OK, I admit that this is not the kind of question that someone who is not a Christian would ask. In fact, I want to encourage believers to ask their non-Christian friends this question as a way to start a discussion about two very big words that are found in the Bible. Making God’s Word a part of our faith conversations does not have to be pushy or preachy. Talking about these two words might be a helpful way to have a meaningful discussion with non-Christian friends.
There are actually two possibilities for “the most expensive word in the Bible.” Both words are costly and both make a huge impact in the world and in our lives personally. One word is negative while the other is positive. One word is very unpopular while the other is something that everyone wants.
The first word is “SIN.” Sin appears throughout the Bible as the most destructive and harmful force in the world. Sin is very costly and brings expensive consequences. Want proof? Every government assesses a “sin tax” for activities that are known to be harmful but which people engage in anyway because of the momentary excitement or satisfaction that the activity provides. The sin tax that the Singapore government derives from alcohol, tobacco and gambling, amounts to more than 2.2 billion dollars (which means that the actual amount spent on these things is staggering!).
Sin also creates the need for police departments, judicial and prison systems and these services are not cheap. In Singapore, defense and military spending along with law enforcement and other “sin prevention and deterrent activities” amounts to almost 25% of the national budget. Of course this does not include money spent for security fences and doors, alarm and CCTV systems, guards and all of the other things needed to try and prevent criminal (i.e. sinful) activities. Sin also creates the need for halfway houses like HighPoint and support and recovery outreaches like the DaySpring Residential Treatment Center for abused teenage girls or the DaySpring New Life Centre which provides care for women with unsupported pregnancies. The high price of sin trickles down to every family, every person.
How much does sin cost a society? The results go far beyond dollars and cents. Think of the high cost of divorce, alcoholism, drug or gambling addiction to families. The Bible tells us that sin was responsible for our broken relationship with God and sin is what resulted in a world where crime, war, disease, injustice and suffering seem impossible to overcome. Sin really does come with a huge price tag. Romans 6:23 sums it up nicely: “The wages of sin is death.”
So what could possibly be more expensive than sin? Only one thing—LOVE. Love is what makes couples take vows of exclusive faithfulness to one another in marriage. Love is what makes parents willing to pay the high cost of raising children. Love is what made God willing to make the most costly sacrifice imaginable in order to provide the only solution for the problem of sin. The Bible reminds as that "You were bought at a price” (I Cor 6:20) and that “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (Rom 5:6 NLT).
The one truth from the Bible that people need to know is that God is love (I Jn 4:16). Discovering just how much God was willing to pay to recover us from sin and make us His own is the essence of the great story of salvation. The ransom for sin has been paid and the love made the payment. Love is the most expensive thing in the world!
Have you told anyone how valuable they are recently?