In the world we live in, most people love a good bargain. They want to get whatever they are looking for at the absolute best price. But you know what people love more than a good bargain? Free! If you dare to mention the word free, people may even come from miles on end just to get whatever is being given away. Some people will not only travel far distances, but they will lie, cheat, and steal just so they can get something for “free.” To say it simply, people love free stuff. In fact, some people think they are owed free stuff. For many years in marketing, people have used the allure of free items to get people to buy certain things. Take for instance the car salesman that promises a free 4K TV with the purchase of a brand-new car. This seems like a sweet deal. I mean who doesn’t want a free 4K TV? I am guessing the person that doesn’t want a monthly car payment. Marketing schemes like this have been used for decades and have been very successful. But while people love free stuff, many realize that most things in life do not come for free. We as people are familiar with the fine print, and we wonder, “What’s the catch?” Even when a promotional item is being given away, while there may be no direct cost to us, as the consumer, at the time, somebody somewhere is paying for it.
In Romans 6:23 we read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you were to just look at the last part of this verse, you may just see a free gift with no conditions or cost at all. But that is not a fair representation of what the Word of God says. As we look at the whole verse, we see that sin requires death. This is a great cost. Jesus paid that price for us when He died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8). But how do we receive the free gift of eternal life that God has promised?
That free gift is possible for those that are “in Christ.” In Romans 6:3-6, we see that when we are baptized, we are baptized into Christ and His death. This baptism is a burial and puts our old self to death. When we rise out of that water a new person we are to “walk in newness of life.” We have been set free from sin, and how sweet that freedom is to us all. The free gift of God is not a gift we deserved but it is a gift that was given at a great cost and to those that meet the Lords’ conditions.
When we look at many free things in this life, some things are given because people are good and generous. These are the kinds of gifts we love to see happen in our world. Some gifts are given as promotional items because a person or a company wants your business. There is nothing wrong with these gifts either. Other gifts, however, are given as a scheme to try to trick you into buying something or to just simply take your money. These kinds of “free gifts” are the kinds of “gifts” that make people cynical and move them towards not trusting anybody.
While all gifts are similar in the fact that they cost somebody something, and some gifts are similar in that they have conditions that have to be met, nothing compares to the free gift of God, the gift of salvation. God’s free gift of salvation is not some kind of scheme or trick. It’s not a promotional item or even just a nice gesture. The gift of salvation is a gift given from a merciful, gracious, and loving God to mankind. It is a gift that was needed and is a gift that we must have if we want to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Jesus Christ paid that great debt that was owed for the sins of the world so that we might have hope of a future with Him. This is the kind of free gift that I hope we seek after every day of our lives. This is the free gift the world really needs. Let us make it our goal to teach Christ and Him crucified and to share that free gift to the world.