It’s always a welcome break from the everyday to go out of town for a long weekend, but one thing I can usually count on is that there will be a pile of mail waiting for us when we return. This time, as I sorted through the familiar stack to separate the important stuff from the flyers and junk, I noticed that there were a lot of colorful mailings announcing that there was something “free” waiting just for me!
Of course everyone wants “something for nothing”, but as you must know from picking through your own mailbox, “free” often comes with a few hidden conditions.
So it should come as no surprise that when believers talk about God’s “free gift of eternal life,” those outside the church are a little skeptical. After all, how can they not wonder if there a catch somewhere in the fine print of an offer that seems too good to be true?
So allow me to clear up the confusion – Eternal Life is in fact NOT Free.
Now before you stop reading or brand me a heretic, please understand that I’m not contradicting the Word of God. I’m not implying that you can earn your own way to heaven, that there is anything you can add to the exchange, or that there is a fine print ‘gotcha’ that’s required of you in God’s invitation to live with Him for eternity. What I AM saying is that there is a great difference between something being ‘free’ and it being ‘without cost.’ In the case of my junk mail offers, the cost of the ‘free gift’ ultimately comes out of my pocket. But in the case of salvation, the cost is actually enormously high, but the price to cover it has already been paid by the death of Jesus Christ.
“It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed …but with the precious blood of Christ….” ~ 1 Peter 1:18-19
He himself (Jesus) bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:24
He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.~ Isaiah 53:5
You know, there’s something within most people that resists a gift that seems too extravagant. Maybe it’s because deep inside we know that we are unworthy or unfit to merit what appears to be an overly generous offer. And I believe that most of us carry that same uneasiness over in to the spiritual realm. We’d just feel better if we could ‘help out’ (even a little) in order to deserve God’s great gift of eternal life because maybe then we could feel better about accepting it. But regardless of how good we are or how long we work, our best efforts would never be adequate to merit such an offer. Only the life of the sinless Son of God is sufficient to purchase such a gift! And once we accept His gracious offer, we can be assured that His relationship with us (and ours with Him) never relies on our conduct. By faith, we’re declared righteous based solely on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and on His conquering of the grave… nothing else.
So, the good news for you today is that there actually is a free offer waiting for you!
And this one has no hidden clause, no fine print to read, no strings attached. It’s an offer for which a great price has already been paid. Accept it today, rest in the confidant assurance that eternal life is yours!
God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Whoever has the Son has life
1 John 5:11-12