Perhaps you have heard it said: "The best things in life are free!" This is especially true when you consider that the "best" thing in life is a gift... I am speaking of that which God offers to all who will accept it: "eternal life". It is truly a "gift from God"! And yet, though eternal life is a gift...a high cost was paid to offer it!
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
I. THE FREE GIFT OF SALVATION
A. MANY HAVE A WRONG CONCEPT ABOUT HOW SALVATION IS OBTAINED...
1. They think that salvation is earned by the "good works" they do.
2. Consider this statement by a devout Muslim: "All my life I have obeyed the Koran and worshipped Allah faithfully. If, after death, I find that there is no paradise and there is no houris with which a man may be comforted, as the Koran promises, I shall feel that I have been miserably cheated."
3. Many professing Christians have a similar concept of attaining heaven, that their reward is received because of:
a. Their good life
b. Their generous giving of their money
c. Their faithful attendance at church
B. BUT SALVATION IS GOD'S GIFT TO UNDESERVING MEN.
1. Offered while we were still sinners, ungodly, and enemies.
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:6-8)
2. Not because we love God, but because He loved us!
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein 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 4:9-10) 
3. And it is offered to all who will receive it!
“And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” (Rev 21:6)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17)
4. Salvation, then, is offered "freely".
5. But does that mean it costs nothing? Not at all!
II. THE HIGH COST OF PROVIDING THE GIFT
A. WHAT IT COST THE FATHER.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)
1. It cost Him the sacrifice of His only begotten Son!
2. He did not spare His Son in an effort to save us from our sins!
3. Think of the value of a child to you, God willingly gave His Son, Jesus Christ that we might have life.
B. WHAT IT COST THE SON.
Note: Read Philippians 2:5-8
1. It cost Him the renunciation of glory and majesty, which He had with the Father before coming to this world
2. It cost Him the humiliation of servitude, even to the point of suffering and finally dying by crucifixion for our sins.
3. You might say, "I didn't ask Him to die for me!" but that only reveals His great love for us
4. He didn't wait for us to ask Him; He saw our need and was willing to die in order to meet that need.
C. WHAT IT COST THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. A ministry through the ages of patiently wooing the stubborn hearts of sinful men through the call of the gospel.
2. Suffering long with men who treat Him as if He didn't exist, and being grieved when they resist Him. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Eph 4:30)
III. THE HIGH COST OF ACCEPTING THE GIFT.
A. IT COSTS THE DENIAL OF SELF, AND THE RENUNCIATION OF MUCH THAT WE HOLD DEAR...
1. Paul, who gladly paid the cost, expressed it vividly in several passages
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”(Phil 3:7-8)
2. One cannot accept Christ and His salvation on lesser terms than the complete surrender of self to Him!
B. THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST "A HARD GOSPEL" FOR MANY TO ACCEPT.
1. They want to accept Jesus as Savior, but not as Lord of their lives.
a. Some even suggest that accepting Jesus as Savior and as Lord are two entirely separate acts.
b. But the two are inseparable.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
“The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” (Acts 10:36)
2. No man can accept Jesus as "Savior of his soul" without Him being "Lord of his life"!
C. ACCEPT CHRIST AND BE SAVED.
1. But many people assume that it is a matter of "just accepting" Him.
2. Saying the words, 'Jesus, I accept you' does not mean a person is saved! “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom 10:9-10)
3. Consider the words of Jesus.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21) “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
4. To "receive Jesus", requires a full surrender to the lordship of Christ in our lives. 
The "gift" of salvation, while offered freely, still comes a with high cost. Salvation cannot be earned, nor merited, by any amount of good deeds. For even after a lifetime of diligent obedience we are still "unworthy servants". But the Lordship of Jesus rightly demands a full surrender to His authority.
The gift of salvation is costly. It cost God more than heaven can declare. It cost Jesus the agony and shame of the cross. Even today it costs the Holy Spirit who seeks to woo you through the gospel. And it costs everyone who truly receives it the total submission of self to the rightful claims of Jesus on the lives and souls of all who would be His for time and eternity! Jesus has paid the high cost to offer you the gift of salvation.