If you’re looking for a great deal, you’ll want to carefully examine the ad for a national donut store chain:
FREE! 3 MUFFINS WHEN YOU BUY 3
AT THE REGULAR HALF-DOZEN PRICE
If that rather confusing statement means you can buy six muffins for the price of six, it’s not exactly a bargain!
So many of the seemingly great buys in our world are like deceptive advertisements. You end up receiving nothing for something, when you thought it would be the other way around.
Think about it in spiritual terms. Various religions require a long list of activities in exchange for what amounts to hopelessness.
One Eastern religion, for example, expects its adherents to eat only leftovers, never injure a living thing, and denounce all preferences of sounds, colors, smells, and people. In return for all this meaningless (and impossible) self-denial, the individual hopes to be reincarnated to a better life.
In reality, spiritual rewards are God’s to give, and He does so on the basis of His grace. Only God’s plan of salvation offers something that is truly free (Rom. 4:5). Jesus paid the price for our redemption; all He asks is that we put our faith in Him. Any other plan is nothing for something.
Nor silver nor gold has obtained my redemption,
The way into heaven could not thus be bought;
The blood of the cross is my only foundation,
The death of my Savior redemption has wrought. —Gray
If we could earn our salvation, Christ would not have died to provide it.