It is impossible to attach a value to the gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul repeatedly made this point. Notice the following passages:
- Ephesians 3:8. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. . . . (emp. added).
- 2 Corinthians 9:15. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (emp. added).
- Ephesians 2:4-7. God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (emp. added).
In what ways is the gift of Christ beyond estimation? I do not know everything that might have been in the inspired writer’s mind as he wrote these passages, but consider the following:
- We cannot estimate the love of God as expressed through Christ, although we can appreciate it. Just as a child cannot fully understand the motivations behind his parents’ actions, we cannot fully understand God’s motivation for blessing us with Christ. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Yet, we can appreciate the value of God’s love when we recognize how unlovable and needy we were while still in sin (see Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:7).
- We cannot estimate the value of a human soul, although we can appreciate it. In the words of our Lord, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Yet, we can appreciate the value of a soul when we think about the salvation of our own individual souls (see 1 Timothy 1:12-17).
- We cannot estimate the magnitude of the price that was paid for precious souls, although we can appreciate it. Christ endured not just a physical torture, but also the emotional weight of the punishment for the sins of all humanity: “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Yet, we can appreciate the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice when we endure suffering for Him (see 1 Peter 4:12-19).