The Indescribable Gift
Pastor Rod Thompson
Midland SDA Church
December 23, 2017
Open your Bibles to 2 Corinthians 9.
I love Christmas, I love it when it is white.† But we know this time of year is not about snow and itís not about gifts is it?† But this seems to be the time of year when we spend a tremendous amount of time trying to find just the right gift, for those special people in our lives.†
But let me ask you a question.† Have you ever received an indescribable gift?
Iím not even sure what kind of a gift that would be.† And Iíve thought about that a lot over the last couple of weeks.† What kind of a gift would it have to be to be an indescribable?†† Perhaps it would be the kind of gift that you open and you go WOW thatís exactly what I needed.† What is it?
Maybe that would make it an indescribable gift.† Or perhaps it would be the kind of gift that has a lot of emotion and feelings that come along with it because perhaps it was given to you by someone very special.†
And perhaps it was a complete surprise to you when you received it.† I remember receiving those kinds of gifts from my wife in the past.† There were times when I received gifts that never even crossed my mind.†
It may be one of those kinds of gifts that you treasure forever because of all the memories that are attached with it.† Would that make it an indescribable gift?
Or perhaps it would be the kind of gift that you cared so little about that you might not even take the time to try and describe it.†
A while back on the Television news program ďGood Morning AmericaĒ they gave some gift giving ideas that they thought would be indescribable.† They were very extraordinary gifts that you may want to include on your gift giving list for next year.†
The first item on their list was a Jaguar automobile.† It was the Jaguar 220.† And if you are interested in getting one of those for that special someone in your life you could go down to your local Jaguar dealer and you could put down an $80,000 deposit and you could order one in your favorite color.† And then when it arrives you could pay the remaining $507,000.†
And you would have yourself a Jaguar 220.† It would be a very special gift because they only make 250 of them a year.† Would that be an indescribable gift?†
Well, you might decide that you wanted to express your indescribable love and appreciation for that special someone in your life, perhaps your Pastor! †† †I promise you I would be a very gracious recipient.† But I have to warn you ahead of time I might not be able to properly describe my gratitude, it might be an indescribable gift.†
The second item that they described, if youíre interested, is some car wax.† Now if you get that Jaguar 220 you might need some car wax, and they have just what you need.† With this special car wax there comes a promise to give the ultimate shine.† Itís just $3,400 for an 8oz can.† I suppose if you could afford a $600.000 automobile you could afford $3000 wax.†
The third item that they were offering was a $300,000 toilet seat inlaid with many precious jewels.†
Of course that had gifts that were a little bit cheaper, but still have everything. †They had a $18,000 Frisbee, a $10,000 yoyo, a $12,000 mousetrap and even a $27,000 pair of sun glasses.†
And if you are a grand paper of that very special grand baby and you donít know what to get them, they have a $28,000 pacifier.†
Such gifts might stagger our imagination but I assure you they are not indescribable gifts.† Even though you may not be able to find the words to describe them I assure you the manufacturers can.† And they spend a lot of money each year in television and newspaper ads advertising them and trying to tell you how great they are.†
They will seek to describe to you in an appealing way to entice to believe that you just canít live without them.† You see, every human gift is describable, by someone.†
In 2 Corinthians 9 Paul is talking about human gifts.† He was talking about how the Corinthianís were taking up an offering that they were going to give to the poor Christians in Jerusalem.† And then he commends them for their eagerness and their willingness to give, and he reminds them that those who sow sparingly also reap sparingly.†
And then he shifts his attention from human gifts to the gift of God, by sending Jesus to earth for us, and he canít find the words to that.† So he says,
2 Corinthians 9:15†††††† Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.†
Now, at this time of year we try and do everything that we can to depict the wonderfulness of Godís gift of Jesus to us.†
Musicians have composed some of the greatest music on this scene that we have ever heard, things like† Handelís Messiah, Bachís Christmas Oritotio, †and who can forget some of those great Christmas hymns that we sing.† Songs like, Joy to the world, Silent night, O Little town of Bethlehem, and I heard the bells on Christmas day.†
Poets and Painters and sculptors have taken up the tools of their trade to pay tribute to Jesus, the gift of Godís love.† Some of the greatest music that our ears have ever heard have been about Godís indescribable gift.†
And Paul says, thanks be to God, for His indescribable gift.† Why do you think that Paul calls Him the indescribable gift?†
Well, I think there are at least four reasons that he says this.
First of all, Paul calls Jesus the indescribable gift, because of His nature.† How do you describe Jesus, what words would you use?† How do you describe a baby born of a virgin?† How do you describe God in the flesh?† Walking around the earth reaching out to the hurting masses of society.†
Isaiah said He would be called Emmanuel, God with us.† How would you describe that?† What words would you choose?† How do you describe that which is spirit when all we have ever known is the physical and material world?†
How do you describe God who has all knowledge when all we have is limited knowledge?† How do you describe God who is all powerful, how do you describe a God who is eternal?† How do you describe the indescribable?†
Paul says, we canít.† Words arenít adequate.† But, you know, many of the wisest men who have ever lived have tried.
Notice what the counsel of Chalcedon said in 1451 AD.†††† ††The greatest theological minds of the time came together and tried to describe Jesus and this is what they said.
ďPerfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood, truly man of a reasonable rational soul and body, consubstantial, coessential with the Father according to the manhood.† In all things like unto us without sin.† Begotten, before all ages, of the father, according to the Godhead.† And in these latter times, for us, and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood one in the same, Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures.† Inconfuse-ably, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably and a distinction of natureís being by no means taken away by union but rather the property of each nature being preserved.Ē
WOW Ė Did you get that?
Itís ok if you didnít Ė neither did I! †But that is manís attempt to describe the indescribable.†
When we bring together our greatest minds and our most extensive vocabulary we still canít adequately describe Jesus.
Second Ė Paul calls Jesus the indescribable gift because of His purpose in coming to earth.† The Angels announced to the shepherds.
Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Brothers and Sisters what do we celebrate on Christmas?† Is it not the fact that Jesus came into the world to save sinners?† God saw that mankind needed saving.† God saw manís inhumanity toward his fellow man.†
You remember the hope we had of world peace at the breakup of the Soviet Union.† And yet, ever since then, we have still have been shattered by war.†† We may have peace treaties between the great powers of the world, but these treaties will never insure peace.† Because the nature of man has not changed.
When God looked at our world He knew that our greatest need was not more wealth.† He knew that our greatest need was not better schools.† He knew it wasnít a better welfare system.† OUR GREATEST NEED IS FOR A SAVIOR.\
There will never be peace on earth until men have been lifted up out of their sin and their hearts changed, and their way of thinking changed because the Savior has come into their lives.†
Our greatest need is to be saved from the very flames of hell.† How do you describe that?† How do you put into words what God did by sending His only begotten Son?†
I think that Jesus, Godís gift is indescribable because of His nature, because of His purpose in coming to earth, and third, because of the grace that is given in Jesus.
Every gift that I give this year, will be given because the recipient has some claim on me.† I hope it doesnít offend you for me to say that.†
Iím just being honest.† I give gifts to my wife, children and grandchildren because they are a part of my family.† And if I buy a gift for you and you are not a member of my family itís probably because you gave me a gift last year and I didnít get you one and now I owe you one.†
If I give a gift to feed the hungry and clothe the naked or take care of the homeless I do it because deep down inside I realize that I have a debt to humanity, a feeling of obligation.† And that is what makes Godís gift so special.† Because, brothers and sisters, God doesnít owe us anything.†
In fact we have been in constant rebellion against Him and His will for our life.† And with that in mind Paul says something remarkable,
Romans 5 While we were yet in our sin, while we were yet enemies of God, Christ died on the cross for us.††
God gave this gift, not because He feels obligated to, but because of His overwhelming love, it is a gift of grace.† And when you stop at the Manger of Bethlehem and you look at the Christ child you must realize that He is a gift of grace.†
And there are no adequate words to describe Godís gift to you and me.
The fourth reason that Paul tells us that Jesus is this indescribable gift is because of the effects of this gift on us.†
Think about it, for a minute.† What happens to you when you are given a gift?† You receive that gift, you open that gift† - and does that gift make you any different?† When you receive that gift that has been purchased by family or friends will that gift change you in some way, will it make you different?†
Or will you be the same that youíve always been?† The Bible teaches us that when we receive Jesus I, the indescribable gift that we will never be the same again.† He will change you.†††
In fact He gives us 5 gifts within the gift.† That first effect of Jesus coming into your life and your obedience to Him is that
1. Your sins are forgiven.†
Now that may be so old and elementary that you would say Ė yeh I already know that.† But brothers and sisters please donít dismiss it that quickly.† When your sins are forgiven they are remembered no more.† They are thrown as far as the east from the west, they are buried in the depth of the sea.†
Jesus is now your Savior.† And you are forgiven, cherished,
2. When you accept Jesus Christ, that indescribable gift, you are adopted into the family of God.
You are guaranteed citizenship in his kingdom.† Before you were a foreigner, alien, stranger, separated from Him, but now you have been accepted Ėadopted into the family.† Everything that belongs to Jesus now belongs to you.† We are brothers and sisters in Godís family because we have accepted the indescribable gift.
3. †The third gift within the gift is the reception of the Holy Spirit.†† Now He will guide, counsel, protect, teach and empower you.†
4. †The fourth gift within the gift is you are now given peace.† Not the peace of the world, but the peace of God which passes all human understanding.† The kind of peace when the whole world is crashing down around you and everything seems to be unraveling and falling apart, you can have peace.†
Peace that allows you to look beyond the temporary problems of this world, to see the pure air of almighty God in heaven.†
5. †The fifth gift within the gift of that indescribable gift is that now your mansion in heaven is paid for.† A dwelling place that will last for eternity.† That too is an indescribable gift.†
No eye has seen, no ear has hear, no mind can conceive, the things that God has planned for you.†
Now I knew that when I started this morning, that I would fail in my attempt to describe Jesus, because someone tried to do it before me, who was much better at it than I am.
The Apostle Paul says we canít describe Him, all we can do is fall down on our knees and thank God for the indescribable gift, especially at this time of year.
When God looked at our world over 2000 years ago, when He saw the Roman soldiers walking the streets , when He saw the people looking for peace and meaning of life, He wanted so urgently to communicate His love to us.†
But How?† How shall I communicate my love?† If I appear in person, He must have thought, If I stand before all the people in my glory they will be frightened, they will be scared away.† They will never feel like they can come to me and talk to me, they will be much like the people were in the days of Moses.†
When they stood at the bottom of Mt Sinai and they said to Moses, you go and talk to God and whatever He says we will do, but donít let Him talk to us again itís too frightening.
If I speak they will hear the thunder of my voice, and they will never grasp the words of my love.† If I send down legions of angels perhaps they wonít know how to respond.† Maybe they will never be able to experience my love.†
How do you describe something so indescribable?† But God said, I know, Iíll send my Son as a baby.†† Babies donít frighten people.† Babies are tender and soft and helpless, maybe they will hold the baby in their arms, maybe they will touch the soft skin of the baby,† maybe they will hear the soft sighs of the baby, maybe they will experience my love if I send it as an indescribable gift as a baby.
So in the fullness of time, God sent His only begotten son as a baby.† Indescribable.
But brothers and sisters, the good news for us today is that we donít have to be able to describe we only need to accept Him and receive Him into our lives.† You just receive the gift.
If someone gave you a gift and you never receive it, never open it, it is of no value to you.† You must receive Him, ask Him into your heart.† And this time of year, more than any other time, we offer Him to you.†