The AT&T guy told me I was due a free phone! I had used my old iPhone3 for so long, they were happy to give me a brand-new iPhone4 free of charge. Yay me!
It turned out, there was some kind of $39 charge for replacing the phone, and I had to sign on for 2 more years of AT&T service … so my new phone was sort of, “semi-free.” Or, as some people would say, not free.
It’s kind of a bait and switch — offer you a free phone … and still get you to pay for it.
Some people do that with the gift of God’s grace, too. They present the Scriptures that your sins were nailed to the cross with Jesus, and you are home free! Yay you!
Then they come along behind that with small print that says:
“Salvation available only to those who confess Jesus as Savior, ask forgiveness of sins, turn from doing evil, and make a sincere attempt to live righteously. Should you sin after making this commitment your salvation may be in jeopardy until you sincerely repent, and should you continue to live in one or many various forms of sin without at least an honest attempt to reform, all grace and salvation are null and void. Salvation is completely excluded from anyone practicing any faith other than Christianity, and some forms of Christianity may also be in doubt. Please see local evangelical leaders for more details.”
The problem with this kind of presentation of “grace” is that it basically makes grace a lie. Grace is either free, or it isn’t grace. It’s just another system of works. And we already have plenty of those. Karma is probably the best known one — do right, and right comes to you.
But “karma” isn’t a Scriptural system. Grace is. And grace is free. No small print.