Christianity Without Cost Is Worthless
1 Chronicles 21:20 – And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.
1 Chronicles 21:21 – And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.
1 Chronicles 21:22 – Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people.
1 Chronicles 21:23 – And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.
1 Chronicles 21:24 – And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
1 Chronicles 21:25 – So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
Hello readers, today I am going to briefly be talking about cost. You don’t know the value of your faith that you profess if it has not been tried and tested. If you have not been put through the fire, you don’t know if you’ve got gold or dross yet. And if that is true, well also consider another truth, that Christianity without cost is worthless. David learnt a very big lesson in 1 Chronicles 21 that salvation has a cost. Your salvation, your redemption, the atonement for your sins cost someone something. David learnt that Christianity without cost is worthless.
In 1 Chronicles 21, David found out just high the price of pride is. He got proud and numbered the children of Israel. And seventy thousand men of Israel died because of his pride. Wow. How many people will go to hell because you are proud? Will you go to hell because of pride? Are you too proud to humble yourself in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? For many people, they are going to fall over their pride into hell, they were just too proud to admit they were wrong, too proud to admit they’re a sinner, too proud to admit they need a Saviour.
But today’s blog is about cost, because it cost God very dearly to save you, and your faith will cost you as well. Cost is a dirty word in Christianity, particularly cost to self. Many people won’t get saved or follow Christ because the cost is too high. You’re not willing to pay the price of rejection from friends. You’re not willing to pay the price for standing to truth when it’s unpopular, when it’s not welcome, when people hate Jesus Christ and his word.
A faith with no cost is a faith that is worthless. This story is teaching us that there is cost involved. Because there was cost involved. God is not asking you to pay much of a cost when you think about the cost God was willing to pay. God paid “full price”. He didn’t spare his own Son so you could be saved. That, my friend, is full price. That my friend, is salvation at cost. God gave you salvation as a free gift at great cost to himself. And that’s what this wonderful story in the Old Testament is trying to drum into our thick brains, stiff necks and hard hearts.
There was a price that was paid so you could be saved. You get it free, but it wasn’t got for you free. You don’t understand freedom while you go around sinning. People live like their Christianity is worthless, like Christ is worthless, like the Bible is worthless… because their faith and professed Christianity is worthless. As they live, so is the value of their salvation, so is the price of their salvation. For many people they live like there was no great cost involved, because no great cost is in any area of their thinking, mind or life.
You get saved for free, but that free gift cost someone something for you to get. I live in a country that has enjoyed great freedom, particularly compared to most of the rest of the world, but that freedom that has been given to me came at a price. Men before me died and gave up their lives so I could be born into and entitled to freedom and rights. If in an earthly sense I can grasp this, how much more in a heavenly sense. We have a Christianity that cowers at cost. We have a Christianity that does not care for cost. We have Christianity that really is worthless, and you prove how worthless it is with your callousness and indifference to the word of God, way of God and will of God.
The Bible right from the start teaches that God made man in his image, he made all things perfect, but then man sinned. And that sin has a price, and that debt has been growing by the minute every day since. If you think about the body of sin since Adam, it’s staggering how much evil and wickedness and iniquity has been done. You know that God, because he is holy and just and pure and perfect, must judge sin and must punish sin and must put away sin.
God didn’t pervert justice to let you in, no. You don’t get to heaven without that cost of your sin having been fully paid. If you have a great big debt of sin to God, you must meet that debt. But the problem is, that debt is unpayable. You cannot pay it. It’s like someone fining me millions of dollars for me to try to pay off on my paltry wage. Only this debt is even greater than that. The sin debt is so high only one person in eternity could satisfy it. God did not change the rules, God did not reneg on what is right and wrong, God did not look the other way. Sin has never got less wrong as time has got along. And sin is no less wrong just because you do it, or someone you love does it. See, as parents or whatever, we look the other way if it’s “our boy” doing something wrong. But God is different, he is no respecter of persons, every sin that has ever been done must be paid for, atoned for, washed, cleansed and forgiven, or you are not getting in.
There was a cost so high placed on Christ that he himself prayed to his Father that if it were possible to let that cup pass from him. If there is any other way, I don’t want to do this. The cost was that high that he sweat great drops of blood at Gethsemane. The cost was so high it took him being falsely accused, stripped naked, beaten and bloodied and butchered on a cross at Calvary. Oh yeah there was cost, a cost that it will be a lifetime and we still won’t plumb the depths of it’s value and neither grasp the depth and breadth and width and height of the love of God for us to pay.
The cost was so high that only God himself in the flesh could pay the price. In Job 33:24 the Bible says “Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Often touted as the oldest book in the Bible is one of the most fundamental truths in the whole Bible. The grace of God. The deliverance of God. Only possible because a ransom was found. There is a ransom price required for our forgiveness, for our redemption, for our freedom. When you pay a ransom, it is a sum of money, a price, in order to get back something or someone that was lost. Generally a loving parent is willing to pay a very great ransom because the value of what is being paid a ransom for justifies the high cost. Well, Jesus Christ is our ransom. Like that ram caught in the thicket by his thorns that Abraham turned about and saw, God found a ransom, someone to die and cop his wrath so I could be free. If Abraham rejoiced to see my day as Jesus said, you think Isaac did too as he clambered off that altar alive and free. There is a ransom price that must be met, and it can only be met in the person of Jesus Christ. We were held by our sin, by death, by Satan, but Jesus Christ paid the price for our deliverance so we could go free.
The cost is so high we cannot understand it. Jesus paid a price so high noone in heaven or in earth or under the earth past, present or future could pay it. If you read Revelation 4, you will find that there was only one found worthy. God is worth your worship because he is worthy. If nothing else good is happening in your life, God is still worthy of your worship because of who he is. Job knew that, even when everything was gone even his own health, he still worshipped God because God was still worthy. There is only one who can save. There is only one who can forgive. There is only one who can cleanse. There is only one who can wash. Because there was only one who could pay that debt, there was only one who could meet the ransom, who could satisfy the high cost of man’s redemption.
And that’s where the story of David comes in, because of a simple truth in this wonderful Old Testament story. David refused to not pay full price for Ornan’s place, instruments, oxen, wood and wheat. What Jesus Christ did has value. What Jesus Christ achieved came at full price and high cost. David said something in this story, and this story is twice in the Bible (also in 2 Samuel 24), “neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” You and I think we are above David because we would’ve never done what he did with Bathsheba, but the truth is, we aren’t and never will be half the man he is. David wanted a faith of value, David had a salvation and redemption that came at full price and cost. He understood price and cost through his own sin and consequences of that sin in his life. But the Christians of today want a Christianity without any cost. They want a Christianity without cost to self, without cost to pride, without cost to lust, without cost from this world. They don’t want it to cost them friends and family, they don’t even want it to cost them their own ideas, thoughts, wisdom, rationalizing, opinions, dreams, desires, wants and needs. But Jesus taught, and the teaching is still true today, if you are unwilling to pay the price, you cannot follow Christ.
At the heart of all this modern Christianity is an unwillingness to pay the price of truth, the pay the price of being saved and living it. But if Jesus paid the price, so should we. This mickey mouse Christianity has gone on long enough. We’ve reduced the person and work and sacrifice of Jesus Christ to a meaningless religious observance. What Jesus did is not worthless, nor did it not cost him and God nothing. When we get some value back into our faith, then we can start being some value to this old world. This world sees how little our Christianity is worth, because we live like he is worthless, his word is worthless and our life speaks loudly just how little cost is involved in what we do. When you know the cost and worth of something, you respect it a hell of a lot more don’t you. When you work and pay for something, you look after it a little better when your sweat, blood and tears has gone into it. We live in a world that is so cheap, so worthless, that has so little value on human life, human souls, basically anything.
But the old faith, the old way, the old truth… it still has a cost. You cannot follow Christ without understanding cost, without counting the cost. Jesus Christ said in Luke 14:28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” Many people never finish it, because they never counted the cost. When you look at the life and work and word of Christ, you are counting the cost. You’re seeing if he is worth it. And for many people, he is not worth it. And the context of what Jesus said, which is important for you to read for yourself, is in regards to following him, and Jesus laid down some very hard truths about hating even your own family and life and forsaking all to follow him. For most of us, the most High is not our most high, if we are being remotely honest. That first commandment of the ten cops a thrashing every day in our lives.
It was a sacrifice that stopped the slaying of Israel for their sin, and it is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice of full price and full cost that satisfied the wrath of God against sin. Your redemption is freely extended, it is a free gift, how wonderful is that. But that free gift is off the back off a Saviour who bore a cross to a hill. The water of life is extended you off the man who’s soul was poured out unto death, who died at the place of a skull. You can be in his camp, because he suffered without the camp. You can go in the gate, because he died without the gate. Your freedom, your salvation, your grace… it came at a very, very, VERY high cost. If you ever start counting the cost, one day the love and mercy and grace of God will wash over your soul and produce some different fruit in your life. When you read the Bible, you are starting to count the cost, when you read about all Christ did, you are counting the cost. Is this man worth it. Is what he did worth it. Is the truth worth it? David thought so.
David grasped one of the most important principles in the Bible that we may never grasp. He grasped the full price and the cost. And if all this truth wasn’t enough for you, here’s an additional amazing truth from the Bible. For that price that was paid and for the priceless blood of Christ, guess what the money of his betrayal went to? It was only thirty pieces of silver that they value the priceless Saviour at, and those pieces of silver went into buying a useless clay fied. See, while for many people there is not much value on the blood of Christ and that money bought a useless clay field… that price was precious to God and bought something of inestimable value. We who believe are that field of clay, HIS field of clay. Yeah, clay isn’t much, but clay in the hands of the potter it is of inestimable value. When you look at the sum of your own parts, I’ve heard the physical components of the human body add up to basically nothing, but when put together by the Creator and with the breath of life, the price of one soul is so valuable to God that he gave his very, very best from heaven to redeem us little old useless houses of clay. And our earthen vessel, mine does, and hopefully yours does as well, bears great treasure. I might be useless clay, but in me is the God of glory and that makes all the difference.
Maybe you thought of this verse as you were reading, but here it is, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We are bought with a price. David bought Ornan’s place at full price, because he didn’t want sacrifice without cost. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was a high cost. Our salvation came at a price. Our salvation was bought at a price. We get the free gift, but it’s because of a price that was paid that God was willing to pay because of his love and because he would not compromise on his holiness. Obeying God isn’t something that we feel God owes us for and earns us brownie points, no it is just the least thing we can do. The least thing we can do is honour and reverence God with our lives. The least we can do is show that we have some semblance of a grasp on the price that was paid. Being set free from sin, being washed, being cleansed, being forgiven, it is because someone, and that someone is the Lord Jesus Christ, paid the price of his own life and his own blood, he endured the wrath of Almighty God, so we could be saved. That is what is love. When we hated him, when we sinned against him, when we despised him… he so loved us. Our salvation has come at a cost, may we put the cost of Christ back into our Christianity today.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
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