A package is received, perhaps as a gift.  All of its contents are waiting to be opened and revealed one layer of wrapping or one box at a time.  This is surely a feeble illustration of God’s magnificent gift of a Savior in the Person of Christ.  It all began in eternity past when the omniscient Godhead determined to provide salvation for a yet to be created human race.   Scripture only gives us glimpses of the Divine Council in which God decreed to create mankind even though He knew that the first man, Adam, would choose to reject His authority and prohibition, thus bringing sin into the human race.  Such rebellion would require a divine remedy, one that only God Himself could provide.  Thus, a glimpse of God’s solution to a future fallen human race is seen in the Biblical phrase …“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8 NKJV).  Its manifestation would be seen on a hill called Golgotha some thirty-three years after the birth of Jesus … “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross” (Phil 2:6-8 NIV)!  The defeat of the Deceiver given in the Garden upon man’s fall was predicted … “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he [Jesus] will crush your head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel” (Gen 3:15 NIV).  Man was given a glimpse into God’s plan for forgiveness and restoration to relationship with His Creator.  To vividly present the necessity of the innocent dying for the guilty, the pre-incarnate Christ slew a lamb and clothed the two sinners with its skin.  Here was another glimpse into God eternal grace package of salvation – the death of the Savior as … “He [God the Father] made Him [God the Son] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:20-21 NASB).  He who was sinless would bear the sins of the world and offer to clothe the person who believed in Christ with His righteousness.  Thus God’s decree in eternity past would be fulfilled in time … “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son” (John 3:18 NIV).  All the contents of God’s gift could be opened and received by a simple act of faith, believing in the Person and Work of Christ on the Cross.  The Savior would come as promised by the prophet Isaiah … “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa 7:14 KJV).  God’s gift of a Savior was delivered to mankind in the manger in Bethlehem.  It was to be received by faith, in assurance that the gift was sufficient to totally resolve man’s dilemma of separation from God.  Its contents revealed … “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4 NIV).  What a phenomenal gift and it was freely offered to the human race.  Receiving it by faith would always have the same results … “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36 a). 

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