As I approached my 45th spiritual birthday, and considered the many precious gifts I have received in Christ, I was filled with joy and gratitude as I once again spent time "opening" each gift and meditating on the goodness of God. These gifts are mine because of the work my gracious heavenly Father has accomplished in my life through Christ's sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit.
The day you were born into God's family, these gifts were yours as well. You may not have "opened" these birthday gifts yet-maybe you've never understood what you have as a child of God. Perhaps you have simply forgotten what God has done for you. As you review my 45 Spiritual Birthday Gifts from God, I pray that you will be encouraged, that you will understand what God has given you, that you will enjoy a renewed sense of His greatness, and that your love will increase for your Father in heaven who only gives His children good gifts.
Gifts from Romans 5
1. Justified by faith (v. 1)
We have a right standing with God because we have been declared righteous before Him. This is a legal verdict, and it includes: pardon from the guilt and penalty of sin; imputation of our sin to Christ's account; our sins no longer counted against us; Christ's righteousness credited to our account; and God declaring us "righteous," solely on the merits of Christ's righteousness.
2. Peace with God (v. 1)
We are no longer God's enemy. "God has declared Himself to be at war with every human being because of man's sinful rebellion against Him and His laws. But the first great result of justification is that the sinner's war with God is ended forever." (John McArthur)
3. Access to the Father (v. 2)
The access that was unthinkable in the Old Testament is now made possible through Jesus Christ.
4. Stand before God in grace (v. 2)
In God's saving grace, we enjoy a permanent, secure position. We also have sanctifying grace, sustaining grace, enabling grace, and suffering grace. Our position is not based in our own performance, but in God's.
5. Hope of the glory of God (v. 2)
"Hope" does not speak of uncertainty, but of something that is certain, but not yet realized. Our ultimate destiny is to share in the glory of God.
6. Suffering and tribulation (v. 3)
Trials are the "pressure" that, like a "juicer," produces the sweet "juice" of perseverance, endurance, character, and hope. This gift comes especially as a result of our relationship with Christ or because we choose to do right.
7. Love of God (v. 5)
is lavished on us, overflowing in us. Understanding His great love for us will result in overflowing love for Him.
8. The precious Holy Spirit (v. 5)
He lives in us: "God has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come" (2 Cor. 5:5). The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, comforts us, makes Christ known to us, teaches us the truth, and guides us.
9. Saved from God's wrath (v. 9)
Christ bore the full fury of God's wrath against us and our sin.
10. Reconciled to God (vv. 10-11)
Formerly separated and alienated from God, we are now brought to a state of right relationship with Him.
Gifts from Ephesians 1:1–8
11. Adopted into God's family (v. 4)
God is our Father. We are children of God with a new nature, in a new family relationship. We bear God's likeness.
12. Redemption through His blood (v. 7)
This is a word picture from the ancient slave markets. A redeemer paid the necessary ransom to purchase the prisoner or slave's release from bondage. We can sing, "Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; Redeemed through His infinite mercy, His child, and forever, I am."
13. Forgiveness of sins (v. 7)
In the words of another song: "My sin--oh, the bliss of this glorious thought--my sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul." Forgiveness leads to joy: "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered." (Ps. 32:1) Because of the blood of Jesus, God is faithful to forgive our sins--past, present, and future (1 John 1:9).
14. Purpose for living (vv. 12, 14)
We exist "for the praise of His glory.”
Gifts Revealed in Other Scriptures
15. The righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)
Christ's righteousness comes in exchange for our sinfulness.
16. Christ in you (Col. 1:27; Gal. 2:20)
He is our "hope of glory," and the perspective of our lives is "no longer I, but Christ."
17. Life (1 John 5:11-13)
We have eternal life, which speaks of its quantity (length), and we have abundant life, which speaks of its quality. We are spiritually alive because we are in relationship with Jesus, partaking of His life.
18. Mercy (Ps. 103:10-11)
God does not treat us as our sins deserve, or repay us according to our iniquities. We will experience His unmerited mercy throughout our entire life.
19. The peace of God (Phil. 4:6-7)
God's peace, which comes as a result of prayer, stands guard in our hearts and minds.
20. Joy (Ps. 16:11; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 4:13,14)
In God's presence, there is "fullness of joy." Far more than earthly happiness, we receive "exceeding joy," a joy not based on circumstances. There is even joy as we endure trials of our faith, partaking in Christ's sufferings and reproach.
21. Victory over sin (Romans 6:6-23)
We are "freed" from the power of sin. When we reckon ourselves to be "dead" unto sin (crucified with Christ), and yield our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness, we are no longer under the dominion of our flesh.
22. The Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-27; Romans 12:5)
We instantly have countless "brothers and sisters" in the family of God and are "members one of another."
23. Spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-7; 1 Peter 4:10; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:7, 11-16)
Every believer has one or more spiritual gifts-which are to be used to glorify God and edify the Body of Christ.
24. Future glory (Rom 8:17-18)
As heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, we will be glorified in heaven.
25. Two great intercessors (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34; Rom. 8:26)
Jesus intercedes for us in heaven, and the Holy Spirit intercedes within us.
26. The power of God (Eph. 1:18-20)
We begin to understand how God uses His exceedingly great and mighty power on our behalf.
27. Prayer (Heb. 4:16; Phil. 4:6)
We are encouraged to "come boldly unto the throne of grace" and to let our "requests be made known unto God." Remember: "Oh, what peace we often forfeit... when we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
28. Wisdom (Prov. 2:6; James 1:5)
Man may have knowledge, but true wisdom comes from God. He enables us to see from His perspective. Want more wisdom? "Ask of God."
29. A home in heaven (John 14:2-3)
Christ is preparing a place for us in our Father's house.
30. Freedom from fear (Ps. 23:4)
God's presence makes all the difference in the world. Because God was with Him, the Psalmist said, "I will fear no evil."
31. No condemnation (Rom. 8:1)
While the Law condemns, there is no condemnation in Christ, our Deliverer.
32. An advocate (1 John 2:1; Rev. 12:10)
We have a defense attorney in heaven: "If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." Jesus defends us against the prosecution, Satan, who accuses believers day and night.
33. Future rewards (1 Cor. 3:11–15; 2 Cor. 5:10)
Rewards will be given for faithfulness and for service.
34. The presence of God (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5b)
His loving presence is continuous: "I am with you always." The changeless Christ will never leave or forsake His own.
35. The Word of God (Ps. 119:105; John 17:17; John 15:3)
Not only is the precious Word a light to illumine our path, it also sanctifies and cleanses us.
36. Provision (Ps. 37:25)
The Psalmist said, "I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." God's provision is expressed in a powerful church hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"--"All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided."
37. Guidance (Psalm 23:3)
David said, "He leads me in paths of righteousness . . ." All we have to do is follow and obey.
38. Protection against the enemy (Ps. 121:1–8; Eph. 6:10–17)
God, who never sleeps and is always watching over us, gives us His armor for protection, and His presence preserves us from evil "evermore." God gives us victory over Satan.
39. All spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3)
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
40. He restores my soul (Ps. 23:2–3)
"He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."
41. A future inheritance (1 Peter 1:3–4; Eph. 1:13; Rom. 8:17; 1 Cor. 3:21–23)
Christians will receive "an inheritance that is imperishable" and "kept in heaven."
42. Kept by God (Ps. 121:5–8; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24)
God's power will keep us from all evil.
43. Life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
God's power gives us "all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him."
44. Great promises (2 Peter 1:4)
God has "granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of this divine nature."
45. Call to ministry (Gal. 1:15; Eph. 3:7–8; 1 Tim. 1:12)
"He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace."