What might it cost a Pepsi truck driver to be caught drinking a Coke while on break? Well, if he’s in the Pepsi uniform it may just cost him his job. There is such a thing as brand loyalty. A person might say, “Well, I will wear a Pepsi shirt just as long as I can still drink Coke.” Maybe he would do it for a friend or maybe to impress someone or maybe because he needed a new shirt, but his brand loyalty is still Coke. That is how a lot of people approach Christ. I will take His name if I can still be the same old me.
What cost Christ? What does it cost to come to Christ? Isn’t it free? Yes, Christ paid the full price of our redemption. It is paid in full and so it is free. But it is not like a shirt we can put on just because we need a new shirt or want to impress someone with our new shirt. When we put on Christ we are supposed to do so because we have been convicted of the true need for a change in brand loyalty. Our original brand loyalty was to self. We loved the world, the flesh and the devil. We might not have thought about it in those terms, but those are the terms God uses so they will do. When we have been moved by the Holy Spirit to see Christ we also are moved by the Holy Spirit to understand that who we are is wrong and we need a new brand. Peter said to the people in Jerusalem, “Repent!” That means to turn away from what has caused the curse on our life – sin and the love of it – and to turn to Christ. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “How you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” (1 Thess. 1:9)
The Thessalonians had changed brands. They turned from the one (repented) and turned to the other. What does it cost to come to Christ? It costs us the conviction that we are wrong. It costs us the conviction that our way is the wrong way. I have heard people who have said, “Sure I will become a Christian if I don’t have to change.” They don’t understand that coming to Christ is coming away from something else. They don’t want to change brand loyalty. They simple want to have the supposed benefit of having things both ways. The need isn’t to change first. Christ will change us. The need is to see that we need to be changed. That is the cost. It is the cost of conviction of sin and the Spirit’s moving us to repentance. Even that is free and supplied by God’s grace, but we cannot pretend to come without it.
William Sleeper wrote the hymn “Jesus, I Come” in which he makes clear the coming from something when coming to something – Christ.
Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come. Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus, I come to Thee. Out of my sickness into Thy health, out of my want and into Thy wealth; out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus, I come to Thee.
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