"HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT."
Intro. Paul has in the last two chapters been encouraging the Corinthians to give generously to the needs of the poor church in Jerusalem.
I. THE INCENTIVE FOR GIVING, GOD'S GREAT GRACE TOWARD US.
>A. 2 CO 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
B. The Bible teaches that God is the initiator and man is the responder.
1. We love Him because He first loved us.
a. It is my understanding of His love for me that prompts my love for Him.
b. God didn't love me because I began to love Him, He manifested His love for me in that while I was yet a sinner He sent His Son to die for me.
c. I respond to that love.
2. We give to Him in response to His gift to us.
a. In asking them to give, He reminds them of what God has given to them.
b. If we love Him we will desire to give to Him.
C. "Thank God for His indescribable gift."
1. The gift of His Son.
a. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
b. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
c. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given."
d. "If God spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how much more shall He not freely give us all things."
2. The gift of salvation.
a. By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.
b. I was condemned to die because of my sin, but Jesus saved me from death.
3. The gift of eternal life.
a. And this is the record, that God has given unto us eternal life and this life is in His Son, he that has the Son has life.
b. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
c. JOH 17:2
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
d. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
II. THESE GIFTS DEFY DESCRIPTION.
A. Not only do they defy description, but any thanks that we offer to God for them is so inadequate.
1. There are no words that can express how much we love Him and appreciate Him for the gifts he has given us.
2. David was a very articulate man. The Psalms are some of the most beautiful and expressive literature in the world. David had a way with words.
3. There came a time in the life of David, when he became aware of the great goodness and grace of God that even David with his gift for words found himself speechless.
a. The occasion was when he expressed his desire to build a house for God to his friend the prophet Nathan.
b. Nathan encouraged him to do all that was in his heart.
c. God that night rebuked the prophet for encouraging David to build the house for God, declaring that David because he was a man of war and had shed so much blood, could not build the house for God.
d. God told the prophet to tell David that He took David out of the sheepcote and from following the sheep to make him the ruler over His people, and He was with David wherever he had walked and had delivered his enemies into his hands, and made his name great in all the earth. The Lord then promised to David that after he died, He would raise up from David's seed, one to build His house and to sit upon his throne forever. David correctly interpreted that as a promise that the Messiah would come from David's seed.
e. This marvelous grace of God to David was so great that David in remembering what God had already done for Him and now has promised to do for him, became speechless. He just declared, you know your servant.
III. NOTICE THAT GOD IS ALWAYS THE INITIATOR, AND MAN THE RESPONDER.
A. I should not love God in hopes of convincing Him to love me, I love Him because He first loved me. My love is responsive.
B. I should not praise God in hopes of receiving a blessing from God. I praise Him because of His tremendous blessings. My praise is responsive.
C. I should not give to God in hopes of His giving to me. I give because He has given so much to me. My giving is responsive.
D. Thanks be unto God for His indescribable gift.
IV. WE OFTEN HEAR TEACHING THAT WOULD INTIMATE THAT MAN IS THE INITIATOR AND GOD IS THE RESPONDER.
A. We are encouraged to praise God that we might receive the blessings of the Lord.
1. That cannot be true praise.
2. Don't you think that God can see through that farce?
3. He is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of a man's heart.
4. True praise rises spontaneously from the heart as we recognize the grace of God to us in giving us the indescribable gifts.
B. Though it is true that if we give to God He will return unto us many times over, that should not be the motive for my giving.
1. The church in Twin Falls Idaho.
2. Many have learned this principle and give in order to receive.
C. I should not give out of pressure or constraint.
1. There are many appeals for money on the basis of constraint and pressure.
2. Many ministries are guilty of this.
D. The highest motive for giving is responsive giving, because of all that God has given to us.