The Cost of Sin
One of the Bible’s primary topics, if not the primary topic, is about “sin” and “its cost” to both the human race and to God. Granted, the subject is entwined with other themes, but centrally and predominantly the subject is about the origin and progression of “sin” along with its “human and divine price tag.”
The Cost to Man
One doesn’t need to venture far from the “beginning” in Genesis — the creation of “the heavens and the earth” and the earth’s restoration after it became “without form, and void” (i.e., was laid waste) — to clearly see the introduction of sin by man and the price both man and the earth had and has to pay as a result of it.
God created man — both “male and female”— in His own triune image to have “dominion” (rulership) over the earth and its non-human inhabitants (Genesis 1:26, 27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). And a key element in the image of God, which He gave to man, was free will, the ability to choose “right” from “wrong.” Without this, man’s acceptance and assessment (value, worship) of God would be without significance, i.e., it would be worthless. The author realizes this concept is in disagreement with rigorous Calvinistic teaching, yet it is true and can be shown as such in Scripture (reserved for a later doctrinal presentation).
After man and woman were created, they exercised their free will in opposition to God’s Word (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:6). The cost of sin was death (separation) to man — spiritual [immediate] and physical [progressive] — and the degradation of the earth (Genesis 3:14ff; Romans 5:12; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 5:21).
For the wages of sin is death . . . . (Romans 6:23a)
From that day forward God’s grueling judgment has fallen upon man, which is the price man must always pay for his insistent opposition to the Word of God, i.e., acting contrary to God’s instruction. Numerous examples are elucidated throughout the Word of God, such as the Flood (Genesis 6, 7) and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19), two of many others throughout both Testaments — all leading to the eventual passing of “the first heaven and the first earth” (Revelation 21:1).
And such striking judgments executed in man’s physical dominion, as devastating as they were, cannot be compared to the cost man will face in the eternal realm upon rejecting God and His plan of redemption. On this issue, the Word is quite clear.
As previously stated, the act of sin on man’s part immediately resulted in his spiritual death, i.e., separation from God. And this condition has been extended to all individuals comprising the progeny of Adam and Eve, i.e., all individuals born of woman from that time forward with only one exception, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)
Who [Christ] committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth. (1 Peter 2:22)
And you know that He [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. (1 John 3:5)
And the result of this separation from God, if not rectified during one’s temporal life, has the most dire consequence (cost) throughout all the ages following one’s physical death, i.e., throughout eternity — forever being subject to the “wrath of God” (John3:36) in the “lake of fire.”
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
The Cost to God
Thankfully, God most graciously executed a way of redemption for man, a way for everyone to escape eternal wrath. Yet, this redemptive plan for man was at an unfathomable and phenomenal cost to God. In a nutshell, the cost to God, the basis of His redemption plan for man, was to personally experience the spiritual judgment and harm resulting from sin as a substitutionary payment of satisfaction to be made available to all mankind.
To put it another way, God took upon Himself all of man’s sin and paid its requisite price, a price that only God could meet. This He mercifully did out of love, because man was and is totally unable to afford (pay) such cost. Resultantly, the only avenue man may take is to avail himself of this grace-gift of God solely through the means of faith in Christ, an act (decision) accruing for man eternal life (i.e., being united in Christ) — a condition that can never be abrogated or reversed.
Specifically, Jesus Christ, the Son of God — God manifested in flesh — bore and became man’s sin on the cross of Calvary. It was during this three hours of time reflected by the earth being darkened that God the Father turned His back to (separated Himself from) His Son causing Christ to cry out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Although incomprehensible to man, this separation between the Father and the Son was declared “It is Finished” by Christ at the end of three hours, meaning that the price for man’s sin was “satisfied” (i.e., “paid in full”) relating to God’s judgment on the matter, a price that man could only pay throughout eternity.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6; cf. 1 Peter 2:24, 25)
For He [God the Father] made Him [God the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”). (Galatians 3:13)
Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation [Gk. hilasterion – appeasement, conciliation, satisfaction] by His blood [i.e., His death], through faith . . . . (Romans 3:24, 25a; cf. Hebrews 2:1)
And He Himself [Christ] is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
(Matthew 27:45, 46)
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said . . . “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Undoubtedly the cost of sin to man has and is pronounced, but thankfully, God in His mercy and grace, has provided a means for man to escape the coming eternal judgment of those who have sinned by paying an infinite cost Himself through His Son on the cross of Calvary. And it is unfortunate that there are many who totally miss the only means that man may utilize to receive God’s means to escape as they focus upon their own works rather than upon the complete work of Christ.
To reiterate, the only way a person can access God’s redemption for man, a grace-gift from God that was fully paid for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, is to make a decision to place his faith (trust) solely in Christ and His sacrifice — nothing else (and certainly not by individual good works) — for his personal salvation.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. . . . Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. . . . But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 6:40, 47; 20:31)
And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
(Acts 16:30, 31)
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. . . . Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. . . . For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:22, 24, 26)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
I cannot honorably close this presentation without inviting the reader to go beyond the initial step in God’s redemption plan for man, that of faith in Jesus Christ, which secures eternal life — the salvation of one’s spirit. One must continue to study the Word of God in order to advance from being a “babe in Christ” to a position of spiritual maturity, one which will secure the “salvation of the soul,” i.e., a position of rulership with Christ during His millennial (one thousand years) reign over the earth (James 1:21; cf. Hebrews 10:39; 1 Peter 1:9; etc.).
And when achieving more spiritual maturity by and through the study of God’s Word, I assure you that you’ll find that “the cost of sin” has further ramifications to man, not as to eternal life, but as to one’s position relative to the soon coming Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15)
I pray that the reader will seriously investigate God’s comprehensive plan of redemption by learning what Scripture teaches regarding the three aspects of salvation applicable to the tripartite composition of man — spirit, soul, and body (1Thessalonians 5:23).
To this end, the reader is invited to access and review the following links: