Happy Birthday!

Another in a series of stories
depicting Biblical truths.


What a beautiful day it was.   The guests, the cake, the presents all made for a wonderful birthday.   In
fact, it was the best birthday she had ever had.   But it wasn't over, the best was yet to come.   Everyone
had been talking about the gift.   "This must be some gift," she thought, "I can't wait."

Her father finally stood up and said, "Now the time has come to present my daughter with her gift.   I
wanted to give her something she could not obtain herself and that she would enjoy for years to come."

And with that they all led her outside to present the gift.   When she had been positioned in front of it, they
said, "Open your eyes now".   What a surprise it was.   She never would have dreamed that anyone would
give such a valuable gift.   She immediately asked, "When can I drive it?"

Yes, her gift had been a car.   Not just any car, this was the world's most expensive car.   Her father was
right - this was a gift she could never obtain on her own, especially since she was still in high school
working part time at the local fast food place.

The next thing she knew her father handing her the keys and saying, "Now, Honey, this is your gift.   It
is all yours.   The only thing you have to do is hang on to it."

"Yes, Dad," she said, "don't worry.   I'll try my best to keep it in good shape."   If ever there were any
famous last words, this was it.   For you see receiving the car was only half the battle.   The other half
turned out to be maintaining it.

The car required special gas, special oil and even special anti-freeze.   The periodic maintenance was very
expensive also.   Add to that the occasional replacement parts that had to come from overseas.   Then, of
course, a person shouldn't drive a car like that without full insurance coverage.

The expenses to maintain the car went on and on.   Needles to say, the girl had to work very hard at two
jobs just to hang onto it.   She lived in constant fear of losing it.   Finally, she had enough.   "Father, I'm
I'm going to lose my gift."

"Don't worry, Daughter, just keep working faithfully at maintaining it and you will do alright."

"But, Father, it is beyond my capability to keep it.   If you really wanted it to be a gift, why didn't you
provide the maintenance as well?"

"Honey, are you saying that you don't appreciate the gift?"

"Dad, I'm saying that it is not really a gift if I have to work at keeping it.   Afterall, if I had the ability to
keep it, I could have obtained it myself in the first place."




The Daughter . . . . . . . Us
The Gift   . . . . . . . . . . Salvation

The girl was right in questioning her gift.   Afterall, a gift is supposed to be free without the receiver having
to work toward obtaining it or keeping it.   A gift is a gift.

Salvation is a gift bought by Christ and offered to mankind by God (Romans 5:17,18).   It has to be a gift.
We could not earn it if we tried (Romans 3:10-20).   We can't save ourselves (Romans 10:1-3) and that is
why God offers salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Yet for some reason, some people think (and teach) that once a person receives the gift of salvation it then
becomes their responsibility to hang onto it.   They teach that unless the person is faithful to the end they
will lose their salvation.

But like the girl in the story, we must ask is salvation really a gift if we have to work to stay saved.   To
work at keeping oneself saved results in a salvation based on good works and not on grace (Romans 11:6;
Galatians 2:21).

Afterall, if we can't earn salvation by works, how can we keep it by works?

The person who is trying to keep from losing his salvation is constantly in a state of unrest and has no
peace.   This is not what God intended.   The reason Christ died in our place and paid for our sin is so
that we may have peace with God (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14).   Christ did it all and does not need our
help to keep us saved (Acts 4:12; John 1:12-13).

When Jesus says "they shall never perish", He means NEVER (John 10:27-29).



1.   We must realize that we are lost, sinners that are spiritually dead.
* "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."   Luke 19:10
* "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
* "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."   John 3:3
* "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."   John 3:6

2.   As spiritually dead, lost sinners, God's judgment and wrath are upon us.
* "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" Hebrews 9:27.
* "For which things' sake [sin] the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
[sinners]:" Colossians 3:6.

3.   Our good works can't stop this judgment and wrath.   God demands death as payment
for sin.

* "Not of works..." Ephesians 2:8,9.
* "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10.
* "the soul that sinneth, it shall die."   Ezekiel 18:4
* "For the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.


4.   God is willing to accept someone else's death in our place.   That someone is Jesus Christ.
* "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who
gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
  I Timothy 2:5-6
* "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
  Romans 5:8

5.   Jesus has bought salvation for us and now God can offer it as a gift by grace.
* "Ye are bought with a price;" I Corinthians 7:23.
* "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not
of works, lest any man should boast."
  Ephesians 2:8,9

How does someone accept this gift?   Through repentance and faith.

REPENTANCE: means to change your mind and adapt an attitude of not rebelling against God.
FAITH: means to simply take God at His Word, i.e., believe the verses you have just read.
* "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward
our Lord Jesus Christ."
  Acts 20:21
* "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."   Romans 10:13

6.   Upon being saved and born again spiritually, we become converted to a new creature in

* "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
  Matthew 18:3
* "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold,
all things are become new."
  II Corinthians 5:17


3303 23rd Avenue SouthWest
Fargo, North Dakota 58103

Speaking the truth in love
Ephesians 4:15

(701) 232-5500

Pastor T. C. Scheving

Schedule of Services

Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:30 a.m.
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Evening Service . . . . . . . 6:00 p.m.
Proteens (Wednesday) . . . . . . . . 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday Bible Study . . . . . . . 7:00 p.m.

[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]