|Posted by Rev. Jeff Ferguson on December 16, 2014 at 12:15 AM|
God Freely Giving, Man Humbly Receiving
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?... What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it? (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 4:7)
The Lord's plan for rescuing and transforming lives by His grace is established upon the Son of God being given for us as a sacrifice for our sins: "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all." This gift of God's Son assures us that God will also give us with Christ everything we need. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" God's giving is to be coupled with man's receiving. As God is freely giving to man, He wants man to be humbly receiving from Him.
Every blessing that we have was received from God. "What do you have that you did not receive?" There is no other source from which we can receive true spiritual benefits than the Lord above. "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven" (John 3:27). The joy of having Jesus dwelling in our lives as the children of God became true by us receiving Him. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12). The fact that we are now reconciled to God and are no longer His enemies is based upon us receiving the gift of reconciliation. "We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:11). The privilege of serving the Lord in ministry is a gift of grace to be received: "the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). The spiritual gifts that we need for enablement in our ministries is another blessing received from the Lord. "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another" (1 Peter 4:10).
From initial salvation to growth and service, all that is needed must be received from the Lord. This is an encouraging reality. Yet, it is also a humbling truth. It leaves no room for us to glory in ourselves. "Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?"