The Economics of Forgiveness

Economics is based on supply and demand. During our current world-wide financial meltdown, it is on display that government economics tries to bypass supply and demand, causing untold misery for many.

When it comes to forgiveness of sin there is wide demand. All are sinners, therefore all need forgiveness.

When it comes to the source of forgiveness, the Bible tells us Jesus is the only Way. Therefore, the supply of forgiveness is relatively small when compared to the many outlets seeming to offer forgiveness.

The economics of forgiveness are:

Forgiveness is high in demand–everyone needs it
Forgiveness is low in supply–only One offers it

That being the case, forgiveness should be terribly expensive.

There are two ways to think right now:

1) It was expensive, it cost Jesus His life
2) It is cheap, salvation is a free gift

Economically considered, the cost the forgiver goes through to provide forgiveness would raise the cost of forgiveness the sinner should have to pay! The cost to make the product should be reflected in the price. So now forgiveness, being high in demand and costly to produce, should be even more terribly expensive to the one who needs it.

But grace throws economics into turmoil at this point. The limited, highly expensive to produce Forgiveness is a free gift to all who need it, which is everyone.

This makes no sense. This is also why the Protestant Reformation had a conniption over the abuses of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, knowing they had the market cornered on forgiveness, sought to charge lots of money for people to purchase it.

Luther’s pronouncement that justification was free, not bought, moved us back in the right direction. Yet still today churches are getting rich off God’s short-sighted financial sense–How can we buy bigger buildings and better video technology when God’s program inherently does not involve money?

Grace makes no sense and costs no cents. Grace will continue to blow your mind no matter how long you look at it. We should tremble at the giant, free gift ready to be lavished on us.

He is a good God. Fear the Lord and His goodness.

4 thoughts on “The Economics of Forgiveness”

  1. One small snag there. You have to count everything else dung that you may win Christ. That includes your pride, talents, fleshly heritage, church traditions, theological theories, and fleshly enjoyments.

    That’s way too expensive for most people, so churches make money by offering a less expensive type of forgiveness. They call it “God’s mercy” or “grace”.

  2. Yeah, there’s that other side too. There is a cost, one the flesh resists with everything it has. You die in order to live.Cheap grace has come to define “grace” unfortunately.

  3. In post modern thinking, the thought process is as long as my “good deeds” outweigh my “mistakes” I don’t need a Savior. The thought of needing forgiveness for most folks is non-existent, a significant part of grace is actually seeing one’s own depravity, and utter hopelessness in one’s condition, and the overwhelming need for a Savior.

  4. One other thought on this topic. Forgiveness is also a non-renewable resource, in the sense that some day, it will run out:

    Revelation 22
    11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
    12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

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