Free and Guaranteed
By Christopher L. Scott
Moses Lake, Washington
When I was 15 years old I tried to spend as much time as possible at the golf course. I played golf with a lot of older men that shared their wisdom with me. I distinctly remember one man telling me to beware of two words: “free” and “guaranteed.” He told me: “Christopher, remember these two things in life: One, nothing in life is free. Two, nothing in life is guaranteed.”
He continued and said that when you hear someone say that something is “free” there will always be a price to pay later on. There might be a request for your contact information, and time involved to get the free thing – or the free thing might only be part of what you want, so you have to pay for the other half.
He also explained that if something is guaranteed there’s usually a catch. Often a guarantee is only good for a limited time, or you have to have the receipt, or the guarantee could be voided based on specific conditions.
That advice came to my mind as I read Paul’s introduction to his letter to the believers in the city of Corinth, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:4-9, NASB).
In Paul’s introduction, he starts with his expression of thanks. He gives thanks because God’s gift of salvation had been given to these believers in Corinth. “the grace of God was given to you in Christ” (1 Cor 1:4b). This was a guarantee for them, “our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end” (1 Cor 7:7b-8a). Notice the word “confirm” that Paul uses. It means a guarantee. Paul told the Corinthians that they had God’s guarantee that they would be in Christ’s presence at His future return to the earth. The reason for this guarantee is stated in the next verse, “God is faithful” (1 Cor 1:9a).
That man I was playing golf with gave me good advice. Nothing is free and there are no guarantees. With one exception: when we place our faith in God for salvation it is a free gift offered to us. “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). This free gift of eternal life guarantees our place in heaven forever (Romans 8:31-39). We know that God is faithful. His offer of salvation is free and it’s guaranteed.
 Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.
Christopher L. Scott, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a pastor and freelance writer. Christopher L. Scott writes from Exeter, CA. Learn more about his writing ministry at ChristopherLynnScott.com.
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