Word of the Month

Every good gift

June 2003

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. Even in the physical creation there are examples of this divine law: the sunlight, which brightens and warms the earth, making life on earth possible, comes from above as does the rain, which moistens the ground, keeping it fertile. However, when the author of the Epistle of James refers to the perfect gift which comes from above he does not mean the sun and the rain, but rather everything that God, the Father of light, grants for the ripening of the soul. (c.f. James 1:17).

First and foremost, this includes His word through which God created all things: the stars in the heavens, continents and oceans, mountains, rivers, plants, animals and finally, human beings with an immortal soul. The word of God is alive today and will remain so in all eternity: its source is at the throne of the Eternal One, it is conveyed through the Holy Spirit and is then proclaimed at the altar of the Most High. It comes down from above to strengthen and increase our faith.

Our having been chosen as children of God is a perfect gift from above, from the Father of light. The Lord had chosen us before the foundation of the earth was laid. We were not able to contribute anything to this. At the time of our election we had not even been conceived yet. Certainly, we had to affirm our election by receiving a further gift from above: the anointing with the Holy Spirit. In James, it says regarding this: "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." (James 1:18).

Another priceless gift of God is grace: it delivers us from all sin and guilt. No spirit, no devil has a claim on us if we grasp in faith the forgiveness wrought by the sacrifice of Christ. The Son of God also grants us intimate fellowship with Him in the Holy Communion; ineffable powers are contained therein which enable us to become more and more like Jesus.

We also thankfully accept the perfect gifts of God's peace and blessing, as well as strengthening of faith and deepening of knowledge, joy in God's work and strength for our pilgrimage. All these gifts come from the Father of light, with whom "there is no variation or shadow of turning", as James describes.

God is the origin of light, the source of all life. He is almighty and omniscient. He is unchanging and true. He would have all men to be saved. It was to this end that He sent His Son to earth, who through His sacrifice laid the foundation for redemption. Jesus Christ has promised to come again. The taking home of His bride will be the greatest gift to come from above, the Father of light. Let us all utilize the perfect gifts granted us from above in order to be worthy to enter into eternal glory!

(From services by the Chief Apostle)