Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free, like the gift you get in a value meal?

The phrase "free gift" is as commonly associated with fast food joints as the phrase "would you like fries with that?" is. So is Salvation free in the same way that the plastic movie themed toy you can get with a burger is free?

Dr. Lybrand's book "Back To Faith" deals with the Reformed statement; "Salvation is by grace through faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone." Is always on my mind lately. Well ever since I read his book anyway.

Is the gift you get with your burger actually free? Could you get it without purchasing the burger? No. So you have to buy something in order to be "given" your "free gift" right? So you have to pay in order to get something that's been referred to as a "free gift."

It is surely not free. You have to pay to get it. What's more, the cost of the gift is built into the price of your burger. In the best case scenario the fast food joint takes the cost of the gift out of the profit margin of the burger. However, since they only give "free gifts" with particular meals, the cost of the gift is built into the price of the meal - from the very start. They are calling it a "free gift" but it is not free at all.

When you preach the Gospel do you do the same thing? Do you make God out to be fast with His words? And quick with a trick? Do you say that Salvation is through faith alone, but that "saving faith works"? Are you trying to say that the Salvation you preach about is a "free gift" that you can't earn and then demand that the person earns it?

Salvation in Christ is not a "Happy Meal" it's Eternal Life. It's not a "free gift" it's a FREE GIFT.


Kevl said...

I'll finish up the "Walking On Water" stuff soon.


bobfromchicago said...

Great post! I love the analogy. I'm halfway through "Back to Faith" and it's an eyeopener! I heard about the book from your blog, and bought it because I've' always struggled to reconcile James with Paul. I have a "free grace" background. Anyhow, I got asked to teach through James by my small group. I agreed, in order to force myself to confront my issues with James. So, thanks for that post too!
God Bless,

God Bless.

Kevl said...

Hey Bob,

I'd love to hear how it goes as you teach through James. I've been wanting to revisit my examination of James 2 in light of Fred's book. For that matter I'm sure that Fred would love to know now it goes in a group setting too.

I'd be most interested in what questions people ask.

"I agreed, in order to force myself to confront my issues with James."

Right on crayon!! Dude that's a great way to force your self to be consistent and not get caught in the trap of believing your (our) own theology instead of what the Scriptures say.


fredraylybrand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fredraylybrand said...

Hey Guys...some of you bright guys need to help me figure out how to promote Back To Faith.

I'm busy with - but I'd love to do an online webinar or something.

Any ideas?

Fred Lybrand

Kevl said...

HI Fred, I'm about to lend it to a local Christian book store that I frequent. This is no ordinary store, it's a place where you can find the writings of Darby, Macintosh and the like.

I'll be bringing Back To Faith to Brian this week.

I'd love to see you lead a study through James 2, going into great detail on that chapter of your book. It would be great to see you take questions and lead people through it.