The Great Cost of Free Grace

Author Dan Kennedy tells the story about Fred Herman, broadly known in his day for his unmatched sales skills. Catching the attention of “The Tonight Show,” Fred was invited to appear as Johnny Carson’s guest. Johnny welcomed the renowned salesman to the show, and soon thereafter challenged Fred to sell him something on the spot. Kennedy’s account: “Carson said ‘OK, since you’re the greatest salesman, sell me this ashtray.’ Fred picked it up, examined it, and asked, ‘If you were going to buy this ashtray, what would you expect to pay for it?’ Carson named a price. Fred said, ‘Sold!’”1

Over the past four weeks, we have been talking about God’s grace, both His nature of grace and His outpouring of “grace in its various forms”2 to us through acts of love. From His own lovingkindness, God lavishes the riches of His favor upon us,3 not as our due, but as His gift. But while grace is free to us, God has extended it at great cost to Himself. Paul explains, “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his bloodto be received by faith.”4 Moreover, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”5 And Jesus “suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”6 Again, grace is free to us, yet quite costly to God. Paul reminds us, “You were bought at a price,”7 indeed it is the price of justice, for we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”8

Then what does this tell us about our worth to God? What must we conclude about His regard for us—both as individuals and collectively as the people of His redemption? John tells us plainly, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”9 Our life, to Him, is worth His life for us. Then let no one, especially you, convince you otherwise. And in this glorious truth may we give ourselves entirely to Him who gave Himself entirely for us, for “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness”10 —the great cost of free grace.

And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. —Revelation 5:9

1 Dan Kennedy, No B.S. Sales Success: The Ultimate No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners & Make Tons of Money Guide, (Entrepreneur Press), 63.
2 1 Peter 4:10
3 Ephesians 1:7-8
4 Romans 3:25
5 Galatians 3:13
6 Hebrews 2:9
7 1 Corinthians 6:20
8 Romans 3:24
9 1 John 4:10
10 1 Peter 2:24

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