too will become overwhelmed and unfocused. But we can follow David’s example and ask the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation, such a generous gift!
Help us to rid ourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, and hurtful talk. Like newborn babies, make us to crave spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in our salvation, now that we have tasted that you, LORD, are good! (from 1 Peter 2:2)
Amen and Amen
(First Published on December 24, 2013)