Preface: Once we acknowledge our sins and confess them, we are on track to having victory over them. Repentance and confession are two prerequisites needed for us to receive the Spirit’s power in abundance. Most of all, we will discover that repentance is a gift that the Holy Spirit gives in order to help us reflect Jesus’ love to those around us.
What a consolation and promise this verse is. God provided hope for lost humanity in one word, gift. The word gift denotes a well-deserved or unexpected reward for something special, or to celebrate a special occasion. Gifts are given by thoughtful individuals who spend the time considering the needs, wants, and hopes of the recipient. In the case of fallen humankind, there was neither merit nor celebration. Nevertheless, our loving heavenly Father bestowed upon His children a gift—eternal life.
1. Live to life again. As we live in our modern world, we often become absorbed in all of its going on and forget that this life is only temporary. We are bombarded by media coverage of cures for various diseases, the latest technology, scientific discoveries, senseless wars, and natural disasters. As a consequence of sin, “the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Rom. 8:22, NIV). Our planet is reeling from the impact of sin. We are caught in that maelstrom, but let’s not forget the gift. God promises that His people “will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isa. 32:18, NIV). This life is transitory. Let’s prepare ourselves to live again.
2. We must be changed. David states in Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul.” Our acceptance of the gift must be validated daily. We do this by consecrating our lives to Him each day. The more time we spend with Jesus, and the more time we allot to things of a spiritual nature, the more we will become like Him and appreciate the gift.
3. Spread the good news. Satan told the woman that if she ate of the fruit, she would not surely die (Gen. 3:4). We know that God stands by His promises, and as He told the first family that there was a consequence for disobedience, He also promises eternal life to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Our love for God will be demonstrated in our sharing the gift with others. As we share the promise of eternal life with others, we will hasten Christ’s return and experience the full measure of the gift.
The Lord declares, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death” (Hosea 13:14, NIV). As we wait eagerly to see our Saviour face to face, we have the assurance that if we daily put our trust in Jesus, we will live again in paradise.