by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
It’s Christmas, and Jesus is the reason for the season. He is the only perfect Christmas gift the world has ever known. He came with a gift tag that reads, “To the world, with all my love, Daddy.” If you don’t believe me take a look at John 3:16. “For God so loved the world He gave…” Yep, a love gift from our Heavenly Dad.
Further in John 3:16-17 we find the gift tag also reveals the purpose. God gave us His Son “so everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world…” In our Western culture, we translate ‘save’ as eternal life, aka heaven. In response, we believe and say a prayer. We then try to live moral lives and wait to go to heaven. Guess what, we’ve been robbed! Thanks to our English language we have missed out on the full use of our Gift.
The New Testament was written in Greek, and the word we translate to ‘save’ is the Greek word ‘sozo.’ If sozo-ing is the main purpose of our Gift, it might behoove us to know what sozo means. The brief definition of Sozo is: to save, i.e., deliver or protect—heal, preserve, do well, be (make) whole (Strong’s). That is a lot more than heaven. Moreover, ‘eternal life’ isn’t even translated in the Bible to mean going to heaven. Jesus says eternal life is knowing God (John 17:3). Don’t get me wrong, there is a heaven, and believers are going, but God wants us to know Him and His benefits so we don’t get the snot kicked out of us while we wait to get there.
This is important because if we don’t know what we have we won’t use it. I have a Smartphone that does amazing things, but I have never learned how to use it fully. Therefore, I carry around a costly machine that I only use to text and send selfies. I am missing out on the benefits. It’s not the phones fault. It’s loaded with good stuff. It’s my fault for not learning what I have and using it.
God loves partnering with His people. He has this principle called ‘by grace through faith’ (Ephesians 2:8). It’s how we are saved (sozod). In other words, He provides the blessing and wants us to believe him to receive it. If we know it’s ours, then we can have the faith to receive what God has provided by His grace.
If McDonald’s shorts us an order of fries we will go back, show a receipt, and demand what is rightfully ours. God wants us to be just as aggressive and assured of the things our Gift, Jesus, provided. Through Him we are sozod. The cross and empty tomb is the receipt. We hold that up to God and say, ‘I want what is rightfully mine.’ Protection, healing, deliverance, and being made whole. That’s here on earth. Then afterward, heaven. The purpose of the perfect Gift is to save you completely. Don’t be like me with my Smartphone, learn what you have and enjoy it to it’s fullest!