The Bible is full of them— paradoxes—spiritual realities that, to all outward appearances, seem to be contradictory, unbelievable, even absurd, and yet, are absolute truth in God’s sight. For instance, we see unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18); we conquer by submitting (James 4:7); to be least is to be great (Luke 9:48); when we are weak, we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10); we are exalted by being humble (James 4:10); we become wise by becoming fools (1 Corinthians 3:18); we live by dying (Galatians 2:20). At first glance, some of these spiritual realities seem very mysterious, but as a person grows in their love relationship with Jesus through earnest prayer, heart-searching study of God’s Word, and humble service, these supposed paradoxes begin to take on real meaning and become an intimate part of wearing the heavenly-tailored garment of salvation (Isaiah 61:10).

This leads into what I believe to be the foundational cost of salvation that makes all the aforementioned paradoxes in God’s plan of salvation virtually real for the redeemed of the Lord. For most of us, what immediately comes to mind under the category of salvation expenses is what it cost the King of Kings to provide eternal redemption for each of us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… (John 3:16)

(Christ Jesus) gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father (Galatians 1:4).

But there is another cost that is quite often obscured in contemporary Christian thought that is an absolute necessity in order to receive the free gift of salvation offered to all of mankind through Christ. What might that be? Our personal cost.