Gospel: The Greatest Payment Ever Made

Robert E. Surgenor

Standing and holding a small ingot of gold in my hands worth $350,000, I thought of all that I could purchase with that sum. Then looking around on all sides were gold bars stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Needless to say, it was a very impressive sight. I was looking at a vast fortune in pure gleaming 24 karat gold!

Afterwards, I was ushered into another room quite different. In one corner stood an electric furnace. It was melting millions of dollars worth of pure 24 Karat gold to be poured into various sized molds. Upon leaving that place I asked if they were handing out any samples. A slight smile came across the faces of five armed guards as they ordered me to remove my shoes for inspection. Having passed through a detecting machine, I was given back my shoes. Returning to a private locker I reclaimed my watch and all other metal belongings and walked out the heavily guarded building with the friend who had made my unique tour possible. The plaque on the gate indicated that I had just toured the Canadian Mint in Ottawa, Canada.

A Steal of a Deal

When it comes to money, we all like to possess it, for with it we make purchases and enrich ourselves. The United States has made a few astounding purchases with its money. In 1803, President Jefferson sent James Monroe to France to purchase Louisiana, thus 885,000 square miles of land were bought for a mere 15 million dollars. In March of 1867 the USA made an even better deal with Russia, purchasing the vast land of Alaska for only 7.2 million dollars! So large was Alaska that it increased the land area of the entire nation by one fifth! Secretary of State Steward negotiated the purchase of what was considered at that time a liability, thus the transaction was labeled, "Steward’s Folly.t’ However, time proved it to be far from folly.

What Money Cannot Buy

As valuable as money is, we are all aware that there are some things that money cannot buy. It can buy a bed, but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not an appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries, but not culture; amusements, but not happiness; a crucifix, but not a Saviour; a church pew, but not heaven.

When it comes to obtaining God’s salvation and a home in heaven, God’s Word is definitely clear that eternal life is not obtained by payments or human efforts of any kind. Being religious, honest, or zealous for what’s right will never be enough payment for your salvation. It just cannot be purchased by human efforts or wealth whatsoever! A gift is something given to a person that has been paid for by another. God speaks about salvation (eternal life) in these terms. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Possessors of God’s salvation are reminded with the following words; "Ye are bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 7:23). "He (Christ) hath purchased (us) with his own blood" (Acts 20:28) "Christ Jesus -Who gave Himself a ransom for all." (1 Timothy 2:6). No my friend, God says, "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him" (Psalms 49:6,7).

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.
Sin had left its crimson stain.
He washed me white as snow.

In other words, no matter how noble, how rich, how religious you are, you are poverty stricken when it comes to purchasing eternal life. Only one Person could purchase it and that was Christ! One deceived fellow thought that he could pay for salvation and was rebuked by the apostle Peter with these plain words; "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money" (Acts 8:20). No my friend, according to God, one does not gradually grow into being a Christian. One does not work for eternal life! Every person in the Bible that obtained God’s salvation acquired it by simply receiving Christ, trusting Him as their Saviour. It was said of Zacchaeus, that "he received Him joyfully." Upon receiving Jesus, the Lord said, "This day is salvation come to this house" (Luke 19:6,9). God assures us with these words. "He (Jesus) came unto His own, and His own (Israel) received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:11,12).

Only Receive! Only Believe!

Notice! It is receiving Christ, believing on Christ that constitutes us the sons of God and possessors of God’s eternal salvation. We are debtors because of our sins and no amount of money or human effort can meet the demands of divine justice. However, Christ has met God’s requirements by shedding His blood on the Cross. When full payment was made he cried, "It is finished," meaning, "paid in full" (John 19:30). There is nothing left for you to do my friend but to trust Him for salvation. Will you do it? I sincerely hope so, for the great payment has already been fully made .