Summary: It is important for believers to be aware of the cost of their salvation which, though free to us, required the greatest price ever known to man.
“Nothing Cheap About Grace”
BREBC Sept. 1, 2002 a.m.
Theme: The Cost of Salvation
Passage: 1 Peter 1: 17 - 21
Who doesn’t like to get something that is free? But we have become pretty sceptical. When we see something that is free, we tend to look behind the scenes and ask, o.k. but what will this really cost? My brother won a prize of a few hundred square feet of free carpet. But by the time they bought the amount needed to finish the job, plus other renovations it required it cost a great deal of money which they had never intended to spend.
We love to emphasize that salvation is a free gift, provided by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God,”
Yes, dear ones, salvation is a free gift provided by grace, but as the sermon title says, there is “Nothing Cheap About Grace”. Grace is “God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense”.
This morning I want you to see The Cost of our Salvation: and I want you to consider the infinite cost of your redemption. Let me show you
1. The Need for Redemption
2. The Cost of Redemption
3. The Plan for Redemption
4. The Result of Redemption
1. The Need for Redemption
a. What is redemption anyway?
The word redemption comes from the word redeem, and we are all familiar with redeeming something. It means to buy back, to pay the price of. If you and I had ever gotten into financial difficulty and had to pawn something of value, we would have the opportunity to redeem it when we had the money - we could buy it back by paying the cost plus the interest.
The word redeem means "to release on receipt of a ransom, to liberate by a payment; to deliver from evils of every kind, internal and external."
Several thoughts come into play here. We were born as slaves of sin. Our sin brought us under the curse of the law. And all the time that we were so sure that we were completely free to do our own thing, we didn’t realize that we were bound up under the vain lifestyle of our forefathers. The word means vain, useless, of no purpose. In other words, life lived without God, no matter how productive, still lacks purpose, because it is only for the here and now, and won’t bring benefit for eternity.
And we didn’t know it. We had no idea what our true condition was. We didn’t have a clue about how enslaved we were, nor how impossible it was for us to escape ending up in hell.
And so God set out to buy us back out of the slave market of sin; to set us free from our empty lifestyle, and to take us out from under judgement.
2. The Cost of our Redemption: v. 19
How are we going to be set free from this slavery to sin? We can’t escape just by an act of our own will. We are so sure that we can do it ourselves. If we need to overcome any addiction, we are so sure that we can lick it by just making up our minds, by exercising our will power. But even if we can succeed in stopping these bad habits, that still won’t gain favour with God. It still won’t earn our salvation because
a. Your corruptible nature cannot enter the eternal world.
b. Nor can you be redeemed by any other substance. “You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold” Money, good works, self sacrifice, nothing we can offer can purchase eternal life.
Many years ago, the president of a uranium mining company in Northern Ontario was said to have given 2 million dollars to the church. Do you think that purchased his entrance into heaven? Not for even one minute. Corruptible substances have no purchasing power in the eternal world. God is not impressed with gold, or silver or any other substance.
1 Peter 1:18 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold, that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers;” (New International Version)
c. Only the blood of Jesus is sufficient to purchase the redemption of any human soul. “...but with the precious blood of Jesus, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
- why blood? Blood speaks of the giving of the life. Without blood, the body cannot function. Without blood, oxygen and nutrients cannot reach your body. Without blood, your brain will not function. Without blood, you die.
Blood represents the whole life of the being. So when blood is poured out as a sacrifice, it is the giving of the life. That is why God allowed the sacrifice of lambs and goats and bullocks in the Old Testament times. The blood of those animals was poured out on the altar as an atoning sacrifice to cover the sin of the person who was offering the sacrifice. But the offering had to be perfect: Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats: - the lamb could not be a blind animal or lame animal or sick animal that had no value anyway. To atone for sin, it required your best.