2Corinthians 14 - The Gift
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Paul, in writing to the Christians in Corinth, speaks of thanksgiving for a benevolent attitude and action (2Corinthians 9:1-14). He brings this theme to a climax with a simple, yet profound thanks to God designed to remind all Christians of the reason for which all should have a benevolent heart—“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Corinthians 9:15). All gifts are from God (James 1:17); even being His child is bestowed by Him (1John 3:1). However, one gift surpasses them all—the gift of the Son. He was given for so many things: He was given for the price of man’s sins; He was given to be the revealer, teacher, example, king, mediator, etc. No wonder this gift is described as such an indescribable or unspeakable gift. Much can be said about this gift in a descriptive way, yet recognize that the gift goes beyond that description to the point that it is truly indescribable.
The Enduring Gift
His gift is a permanent gift. “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). God is not an “Indian giver.” He does not give the gift only to take it back. Neither was His gift just loaned. It is permanent. It is one time, for all. He “does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1Peter 3:18).
The Undeserved Gift
This gift is an unmerited gift. Some think of gifts as “rewards” given because of something one has done to make the gift necessary. However, that is not so with this gift. It is a gift in the truest sense. Man did not merit it. Man is a sinner and unworthy. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:6-8). The Christ could be this gift because of who He is—He is without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
The Valuable Gift
This gift is a precious gift. The gift is precious to the Father (John 3:16). It is precious to the Son. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). It is precious to the receiver who understands even a little about it. “This precious value, then, is for you who believe” (1Peter 2:7).
The Governed Gift
This gift is limited, however. God governs this gift. Even though it is available to all, it is only bestowed on those who meet His criteria. It does not take away the need for other things related to salvation, no matter how great they are. The gift does not take the place of man’s faith, man’s love, man’s repentance, man’s obedience, man’s service, or man’s worship. There is no other name—no other authority—for salvation: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The ultimate realization of His gift is for those who come to Him in humble obedience to the standard He gives. Take note of Peter’s sermon recorded in the second chapter of Acts and see the standard, the response, and the result of His gift.
The Loving Gift
This gift is a gift of love. “… For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:1-8). Surely this is indescribable and unspeakable and without complete comprehension. Therefore we notice that even a partial understanding of this gift ought to make us want to love Him: “We love, because He first loved us” (1John 4:19). This ought to make us want to love those who are His as well. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us” (1John 4:11-12).
Does this make you love Him enough to want to please Him by obeying Him and His word?