Sometimes the simplest of concepts becomes very complex when men mix two opposing ideas together and build a whole new concept which violates the principles of both. This is illustrated by the very common marketing tool known as BOGO, or buy one, get one free. While this is a very successful marketing ploy, it relies upon the ease with which men can be deceived.
The word “free” is simple enough to understand but seldom illustrated in this world. No one actually would believe that one of the items offered is “free” if they examined the proposition closely, There is in reality no difference, pricewise, in the more successful BOGO campaigns and those which offer items at half-price if you buy two items. If a person does not believe this, then they should try to get the “so called” free item without paying for the first one. This is not an attempt to give away merchandise but rather a means whereby to induce men to buy more than they normally would at a regular price.
Sadly the modern concept of “gospel preaching” which makes salvation a “free offer”, yet requires men to “pay” for it by exercising “faith” by the power of their own free will is as completely deceptive, as any of these “free” marketing campaigns.
If something is truly free then no price at all is ever expected or demanded. The justification which is procured by JESUS CHRIST in HIS death on Calvary’s cross is indeed “free” for those for whom it was purchased. Nothing at all is required of them to possess it. It is given “without money, and without price” to those whom the LORD has justified with HIS blood.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts which are associated with the “free grace” of GOD which is manifested in the gift of faith, to those who are made thirsty by the work of HIS SPIRIT. Even the desire of the righteous is freely given to them as the SPIRIT works in them both to will and to do of HIS good pleasure.
Faith is not an activity of the flesh of men, which GOD recognizes and then bestows justification upon those who thus believe. Rather the gift of faith which causes men to believe and call upon the LORD is simply the manifestation of the work of GOD in those whom HE has predestined to believe. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts13:48)
The work of “justification” is a work which is completely performed by JESUS CHRIST. HE has purchased that “justification” by the shedding of HIS blood as the SUSTITUTE of those people which HE has loved with an everlasting love. The scripture simply says. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 3:24) When the LORD says something is “free” then nothing needs to be, nor can be added to it.
The natural man, who is unbelieving by nature, will not gladly accept the notion of “free justification,” since his desire to establish his own righteousness is stamped in his DNA and written upon his darkened understanding. He believes that he can, and therefore must, bring some sort of activity of his flesh before the LORD even as Cain brought his own offering unto the LORD. Thus by comparing himself with others, using what he considers to be “faith”, as the measure, he believes he can gauge his relative acceptance with GOD. Therefore it is no surprise that such men will fight against the preaching of “free grace”, and seek to overturn it by preaching a message which purports to be, “salvation by grace” but in reality is one which confuses “free” with some requirement which is to be added by men.
Just like the buy one and get one free, offers, they tell us that if you will bring your faith to heaven’s marketplace then you can get “free justification” along with many other benefits. They call this “free grace” but in reality it is neither “free” nor “grace”. Grace by its very nature is free, and free cannot include any conditions or requirements.
As Isaiah declared unto those who are “thirsty”, “come without money or price”, and “buy” (i.e.obtain) wine and milk”, so too does our LORD declare, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Now in both cases these declarations are addressed to a specific type of person, “those who thirst” and those who “labor and are heavy laden”. They are informed that the very thing which they desire is already provided for them by ONE who has paid in full for that which they stand in need of.
The preaching of the gospel is not an “offer” with conditions attached to it, which if a man fulfill he can reap its benefits. The true preaching of the gospel is, rather, the declaration of what JESUS CHRIST has completely performed in procuring the eternal redemption of unworthy sinners.
The pouring out of the blood of CHRIST has completely satisfied the claims of the justice demanded by the broken law. If that “payment” is made in full then there can remain nothing left undone for those who are its benefactors. This is “free justification”, and is truly a delightful message for those who feel their own just condemnation according to the present work of the HOLY GHOST in them.
The current popular message tells men that CHRIST will take away the just condemnation of their sins if they will only believe the gospel. Such a message would be too little too late and would make the cancellation of their sins to depend upon their own action. If CHRIST had not already stood as the SUBSTITUTE for HIS elect bride, from before the foundation of the world, then justice would have already demanded her destruction with a sentence which could not be abrogated by any effort or action of her own. The world outside of CHRIST, stands in just such a place for they are “condemned already.”
CHRIST has stood in the room and stead of that people which HE has loved with an everlasting love. HE is the SUBSTITUTE of those whom HE has come into the world to save even as the angel conveyed this message to Joseph. “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21) Not only did HE come into the world for this purpose but HE has manifested the cancellation of the debt of sin which that elect people owed, by making HIMSELF an offering for their sin. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb 9:12)
Now if CHRIST has already “obtained” this redemption for HIS people, it is clearly theirs. They could not possibly do anything to gain that which HE has already purchased. Thus we are sure that it is therefore freely given without price of any kind. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace”. (Eph 1:3-7)mam