A missionary to the people of the Philippines was trying to explain salvation to a wealthy woman, but the woman didn’t understand that she couldn’t pay for it.
So the missionary gave her this illustration: “If you wanted to give your daughter a big, beautiful mansion as a gift, how would you feel if she said, ‘Mother, you must let me help you pay for the gift. You know I work for the mission hospital and don’t make much money, but I think I can squeeze out $8 a month.’”
She went on: “That’s what you are saying to God. You want to help pay for what Jesus has already paid for. A home in heaven is a gift. It is an insult to try to help pay for it.”
All over the world devout, well-meaning people—rich, poor, and in-between—struggle to understand that Jesus paid it all. Convinced that they have to do something to earn God’s favor, they attempt to pay for salvation as best they can.
We need to understand that when God gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice, the bill for our sin was paid. For us to try to pay for God’s gift is insulting to Him. Genuine trust is believing that God has already taken care of the payment. We don’t need to buy something that has already been purchased with Jesus’ death on the cross.
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain—
He washed it white as snow. —Hall
If we could earn our salvation, Christ would not have died to provide it.