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The Cost Of Salvation
Back To Basics

By Pastor William Cunningham
Sunday March 19, 2006

Introduction

Let’s get back to basics.  Christianity is about one main thing and that is Jesus Christ.  I know that we are bombarded with teachings about prosperity, health, and abundance, but the fact is that Jesus Christ died so that we would be reconciled to God.  Jesus did not die so that we would have good health, wealth, and prosperity.  The primary objective of salvation is to restore our relationship with the Lord God.

Let’s revisit the basics of the Christian faith by discussing the cost of that salvation.  What did salvation cost?  We say it is a gift from God and therefore we pay nothing.  However, that doesn’t mean that it is absolutely free. Salvation cost and it cost a lot.

SIN

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) -- {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
All humans are sinners because of the sin that Adam and Eve passed down to all humans.  We are born in opposition to God and His ways.  This is why humans have to learn to do right.  We naturally do wrong.  We naturally do things our own way, which is contrary to God’s way.

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) -- {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What is the consequence of the human sinful way?  The consequence of sin is death.  Death here should be understood to be eternal separation from God and His Kingdom.  The path of sin is eternal damnation, eternal separation, i.e., death.

It is said that when we are saved that we receive forgiveness for our sins.  We believe that God forgives us of our sins when we put our faith in Jesus Christ.  What is sin though?

1 John 5:17 (NKJV) -- {17} All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

All unrighteousness is sin, but what is righteousness?

Righteousness

Righteousness should be understood to be holy upright living, in accordance with God’s way (standard).  It derives from a Hebrew word that means “Straightness.”  It refers to a state of conforming to an authoritative standard.  To be righteous is also to be justified.

Justification means to be opposed to condemnation.  It is the act of God of pardoning (forgiving) our sins and declaring us to be righteous.  Se can then stand before the Lord as if we had not sinned.  This justification is secured by our faith in Jesus Christ as we shall soon discuss.

Therefore, we cannot measure sin against rules and regulations of a society or culture.  Sin is measured against the Way (standard) of God.  However, that doesn’t mean that we should not observe the laws of the land and even moral standards because any sense of right, wrong, or fairness originates from God. 

Romans 13:1-7 (NKJV) -- {1} Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. {2} Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. {3} For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. {4} For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. {5} Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. {6} For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. {7} Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Now we are sinners and as sinners we are doomed to eternal damnation.  On our own we are on a straight path to hell.  So how do we get off of this ride so to speak?  How can we possibly be with God in our sinful state?  How can unrighteousness dwell with righteousness?

Attempting to Save Ourselves

Some try various forms of legalism to save themselves.  They think that they can appease God by various rituals such as going to church, paying tithes, abstaining from various things and more.  However, the fact remains that we cannot pull ourselves out of the hole that we are in.  We cannot save ourselves.  We need someone above us to throw us a rope so that we could be pulled up so to speak.  In other words, we need to be saved, but we can’t do it ourselves.

The fact is that our righteousness is meaningless.  There is no real righteousness apart from the righteousness of God.  For example, consider what Jesus said about Scribes and Pharisees.

Matthew 5:20 (NKJV) -- {20} For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The scribes and Pharisees were known to be self-righteous.  Their righteousness was based on works however.  They developed many different types of legalistic and ritualistic practices to justify themselves.  All of our righteousnesses (righteous acts) are nothing.

Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV) -- {6} But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Therefore, we must have righteousness given or imputed (transferred) to us if we are to be righteous and escape the damnation that is ahead of us.  But how can we receive righteousness?  How can we be saved?  How can we be justified?

We receive this righteousness (justification), the righteousness of Christ when we put our faith in Him.  Our faith is our belief in the saving act of Christ for us.  So by faith we receive the righteousness of Christ and therefore have eternal life.  We escape the second death (Revelation 20:13-15) and we will commune with the Father forever.  We would have been reconciled.

The Cost of This Salvation

We said earlier that the wages of sin is death and that we can escape that death by putting our faith in Jesus Christ.  However, that leaves the question of the death.  If the penalty for sin is death then who died?

It turns out that Jesus paid the price of sin for us.  Jesus died and suffered for us.  He took our sins upon himself and paid for our sins.  Consider the following scripture.

Isaiah 53:3-6 (NKJV) -- {3} He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

{4} Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

{5} But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

{6} All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


We see here a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ.

  1. Jesus was despised and rejected
  2. He was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering
  3. He was like someone we don’t want to look at

But,

  1. He took our infirmities
  2. He carried our sorrows
  3. He was considered stricken by God (See Deut 21:22, 23: Gal 3:13)
  4. He was pierced (wounded) for our transgressions
  5. He was crushed (bruised) for our iniquities
  6. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him (Jesus)
  7. By His wounds we are healed
  8. We have all gone astray to our own way
  9. The LORD laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.

The bottom line is that Jesus took the punishment that we should have had.

Our sins have been dealt with by God.  It was His grace and love for us that salvation is available to us.  All we have to do is accept the sacrifice of Jesus for our own selves by faith in Christ and we will be saved, that is, justified.

When we believe then we become reborn and therefore spiritually alive.  We have the righteousness of Christ imputed on us.

God wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).

The Cost

  • The salvation that we have has cost Jesus Christ His life.
    • As a man He died
    • His sacrifice for our sin demonstrated His love for us (John 3:16)
  • Salvation is a gift to us, but it cost the life of an innocent man

Let us not forget the basics of our Christian faith.  Let us not forget that Jesus Christ died for us.  He gave His life for us so that we would live.  He took the penalty for our sins upon himself.  He was indeed the propitiation for our sins.  Now all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and we are saved.

Our eternity with the Father is a gift granted to us by God.  We did nothing to earn it and we certainly do not deserve it. The following scripture summarizes it very well.

Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV) -- {6} For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {7} For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. {8} But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Amen.

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