In most cultures in the world, it is common for adult children to live with their parents until such a time when they decide to move out to live on their own. There was a time especially in the West, when children could not wait to be 18 so they could move out and be free of parental control. The trend these days however seem to be that adult children want to live with their parents as long as possible. I believe this is mostly due to a couple of reasons with the top on the list being economic factors.
While living with their parents, children have free access to feeding and other utilities they would have otherwise paid for if they were living on their own. Although they enjoy these facilities freely, they come at a cost to their parents who have to foot the bill.
This isn’t a very good analogy of the main subject of this piece but it is what I thought of when I was considering the question, Is salvation really free? Growing up as a young Christian living in Africa, I remember hearing some early morning preachers with megaphones in their hands loudly proclaiming, “Give your life to Jesus! Salvation is free!”
The well known verse John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” and also Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We can see clearly in these verses that salvation is indeed free to those who will receive it. Salvation is a free gift from God. When you are offered a gift, it does not come with a price tag because it is freely given by the person offering it.
We have established that salvation is offered as a free gift from God to all without exception but is Salvation really free? Well, just like the analogy of the children living with their parents and enjoying free access to facilities in the home at the expense of their parents, salvation although freely given to us, came at a cost.
Paul wrote to the Romans in Chapter 8 verse 32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” That’s the word ‘free’ again but though the gift was free, it came at a high cost - God delivered His Son for us all. He offered His Son as payment for our sin. A sinless man had to die for sinners in order for them to have access to the free gift of God.
A few hours before Jesus was arrested, He went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was in such an agony as a He prayed that the Bible records he sweated and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44)
While commentators may differ on what this actually meant, it is an establish medical fact that there is a condition referred to as Hematidrosis, which is a rare condition that causes one’s sweat to contain blood. This condition is caused by extreme anguish. Jesus knew the high price he was going to pay for our sin and He knew it was not going to be easy. The human part of Him didn’t want to do it but the divine part of Him knew that it had to be done to accomplish God’s plan for humanity.
It is very easy for us as Christians to take our salvation for granted just as people tend to take things they receive freely for granted. When we however consider the high cost of securing that salvation for us, it changes our perspective as we realise what it took for God to give us this free gift.