It’s time to celebrate Christ’s birth again! Although we actually celebrate it all year, every year, this is the time of the year when everyone focuses on the event. It’s about the greatest gift anyone one ever gave and anyone every received. John 3:16 puts it this way, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” According to one sermon illustration, “Luther called John 3:16 ‘the heart of the Bible—the Gospel in miniature.’ It’s so simple a child can understand it; yet it condenses the deep and marvelous truths of redemption into these few pungent words:
01 our greatest gift
• “God”…The greatest Lover
• “So loved”…The greatest degree
• “The world”…The greatest number
• “That He gave”..The greatest act
• “His only begotten Son”.The greatest gift
• “That whosoever”..The greatest invitation
• “Believeth”…The greatest simplicity
• “In Him”…The greatest Person
• “Should not perish”..The greatest deliverance
• “But”….The greatest difference
• “Have”….The greatest certainty
• “Everlasting Life”..The greatest possession.”

You can sense the importance that Paul placed on the Gospel message throughout his many writings. It is especially clear in Galatians. As he prepares to wrap up his message to the Galatians and to us, he informs us of how important the gift God gave us in His Son is to Him. In Galatians 6:11, he says, “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” They say IF YOU WRITE YOUR TEXTS OR EMAILS IN CAPITAL LETTERS YOU ARE YELLING AT PEOPLE. I don’t think Paul intended to yell at us but he wanted us to recognize how important the gift that God gave us really is by showing a little emphasis with “large” letters written by his own hand. You see God’s Christmas gift is the greatest gift because it is a gift of true, sacrificial love. Love sets us free from fear.

John MacArthur writes, “Missionaries report that, because so many individuals live in fear of their gods, one of the greatest gifts Christianity ever brings to primitive societies is the certainty that God is a loving, caring Father. The invented false gods of false religions are typically characterized as vengeful and jealous, and their worshipers must take desperate measures to appease them. But knowing that the true God is our Father dispels all such fear.” According to Kistemaker and Hendriksen, “ ‘The epistle to the Galatians is my epistle. To it I am as it were in wedlock. It is my Katherine.’ Thus spoke Luther, who considered Galatians the best of all the books in the Bible. It has been called ‘the battle-cry of the Reformation,’ ‘the great charter of religious freedom,’ ‘the Christian declaration of independence,’ etc. It is important because in any age it answers the basic question asked by the human heart: ‘How can I find true happiness?’ ‘How can I obtain peace, tranquility, freedom from fear?’”