Every time I read through Romans I am blown away by all the doctrine, theology, and apologetics contained in its sixteen short chapters. Chapter eight has long been one of my favorites and is definitely appropriate during this week of gift-giving. Just look at what it tells us we have been given!
Verse 1: There is no more condemnation to those who are in Christ! No more condemnation! In Christ we are washed, cleansed, held guiltless, pure, and righteous before a completely perfect and holy God! He will never again look at us and say "Guilty" but "Covered in the blood of Jesus." Satan may condemn, but we are guilt-free in Christ! What a phenomenal gift!
Verse 2: We are made free from the law of sin and death! Sin and death have absolutely NO hold over us whatsoever! Through the Holy Spirit, we have been empowered to stand up to sin, say 'no,' and live righteously. Will we fall? Yes. We all do. But sin ultimately has no power over us! We do not have to bow to sin's false lordship. And when, at the end of this life's journey, sin tries to win one final time, we can say, "Where is your sting? Christ has won the victory!"
Verse 3: God came down and took on the form of human flesh. This will long, long remain a source of amazement. To think that God Almighty condescended to leave His glorious throne in perfect heaven to dwell in the muck and mire of a sin-filled, cold and dirty world that He might ransom us to Himself! Is there any greater gift than this?
Verse 15/28: We can call God our "Father." This is a concept I have come to treasure more as time goes by. God is not just our Savior, Master, Lord, and King. He is also our Father! He loves us as a father loves his child. He cares for us, desires the best for us, has plans for us, leads us, guides us, directs us. He watches over us.
Verse 32: He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? He spared not. He delivered him up. Shall he not freely give us all things? What a gift! What a remarkable verse! God held nothing back but the sting of sin and death for you and I! He gave his Son. He gave us life. He gives us hope and love and a promise of a life lived for our good and His glory. Shall He not freely give us all things? Yes! Yes He will! He will give us all things indeed! And in so many ways, He already has!
As you consider the many gifts God has given us this Christmas, I pray that you, like I, will be held in awe and wonder over what He has done. It was not simply one gift given to the world when Jesus came to inhabit the earth - the number of gifts which come with His sacrificial action are as innumerable as the stars of heaven, among which a brighter shone that night long ago.