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  • Jim Edwards

Free Gifts - or Making ALL God's promises null and void.


June 22nd 2018

We all love to get free gifts, and presents, don’t we?

We love to get free upgrades or special offers – something for nothing. That is until it is something really important that we really can’t repay. Then we get uptight with thoughts like “I don’t deserve that.”

What a crazy mix we are! 

We really don't want to nullify and void Father God's presents and gifts to us - do we?

Add to this that there is something that dishonors the giver, if we don’t graciously receive what they are giving to us. If we are to honor the giver, then we need to honor and value their gift to us, and use it in a manner befitting the intent for which it was given.

Father God has great plans for us – well He’s God isn’t He?  So He has God size plans for each one of us! These are way more than we can possibly repay.

Romans 4 takes a brief look at this issue, but note verse 4:

If you work for wages, then those wages are not counted as a free gift, they are a debt that you are owed. Similarly with faith. If you think you can earn that right standing with Father God you will be always working for it. But for those who instead simply believe His Word, find that they are indeed forgiven and made right with Father God, through the blood of Jesus—not by anything that they have done to earn it.

In our relationship with Father God we so try to earn His approval, and earn what He gives us for free, because Jesus paid for it.

Verse 14 is sufficiently far down from verse 4 that we have forgotten this principle and hence fail to grasp what this means. When I got to translate this, I noticed at how easy it was to spot in all of the different translations  those who have made this connection, and those who haven’t! Take a look and you will be really surprised! In translating Living and Breathing the Epistles I am primarily trying to extract and translate  the meaning the writer was trying to convey, so I am looking for precisely this kind of connection, and understanding. 

So what can make faith worthless and all Father God’s Promises null and void? Trying to work for it like wages! OUCH!

That Promise—of Jesus being our Saviour, being the sacrificial Lamb who Himself paid the price for our sin, so we could have a relationship with Father God and come boldly to His throne of Grace without fear or condemnation for all of the help we need—this promise is made worthless, null and void the moment we feel we have to earn it!

Similarly it is made worthless and null and void the moment we think we deserve it by working for it, being obedient to all the rules, which is the import behind verse 14.

Oh how we need to honor this free gift of forgiveness and right standing before Father God!

Let us remember the cost to Father God to give us His Son, and the cost to Jesus to go through with it for love of us!

But let us never forget – this is His FREE gift to us.

Just look at how different this New Covenant principle is to the Old Covenant—see Deuteronomy 28:1 “It will come to pass, if you listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful and careful to do all the commandments that I command you this day…"

No—I’m not suggesting for a moment that we shouldn’t listen carefully to what the Lord is commanding us, or that we shouldn’t be watchful and careful to do it! But our New Covenant promises are now no longer conditional on this. Our sin that entangles us and trips us up, now no longer can disqualify us from His promises. They are His FREE gifts to us! His free gifts to us are unconditional. ENJOY!

And with it comes another curious corollary—in Romans 8:32.

Remember Father God never intervened and saved His Son Jesus from suffering hugely for us, to pay the price for our sin, our sickness, and our brokenness. So equally, He longs to freely give us all that Jesus paid for and raise us up to be like His Son.

Please join me and come boldly to His Glorious throne of Grace to receive His Mercy, His Covenanted assistance, and Grace to help us represent Him well to those around us. Hebrews 4:16.

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