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How can salvation be offered to us as a free gift of God, yet Discipleship have a great cost? Consider this analogy:

Suppose you have a desire to climb Mount Everest. Suppose a wealthy businessman heard of your desire and offered to pay for the entire expedition. It costs about $70,000 to do it. He would buy all the expensive clothing and gear; he would pay for your transportation, the guides, and the training. It’s totally free for you in terms of financial cost. But if you accept his free offer, you have just committed myself to months of difficult training and arduous effort. It could even cost me my very life, because many good climbers die trying to climb Mount Everest. It is free and yet very costly.

Source: The Cost of Discipleship, www.fcfonline.org/80199.htm, Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 1999,