"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1).
For the past three weeks we have been declaring the freeness of salvation. Salvation is without price, first because it is of such infinite value that should God require anything from the sinner, no one could ever be saved. Secondly salvation is free because all men are spiritually bankrupt. Should God require one penny (spiritually speaking) from a sinner, again, none could be saved. Salvation is of infinite value, and we have nothing to pay, so God gives it as a free gift to the glory of His grace. Then thirdly, salvation is free because Christ has paid the price in full. Ultimately, this is the main reason that salvation is free, because the infinite price was paid by the Eternal Son of God on Calvary's cross. Salvation is free to the sinner, but it was at great cost to God.
Now, fourthly, and finally, we shall (with the help of the Holy Spirit) show you that salvation is "without price" in the glorious way that it actually becomes ours, that is by faith alone. I refer you to Ephesians 2:8-9 where we read "for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Salvation is received entirely by faith alone, apart from any human effort or merit. "It is of faith, that it might be by grace" we read in Romans 4:16. Saved by faith is practically synonymous with saved by grace.
Now, I will have you to note well that faith is not your contribution to the work of salvation. Indeed we have already shown that you are ten thousand talents in debt without a farthing to pay, and Christ has already paid the price in full. Sadly, faith is generally presented as a sinner's contribution to his own salvation. Misguided (and we fear unconverted) preachers have told their hearers that God has done all He can do, and now it is up to the sinner to make the decisive move by an act of his own "free will." Thus, the sinner is erroneously told that his faith is the deciding factor in his salvation. This is patently wrong, and we fear that many will perish in their sins unless they come to a Biblical understanding of saving faith.
Faith cannot be a sinner's contribution to salvation because there is no merit in faith. The blood of Christ is the only payment that God will ever receive as payment for your sins and my sins. The greatest faith of the dearest saints cannot atone for sin. "What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus" we sometimes sing. Sinner, your faith cannot take away your sins! Your repentance cannot atone for sin. Your good works and efforts to reform cannot take away your sins. If your sins were not purged by the precious blood of Christ, you must be forever damned! There is no merit in faith, nor is there any strength in faith. Saving faith is an empty hand whereby a poor, bankrupt, quickened sinner simply receives the infinite gift of salvation. You cannot come to Christ any other way than as a bankrupt sinner. God will allow no boasting in His presence. As Isaac Watts wrote, "no more my God, I boast no more, of all the duties I have done. I quit the hopes I held before, to trust the merits of Thy Son." Or as another expressed it, "just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me; and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come"! Or as dear Joseph Hart said, "Come Ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore. Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, joined with power! Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream. All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him"! Poor sinner, do you feel your need of Christ? Then come to Him this instant, trusting not in anything you have done or felt, but trusting in Him and His righteousness alone for your salvation. He has sweetly promised that He will cast none out who come to Him!