It’s Thanksgiving and there is so many reasons to be thankful. James 1:16-18 states, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
It’s so easy to “be deceived” in thinking that we should accredit God’s blessings to other sources. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,” therefore God is the primary one who deserves our thankfulness.
Above all God’s gifts is the gospel of Jesus Christ, for “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The gospel gives us endless and countless blessings. Here are at least 3 reasons Christians can be thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. The Gospel is the Supreme Demonstration of God’s Love for Us.
God doesn’t just say, “I love you.” God doesn’t give us abstract examples. God always reveals his messages through words and deeds. The gospel, Jesus death and resurrection, is the greatest sacrifice, meeting our greatest need, expressing God’s love in the greatest way possible.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. “(1 John 4:9)
2. The Gospel Frees Us to Love God and Receive Love from God, Uniting Us to Him in a Personal Relationship
Sin is the opposite of loving God, it is the opposite of receiving love form God, and it is the opposite of unity with God in a personal relationship.
Sin corrupts all that is good that God had originally given us. God made us to be in communion with him, but sin destroyed that relationship. Thank God for the gospel! Through the death of Jesus, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, all of our sins are forgiven. Through the resurrection of Jesus, we are not only forgiven but we are transformed into a new creation, with new desires, with the power to obey God rather than sin through the power of his Holy Spirit.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:8-11)
3. The Gospel Unites Christians Forever in the Family of God
Nothing reminds us of our love for our families like the holiday seasons. And nothing reminds us of the pain involved in those relationships as well like the holidays as well. While it’s not fun to talk about, because of sin there is always going to be disunity amongst our human relationships. Sin divides even when our best intentions are to be unified and at peace with one another.
The gospel is our only hope for unity amongst those we love. Until we are united in Christ, there can’t be true unity with other people. God not only brings us peace now in our earthly relationships when our relationship with him is our top priority, the gospel also gives us the great joy of spending eternity with those we love who have received the saving grace of God expressed through the gospel of Christ.
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28)
Everything good in our lives is from God, therefore we can thank God this Thanksgiving for everything we have. But the gospel is God’s greatest gift to us. It’s God’s greatest expression of his love for us, it save us from our sins, unites us with him, and it brings us unity amongst others who have received the gospel as well.
Let us be thankful for all that God has given us, but let us be thankful most of all for the gift of the gospel, for it gives us a relationship with God himself. . . and nothing is better than that.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! – Psalm 107:1