The Bible talks about many gifts that are given to all people. They are described as gifts that go way beyond description. Many essential truths associated with the treasures of heaven go well beyond human reason. For this reason, Jesus used parables to help us grasp the depth of God’s love and the riches in store throughout the kingdom of heaven.
Even utilizing the word gift does not adequately describe the treasures that await those who place their trust in God, because associated with these gifts not only bring a depth of joy, but also sets a person free. What could these gifts be?
The Bible talks about two primary gifts that could be considered his greatest gifts to all mankind. They are:
- The forgiveness of sins
- The gift of the Holy Spirit
The forgiveness of sins can be considered one of God’s greatest gifts, because the end result is being in God’s presence forever in heaven. Plus, it’s through the Holy Spirit that we may receive the Truth and be preserved in the Truth to set one free.
Think about the word “gift” for a moment. In its purest sense, presenting a gift is prompted by love, appreciation, or even admiration. So, the act of giving a gift in its purest form means that nothing is expected in return except for a simple thank you or words of appreciation.
With this understanding, let’s apply the purest form of giving to help us understand God’s greatest gifts to us — the forgiveness of sins.
Extending forgiveness is a gift in of itself. For instance, we are told to forgive others. It’s one of those indescribable gifts that we extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us, even though many times that person doesn’t deserve it nor even asked for it. Forgiveness is a gift that we extend to another person.
However, in the power of extending forgiveness, we are the primary beneficiary. For in that act of forgiveness, we bury resentment and bitterness and receive peace in its place. But again, what prompts us to forgive?
It is love.
Love prompts us to forgive, because its love that fulfills the law and obeys the command given us to forgive others. The act of forgiveness, prompted by love, is not following a law or a command, but an act of love.
Even the Apostle Peter requested a law for forgiveness.
He asked Jesus, “Should I forgive seven times?” “No,” Jesus answered, “but seventy-seven times.” Something thought possible by Peter was deemed impossible. If there was a law associated with forgiveness than it would be impossible to fulfill, because only love fulfills the law — not our actions.
It was love that prompted Christ to die on the cross and by so doing, fulfill the law.
The Apostle Paul mentions how easy it is to lay down your life for a friend. Yet, how difficult would it be to lay down your life for someone who is undeserving, unworthy, or unrepentant? By their own words and actions, they would disqualify themselves from receiving any type of gift — whether it’s sacrificing one’s life or even extending forgiveness. For these reason, God’s love is described as incomparable. It is a love that stretches beyond direction — as far as the east is from the west. It is a love that is unfathomable because it goes beyond the depth of our understanding. So much so, that God’s forgiveness even extends to the unworthy.
Forgiveness is a gift. Grace is a gift. All made possible by an act of love that carried Christ to the cross. In that one act, forgiveness is extended to all people.