Saturday, 20 November 2021
Title: God’s Gift
By: Chan Yew Thai

A gift is something that is given to us by another. It could be for the return of a favour, for a token during visitation or for celebration; God’s gift is different and can be described as:

  1. Superabundance – Meaning that God’s gift is huge, unceasing, long lasting and lavish. In 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” God is able to make our resources more than adequate when we trust in Him. We are never short of needs in God’s hands. Currently, my sister, niece and I are in quarantine suddenly but we find that we are not short of anything. Truly, His gift is abundant for many sisters have come forward to offer to buy provisions and food.
  2. Singularity – God’s sole purpose in gifting is to benefit the recipient. Often, we do not see this aspect in God especially when we are going through trials or being deprived of something we feel we deserved but not given. In retrospect, we will thank God for withholding the “gift” at that time because it could have hurt us or we could have missed out on something better.
  3. Priority – God takes the initiative to give us the gift. It is not a response to our request; rather it’s from God’s generosity. Therefore, God is never indebted to any humans and has the sovereignty in determining the operation of grace. An example is Romans 5:8 where God demonstrates His love for us by Christ died for us while we are still sinners and gives us salvation.
  4. Incongruity – The definition in the dictionary is “absurd.” God’s gift is incongruous because it is given without condition, without regard to the worth of the recipient and to the undeserving. All of us are not worthy of God’s righteousness nor do we deserve His grace, yet precisely that is what He did. Romans 5:7 shows how absurd it is for Jesus to die for us. Humanly, nobody will die for another, except perhaps in some instances a mother may die for her child. This shows the greatness of our God’s love.
  5. Efficacy –Means a gift that produces or changes something. God’s gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us helps us to change and flee from sin. (Romans 8:4-5) Without the Holy Spirit’s help, it is impossible to change from our old self to one who love Jesus and want to follow him. Jesus, in John 14:16-17, promised his disciples a Helper, the Holy Spirit.
  6. Noncircularity – A gift that has no reciprocity or return. Depending on the culture, gifts are normally returned. In the Malaysian context, when we received a gift or favour, we returned it either immediately or at some other time. It would be considered rude should we accept without return. However, there is no way of reciprocity with God’s gift. We cannot return favour to God, other than being obedient to Him and praising Him.

Understanding the nature of God’s gift, as described above, helps us to appreciate our salvation and God’s love better. With this, we hope to value it and draw closer to God by learning His Word.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift. Help me to value it and not treat it as cheap grace for Jesus paid a heavy price for it. May I be reminded of your steadfast love especially when in difficulties. Thank you, Jesus. In your mighty name I pray. Amen!

(Note: Description of the gifts is taken from Paul and the Power of Grace by John M. G. Barclay)

2021 年 11 月 20 日星期六
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹


  1. 超級豐富的— 意思是上帝的禮物是龐大的,不斷的,持久的和慷慨豐盛的。在哥林多後書 9 章 8 節,“神能將各樣的恩惠多多地加給你們,使你們凡事常常充足,能多行各樣善事”。 當我們信靠上帝時,上帝能夠使我們的資源變得綽綽有餘。在上帝的手中,我們從不匱乏。目前,我和姐姐、侄女突然被隔離,但我們卻發現我們什麼也不缺。的確,祂的恩賜是豐富的,因為教會許多姊妹前來為我們購買日常必需品和食物。
  2. 獨特異常性的—上帝送禮的唯一的目的是使接受者受益。通常,我們看不到在上帝身上的這一個層面,尤其是當我們正在經歷考驗或在喪失一些我們認為應得但沒有被給予的東西時。追溯起來,我們會感謝上帝當時保留了那份“禮物”,因為它可能會傷害我們,或者我們可能會錯過更好的東西。
  3. 優先性的—上帝主動的給我們禮物。這不是回應我們的請求;而是來自上帝的慷慨寬大。因此,上帝從不欠任何人的債,在決定恩典的運作方面擁有主權。一個例子是羅馬書 5:8 ,基督在我們還作罪人的時候為我們死,在此向我們顯明祂的愛,也給了我們救恩。
  4. 不協調不合理的— 字典中的定義是“荒謬不合理的”。上帝的禮物是不調和相稱的,因為它是無條件地給予的,不考慮接受者的價值和是不值得的人。我們所有人都不配得神的公義,也不配得到衪的恩典,但這正是衪所做的。羅馬書 5:7 “為義人死,是少有的;為仁人死、或者有敢做的” 表明耶穌為我們而死是沒有動機和緣由的。從人的角度來看,沒有人會為另一個人而死,除非在某些情況下母親可能會為她的孩子而死。這顯示了我們上帝之愛的偉大。
  5. 功效性的——表示禮物產生或改變某些事物。住在我們裡面的神所賜的聖靈幫助我們改變並遠離罪惡。(羅馬書8:4-5)沒有聖靈的幫助,我們不可能從舊人變成愛耶穌並願意跟從衪的人。耶穌在約翰福音 14:16-17 中應許衪的門徒有一位幫助者,即聖靈。
  6. 非相互性的 — 沒有互惠或回報的禮物。根據文化,通常人們會回送禮物。在馬來西亞,當我們收到禮物或恩惠時,我們會立即或在其他時間回報。如果我們只接受而不回報,那將被認為是粗魯沒禮貌的。然而,我們卻無法與上帝的禮物互惠。不能回報神的恩典,只能順服祂並讚美祂。



(註:禮物的敘述取自約翰 M.G.巴克萊的 “保羅和恩典的力量”)