The Gift

Today I am excited and honored to hand this blog over to a guest blogger, my son, Josiah Furcinitti. Josiah, thank you for sharing your God-given insight and wisdom, and for allowing me to share that in turn with those who read this blog. I consider this a gift from God and receive it gladly.

It is difficult for most people to receive a free gift from others. I don’t mean that it is physically difficult to take the gift, as though some force is stopping you. Rather, most people feel uncomfortable receiving something “just because.” While it is a great joy to give a gift to those you love, it is often rather uncomfortable to receive something. You may struggle to accept that which you have not earned. You may take issue with the fact that you have nothing with which you can reciprocate the kind gesture; perhaps you may even feel as though you now owe them something. You now feel like you must act a little kinder towards them, pay a little more attention to them, or perhaps perform some grand gesture in return.

Naturally then, the free gift of salvation and righteousness in Jesus can be rather difficult for many to accept. Many after being saved have great zeal for God (a wonderful fruit of salvation), a desire to see the lost saved (another splendid fruit), and to live a life that is honoring to God (yet another wonderful thing.) Indeed, God spurs these things on in us. However, many fall into the trap of believing that once we are saved, Jesus has “passed the buck” off to us. It may be easy to believe that since Jesus did the front work in taking away our sins, it is now our job to make ourselves better. In a sense, we sometimes feel that we must prove to Jesus that we were worth it.

Now, don’t get me wrong- the grace freely given us in Christ Jesus does not give us a license to sin. We must abstain from certain evil deeds of the flesh that may still tempt us, even after we are in Christ. We must study the Word of God, seeking to grow in spiritual maturity and to come to know our God and Savior Jesus on a deeper level. We must show mercy and grace to others as freely as it has been shown to us. However, we do these things not out of an obligation, but out of a heart overflowing with gratitude for the work that has been done for us. That is to say, we do these things not to keep our right standing with God (that is the work of Christ, not possible by our own means), but because of our right standing with God.

For us to think that we can prove ourselves worthy of what Jesus has done is folly. The book of Galatians was a letter that the apostle Paul had written to a group of churches in Galatia, a group that he had preached the Gospel to and spent time with. However, it is clear in the letter that the churches had fallen prey to what so many today fall prey to- the inclination of the human heart to turn back to self-reliance, even after believing in the work of Jesus Christ. The Galatians, having accepted Christ, were now trying to perfect themselves by their own means; in their case, circumcision. Paul saw this as an issue. In fact, Paul asserted that what they were acting out and proclaiming was not at all the gospel of Jesus.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)

He goes on…

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3)

Note the strength of the language here, “Who has bewitched you?” What a statement! Yet, this is how far off from the Gospel of Jesus Christ this idea of self-righteous sanctification was. And though we may not be attempting to make others get circumcised or to get circumcised ourselves, we still try to impose on ourselves the weight of proving ourselves righteous, unconsciously “turning to a different gospel.”

But thank God our salvation is not dependent upon us! Thank God it is not through our own power that we receive grace! No, grace is the free gift of God, given to us because He loves us. And as we rest in this grace, leaning on Jesus and his finished, (that’s right, finished, completed, He does not need our help) work, He is faithful to continue the work He has started in us. His Spirit is faithful to remind us of all that he has said and done, and to make us more like Him day by day.

So though it may be difficult, I beg you, I plead with you, I implore you- accept this gift as it is; free. Do not try to add to it or take away from it. Realize that He has bought your righteousness with His blood because of His great love for you. The only thing you have to do is accept it.

Scriptures for further reading:

Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Galatians 3:2-3 “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- not by works, that no man may boast…”

Philippians 3:4-9 “though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

Revelation 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”


  1. Such wisdom for a young man. Josiah, great job - thank you


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