Text:“So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world.  But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive full rights of Sons”-  Galatians 4:3-5

         It is very doubtful if there is anyone who does not want gifts; we all want gifts. We value the gifts we receive on two reasons: (i) the giver and the heart at which he/she gives (ii) the importance, usage and relevance of the gift to us at the particular time it is offered. For instance, some weeks ago, on my birthday, my wife gave me a gift of a new phone. This gift was highly appreciated because, I knew it was given out of her love for me and secondly I had needed a phone with good camera.

St. Paul writing to the Galatians who had been hoodwinked by heretics to believe they cannot be Christians without circumcision allegorically explained the state of mankind before God sent His Son to deliver us from the pitiful state. To Paul taking up circumcision was simply going back to darkness and bondage because Judaism is bondage. Paul through the use of allegory explained that Man had been in bondage, were slaves to sin until the advent of the Son of God at God’s own appointed time. The Son was given by God himself as a gift to human race to redeem man from the bondage of sin. St. John encapsulate this in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

Jesus is the priceless gift from God to mankind; he was given out of the love God has for mankind, that mankind would not perish but be saved and have eternal life. Secondly the gift is priceless because of the purpose for which he was given. God knew our needs, He knew we needed a saviour that would be both God and Man who will atone for the sin of Mankind.  John speaks of the gift thus: ”from the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another”. John 1:16. From Jesus (the priceless gift to mankind), comes to mankind manifold blessings such as salvation, deliverance and answers to our prayers. Rom. 8:32 says: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all how will not also, along with him, graciously give us all things. The Old Testament passage, Isaiah 62:10-12 says this of the benefit the Messiah would bring to mankind thus: ”They will be called the Holy people, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After the City No Longer Deserted. Through Jesus Christ we become children of God and holy people.

Beloved, Jesus, the gift of God to mankind had through his vicarious sacrifice delivered us from bondage of sin and made us children of God. This blessing will amount to nothing in our lives if we fail to appropriate it. To appropriate it, we have to accept the gift; that is accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.  John 1:12 says “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”

Are you in possession of this priceless gift of God to Mankind? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? Refusing the gift portends danger; think about this.

 

Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi

The Provost

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