Receiving Christ Jesus as Your Christmas Gift

David Norczyk
5 min readDec 24, 2020

The Christmas message is remarkably simple, but Christians know how many people still miss it. John 1:12 is one of many verses telling us about God’s gift of His Son, “But as many as received Him, He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” Christmas is about God giving His Son, and people receiving this indescribable gift of God (2 Cor 9:15).

From this text (Jn 1:12), we observe that not all people receive Jesus. The plight of man is sin and death (Rom 3:23; 6:23), but at the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4:4). He who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21), and He bore our sins in His body on the Cross (1 Pet 2:24). Christ Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself, on the tree, caused His blood to be shed. He died. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Heb 9:22), but Jesus said, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins (Mt 26:28).” Note the covenant blood was poured out for many, but not all, for Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21).

God did not spare His own Son, but He delivered Him up for us all (Rom 8:32). The reference, “us all” has the church as its antecedent. Jesus Christ, God’s indescribable gift (2 Cor 9:15), laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15). Christ gave Himself for His church (Eph 5:25). He demonstrated His love for us in this act of dying on our behalf (Rom 5:9). A gift given without love is no gift at all. It is a sordid way of manipulating someone into becoming a debtor. Love gives without expecting anything in return. It is unconditional, but God’s love received does, indeed, provoke a response. The receiver wants to give, too.

Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, was sent by His Father (Jn 3:16). Jesus Christ is God’s gift of love, for life, for whosoever believes in Him. God’s elect (Eph 1:4–5) are the “whosoevers,” for it was appointed for them to believe (Acts 13:48). Faith in Christ is evidence of one’s receipt of the gift of God. Preaching Christ is giving God’s gift away to others. It is one’s transition from being a receiver to becoming a giver, and Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).” Everything given to Him by His Father, He gave to us.

Evil men know how to give good gifts to their children (Mt 7:11). Surely, God knows how to give the best gift to His children. Christ is the best gift. He is valued above all else (Phil 3:8). He cannot be lost or stolen (Lk 12:33; Rom 8:31:39). Christ is eternal (1 Jn 5:20). If He is the best gift, then He is forever our treasure (2 Cor 4:7). Christ is our unfailing treasure in heaven (Lk 12:33). The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire (2 Pet 3:7), but we have an inheritance, which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for us (1 Pet 1:4).

The gift exchange at Bethlehem foreshadowed the gift exchange at the Cross of Calvary. Some men refused His gift, but many received Him, and they received a token gift. This token is a pledge of a greater gift. It is an earnest, a ticket for their safe journey, on the way to a better country (Heb 11:16). It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the gift of God (Acts 2:38). God the Father and God the Son sent the gift of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26; 15:26), a most helpful gift to teach us the knowledge of Christ.

To receive the Holy Spirit is to receive Christ (Acts 2:38; 10:47), and to receive Christ is to receive God the Father who sent Him (Mt 10:40). Jesus Christ sent His Spirit-empowered disciples to the uttermost part of the earth to bear witness of Him (Act 1:8), that is, to give the gift given to them. To refuse the messenger of Christ is to refuse to receive God and His salvation (Mt 10:40; Mk 9:37; Lk 9:48; Jn 13:20). Zacchaeus received Him gladly (Lk 19:6). The Samaritans and the Galileans received Him (Jn 4:45). Still, He came to His own people, the Jews, but most of them did not receive Him (Jn 1:11). They would receive one, who came in his own name to promote himself, but they refused to receive the One sent in the name of God His Father (Jn 5:43).

It is impossible to receive Christ, the gift of God, unless it is granted from heaven (Jn 3:27; 14:17). The world cannot receive Christ because it does not know the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13), but as many as received Christ, He gave the Spirit, to abide in the chosen vessel being prepared for glory (Rom 9:22). No one can come to the Son, the gift, unless the Father drags him (Jn 6:44). Like a person being taken to a surprise birthday party, the Father takes His chosen ones to the surprise of Christ. The gift is given. It is a spiritual Christmas morning, and it remains Christmas morning…forever. The bright and morning star has risen. It is has shone brightly in our hearts. It is a marvelous light, and this light is a gift in the darkness, even as life is a gift in a world of death, or truth is a gift in a world of lies.

Christmas is a holy day of remembering the gift of the incarnate Son (Jn 1:14), born to die. Everything about Jesus Christ is a gift to His people. Those who do not receive this gracious gift of God have not opened the mystery of God’s salvation. They remain without the gift that would remedy their plight in this world and the next.

Who would not receive the greatest gift ever given? Far too many have Christ set before them, but they have no will, nor power, nor ability in themselves to take and receive Him. They are unable to open the package. In pride, they say they have no interest in the gift. Others, helpless and humble, cry out for help to open the gift of God. Jesus taught, “Ask and you shall receive (Mt 21:22),” and “whatever we ask we receive from Him (1 Jn 3:22).” How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Lk 11:13)?

Friend, Christ has been set before you this Christmas. If you have already received Him, then give witness to this glorious fact, today. If you have not received the gift of God, and if you are unable to open this mystery, then simply ask for a Helper, for it has been granted to the elect of God to come to Christ, and all that the Father gives to Christ shall come to Christ (Jn 6:37). God has given Christ to His own people, as a gift, and He has given His own to Christ as a gift. Receive the gift and give the gift. The gift is Jesus Christ, and this is Christmas.

David E. Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

December 23, 2020

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher