The Gift is Free and the Gift is Jesus

By: Åge M. Åleskjær
From: July 2008
Found in: The Gospel of Grace
God loved the world so much that He gave; He gave His only begotten Son. Jesus called himself: “The gift of God.”

Paul said: ”Now thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” This is actually the only thing we can do with a gift - receive it and be thankful! A gift is free to the one who receives it, even if it was very expensive. It is the one who gives the gift that pays for it. It costs nothing for the one who receives it. And here we are, at the core of the Gospel: God has in Christ done everything that could be done. ALL IS FINISHED.

Trygve Bjerkreim was a well known Norwegian preacher and writer. He says in one of his many songs: “What Jesus did is enough.” This is a revelation that can give you a solid foundation to stand on. This is the light many Christians have not fully seen, so they strive as slaves and also make others strive. They have not experienced in real life what Jesus meant when he said: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

The whole world has been saved by Him, and all trespasses have been erased. God is reconciled with the world. The only thing we can do is to receive it! Salvation is not based on anything you and I have done or will do; it is founded on what He did!

“The Christian message is that what Jesus did is enough!”

It is deep-rooted…

There is something deeply rooted inside human beings when it comes to their need of “establishing their own righteousness” instead of “bowing to the righteousness of God” which is His free gift of salvation. Therefore all religions are religions of “works or deeds” in one form or another. One must either give offerings, do penance, or carry out prayers and rituals.

Many people make Christianity a religion of works or deeds, but there is this big difference: The Christian message is that WHAT JESUS DID IS ENOUGH!
This was the Jews’ biggest problem in accepting the Gospel. Paul, who was of a Jewish heritage himself, says about them: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For them being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:1-3)

Self works or deeds - or free grace

This is where all religions have a problem: They are zealous for God, but without the right wisdom or insight. The problem is that they try to “establish their own righteousness” instead of receiving what God has done through Christ! The answer to man’s need of righteousness before God is that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.” (Romans 10:4)

The problem of receiving the finished work of Christ is shared by many Christians. Yes, they believe they have received salvation through grace alone and they know that everything is based on what Jesus has accomplished. However, their actions show that they don’t quite trust in this. They struggle in their own efforts when dealing with righteousness, ministry, evangelization or prayer. They set up timetables and judge others if they can’t keep their pace or keep up in their ministries.
Fundamentally, this cries out a need for this revelation; “What Jesus did is enough.” When we see the light of this, we’ll become like Paul. He worked more than any other, but he said: “- though not me, but God’s grace which is within me!” There is a vast difference between working with this belief and working in one’s own power and effort. The Bible tells us that when Jesus had fulfilled salvation for all mankind, He sat down at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. The fact that He sat down illustrates that the work is done and salvation is finished.

“If He has sat down, so will I!”

“Well, if He has sat down, so will I!” She had suddenly seen the truth: “What Jesus did is enough!”

In a small chapel I used to attend, I listened carefully to the preaching, even as a child. Among those I remember, was one about how to enter into the rest of knowing that you are saved. That is why I still remember some of the stories the preachers told us. It was about a woman who had a great struggle and spiritual fight when it came to this issue. Her surroundings had given her the impression that as a Christian she was worthless and that she could not meet the standard of even calling herself a Christian.

While struggling with this and wondering how to have peace with God, she was listening to a message about Jesus. She heard that after Jesus completed our salvation, He sat down at the right hand of God in Heaven. And suddenly she realized that “by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14) After He had fulfilled the cleansing of our transgressions, He sat down at the Father’s right hand. (Hebrews 1:3) When she realized this, she cried out: “Well, if He has sat down, so will I!” She had suddenly seen the truth: “What Jesus did is enough!”

By: Åge M. Åleskjær

Former Senior Pastor at Oslo Christian Center, now spending most of his time ministering all over Norway and internationally.

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