The Bible speaks of salvation as being a free gift
from God (Rom. 6:23). Because of this, many are
convinced that one does not need to do anything to
obtain it, for it is free after all. But is this really true?
In the Old Testament God promised to give the
children of Israel the land of Canaan freely (Exod. 6:
4; Deut. 10:11). They did nothing to earn it; they did
not pay God for it – it was a free gift. Yet, in order to
take possession of it they had to prepare provisions
(Josh. 1:11); they had to cross over the Jordan (c. 3);
they had to defeat Jericho (c. 6); they had to do
battle with Ai (c. 7-8); etc. God gave Israel the land
as a free gift, however, that did not exclude effort on
Israel’s part. They had to DO something to receive it.
After an old farmer tore down his barn, his neighbor
inquired about the wood. The old farmer said, “You
can have it for nothing. I’ll just give it to you. Only
thing is, you’ll have to come haul it away yourself.”
Was it a free gift? Yes. Did the neighbor have to do
something in order to obtain that free gift? Yes.
Friends, the same is true with regard to the free gift
of salvation: while it is free, one has to DO something
to obtain it (Heb. 10:36; Rev. 2:10). Jesus Himself
said, “He who believes and is baptized will be
saved…” (Mk. 16:16).