In this Christmas season I would like to draw attention to a passage that some preachers rightly use as a Christmas text:
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
We often reference the gift of Jesus during the Christmas season—and we most certainly should. Truly, Jesus is the reason for the season, but this remarkable passage specifies two gifts. They are God’s greatest gifts.
First, God sent forth his Son. Jesus, the gift given to sinners, came to “redeem.” This gift is offered to the whole world (John 3:16), but each individual must receive Jesus by believing on Him in order to benefit from this wonderful gift (John 1:12).
Second, God…sent forth the Spirit of his Son. The Holy Spirit, the gift given to saints, comes into the “hearts” of the redeemed to lead and enable, but each individual must receive the Spirit by depending on Him in order to fully benefit from this another wonderful gift (Acts 2:38).
If the receiving of Christ is by believing on Him, the same is true of the Spirit. Just as you must receive the gift of Jesus to experience salvation, you must receive the gift of the Spirit to experience your inheritance. Receiving Christ is once for all; receiving the Spirit’s leadership and power is continual … but we must have a starting point if we don’t already have one.
Have you received God’s two greatest gifts?
John Van Gelderen