The season of buying/making gifts, giving and receiving gifts is upon us and it reminded me of all the different ways that Gifts are described in the bible.
I like how this definition broke it down:
GIFT. In the OT a dozen words are used of gifts of one kind or other. The sacrifices and other offerings were gifts to God (Ex. 28:38; Nu. 18:11, etc.). The Levites were also, in a way, a gift to the Lord (Nu. 18:6). Occasionally there is the thought of God’s gifts to men, as health and food and wealth and enjoyment (Ec. 3:13; 5:19). Men gave gifts on festive occasions (Ps. 45:12; Est. 9:22), or in association with a dowry (Gn. 34:12). Gifts might be tokens of royal bounty (Dn. 2:6). But there was little goodwill in the ‘gifts’ (RSV, ‘tribute’) the Moabites brought David (2 Sa. 8:2). Gifts might be the expression of shrewd policy, as when ‘a man’s gift makes room for him’ (Pr. 18:16). Indeed, a gift might be offered with altogether improper motives, so that the word comes to mean much the same as ‘bribe’. The Israelites were commanded, ‘thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise’ (Ex. 23:8, AV).
In the NT there is a marked change of emphasis. Some of the 9 Gk. words for ‘gift’ refer to men’s gifts to God, as anathēma (Lk. 21:5), and especially dōron (Mt. 5:23f.; 23:18f., etc.). Some refer also to men’s gifts to one another, e.g. dōron (Rev. 11:10), doma (Mt. 7:11; Phil. 4:17). But the characteristic thing is the use of several words to denote entirely or primarily the gifts that God gives to men. dōrea (the word expresses freeness, bounty) is found 11 times, always of a divine gift. Sometimes this is salvation (Rom. 5:15, 17), or it may be undefined (‘his inexpressible gift’, 2 Cor. 9:15), or it is the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). James reminds us that ‘Every good endowment (dosis) and every perfect gift (dōrēma) is from above’ (Jas. 1:17). A most important word is charisma. This may be used of God’s good gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23), but its characteristic use is for the *‘SPIRITUAL GIFTS’, i.e. the gifts which the Holy Spirit imparts to certain people. Everyone has such a gift (1 Pet. 4:10), but specific gifts are reserved for individuals (1 Cor. 12:30), and individuals endowed with these gifts are themselves ‘gifts’ from the ascended Christ to the church (Eph. 4:7ff.). The important passages are Rom. 12:6ff.; 1 Cor. 12:4–11, 28–30; 14; Eph. 4:11ff. Salvation is God’s good gift to men, and all the rest arises from this basic truth.
Morris, L. L. (1996). Gift. In (D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, & D. J. Wiseman, Eds.)New Bible dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Yes, Salvation is our free gift from God to us through His Son, Jesus.
I will always be reminded as gifts are being exchanged of His good and perfect Gift.
It is truly the only gift worth celebrating!
Thank you Lord for "17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Jas 1:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!
Merry Christmas to you all.
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