Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 29, 1960

Three Gifts

W. W. Otey, Winfield, Kansas

Three gifts are required for man's salvation. (1) God gave his only son. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16) (2) Jesus gave himself. He gave up the glory that he had with the Father; "existing in the form of God, (he) counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, being obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:6-8) But the gift of God and the gift of Jesus could not save man without a third gift. (3) Man must give himself without reserve into the service of the Father and the Son.

This does not mean that man can earn or merit salvation. It only means that he must put off the old life that makes him unfit for the association of the heavenly host, and must prepare a heart and a life for such things as will be in heaven. If it were possible, which it is not, to take to heaven one who loves sinful things here, heaven would be a place of misery and unhappiness for such a person. He has not loved the pure, the good, and holy on earth; in heaven he would find nothing but such things. He has despised the association of the righteous on earth; he would find no other kind in heaven. The whole work of redemption is to prepare people for the society of heaven.

The redemption of man originated in God's love. Its perfection required the service of patriarchs, prophets, and inspired apostles to bring the plan to its realization in the death of Christ. And now there remains only the necessity of total acceptance on the part of man.