Thursday, April 9, 2015

“The Freest Gift, the Highest Cost”

     The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ provides the freest gift ever given, provided at the highest cost ever remitted.

     "But not as the offense, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offense of one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many" (Romans 5:15).

    Everything believers do, everything we say, everything we write, everything we live must declare both directly and implicitly declare that God offers salvation freely through the person, merits, and work of His Son.  Just as the Lord Jesus violently rejected barter in the temple of God - "He drove them all out of the temple… poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables" - so must His church boldly and unequivocally communicate the completely undeserved blessedness of the freest gift, the freest gift ever given (John 2:15).  As the old hymn beautifully sings, "Nothing in my hands I bring, only to Thy cross I cling!"

    We also proclaim the highest cost ever remitted.  "Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19).  That which is free to us cost God the lifeblood of His dearest and best.  Moreover, the redemption of our souls required the Father to smite His beloved Son with wrath and utter abandonment - "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?!" (Matthew 27:46).  "We preach Christ crucified" declared the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 1:23).  Little wonder, because in the Biblical proclamation of Calvary, we delineate everything we need to know about the love of God for humanity, and the desperate need of humanity for salvation from the horror of how fallen in sin we are apart from His redeeming grace.  Indeed, in the rescue made possible by "Christ crucified," the dual message of Divine grace and human need shines forth in both beautiful and disturbing display.  Yes indeed, we preach Christ crucified in order to rightly announce the freest gift, purchased by the highest cost.

    In order to effectively communicate the loving grace and mercies of God, we lead human hearts to consider Calvary.  In order to effectively communicate the seriousness of sin and God's condemnation thereof, we again lead human hearts to consider Calvary.  Indeed, we can never know God's love apart from the cross upon which the Lord Jesus experienced for us His Father's wrath, and we can never know our own sin until we see Him "made to be sin for us" (II Corinthians 5:21).  Little wonder that Paul so emphasized the Calvary where we see the light of God and the darkness of man revealed, as in His Son God made provision for the freest gift, purchased by the highest cost…

"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(Galatians 6:14)

Weekly Memory Verse
    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
(Galatians 5:25)

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