Accept No Substitutes (Part 2)

Holy Bible on black wooden bench
 

 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

The thing about original ideas is that they are usually expensive. Whoever first invents something and patents it gets to name the price. If it’s a great idea, it’s going to be expensive. Eventually someone is going to make a generic version of the same thing, but often it’s not the same. The substitute will be cheaper, but will it work the same? 

An example from years ago:  My Honda 750 motorcycle needed four new spark plug wires. The Honda dealer had only two original equipment wires from the NGK company, but he had two more wires from an after-market company. He promised me they were just as good. With no real choice I bought the two originals and the two after-market.

All four wires worked on sunny, dry days. But when it rained, the bike began to run on only two cylinders because the substitute wires short-circuited to the frame. Only the original NGK wires worked when soaking wet. I learned there was something to be said for original equipment, even when it cost a bit more.

That’s what we expect of original ideas. They’ll work but they’re going to cost more. Isn’t the wonder of the Gospel the fact that God pays the entire price for his original idea? Notice in the text that God’s Son, Son of God and born of Mary, comes to redeem us out from the burden of the law. He redeems us by paying the price himself. The purchase price of our souls would be beyond the payment plan any of us to imagine. So, God pays it entirely himself. This is another reason that the Gospel of Jesus is completely unique. Only Christians believe that we are saved completely by God’s work, God’s payment, and not our own. He doesn’t cost more. He doesn’t charge us less. God pays the entire ransom amount for us. That’s why Paul insists that we never accept a substitute belief that puts the burden of payment back on ourselves. God’s amazing original idea is to pay the entire price himself.

Heavenly Father, thank you for both the amazing plan to rescue us and for your willingness to pay the entire price. We can’t imagine the full cost of our redemption and we couldn’t come close to paying it. But thank you that you have already done this through Jesus. We pray in in his name, Amen.


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