Don’t we all just love presents and gifts; especially those that we get for no reason. The ones for no reason or just to say, “I love you” are my favorite. My daughters, especially my youngest, like to give coupons for free back rubs and foot massages. Those are some of my favorite to redeem.
There is a gift that I received many, many years ago that is even more precious to me than my sweet daughter’s back rubs and foot massages. It is the gift of eternal life. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast.” We must realize that a gift is not something that we work to receive or that we deserve. A gift is something that is given out of love. That is the gift that is mentioned in this verse…the gift of eternal life.
Like a gift that we receive from a person, we must accept it and take it from their possession and receive it into our own possession. So is the gift of God. It says in Ephesians 2:8,9 that it is through faith that we receive this gift. What is it we must have faith in you might want to know. We must believe that Jesus took the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. Instead of us having to pay the price for our sins, Jesus took the penalty for us and paid it. Now we must accept this gift that God gives us.
How do accept the gift that God hands to us? Picture God handing you a present…a box with a pretty bow. What must you do? You must reach out and take it. It will not become your present unless you accept it. Why must we accept it through faith? We cannot see God handing us this present, nor did we see Jesus die on the cross for our sins. There are many eyewitness accounts of Christ’s death and resurrection, but you did not actually see it. This takes faith. It also takes faith that Jesus actually paid my penalty. This will be another topic to review, but we must stay focused on this verse regarding the gift.
Why must we accept this gift with nothing required but faith? That is the only way that God wants it done. He does not want man to boast in himself. Many people think they are good enough to get to heaven, and they have done enough good works to allow them entrance into God’s kingdom, but God’s kingdom, Heaven, does not work that way. God does not want us to boast in ourselves. He realizes that if we boast in ourselves we have committed another sin and that is the sin of selfishness.
We must also consider, “If I am the one that is gaining myself entrance into heaven, how will I know when I am good enough?” How do you really know? I have read the Bible through and not once does it mention a list of things that I can do in order to gain entrance to Heaven. There is no “Bucket List” to accomplish in order to go to Heaven. The thing that must be done is to accept in faith the gift of God, so you have no reason to boast.