Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Teaser - What's wrong with this picture?

Malcolm got it right (see his comment) - the "CNY Gift" in the above advertisement is not really a gift because you have to top up $100 to the $899 CNY WOW price (i.e. you have to pay $999) to receive the "gift".

Check out's definition for gift:
1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
2. the act of giving.
3. something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without its being earned: Those extra points he got in the game were a total gift.
4. a special ability or capacity; natural endowment; talent: the gift of saying the right thing at the right time.
–verb (used with object)
5. to present with as a gift; bestow gifts upon; endow with.
6. to present (someone) with a gift: just the thing to gift the newlyweds.

Of particular relevance to our discussion today is definitions 1 and 3. Notice that a gift requires no payment at all from the recipient and it is given voluntarily by the giver i.e. a gift is free.

Looking at the above advertisement, the discerning consumer will know that the "CNY Gift" of a laser printer is not really a gift; it is merely a discount given on the laser printer - therefore it is not a truly fantastic deal.

Perhaps because we are so used to this type of "not-so-fantastic deal" so commonly offered by the world, we cannot bring ourselves to believe it when we hear of the truly fantastic deal offered by God.

When we hear that God has already forgiven ALL our sins - past, present and future - we say,"Heresy! How can that be? Does that mean we can sin all we want and still go to heaven?" Actually, yes you can! (please read this article before you suffer a heart attack from all the indignance welling up inside you)

When we hear that God will not ever get angry with us anymore even when we sin, we say,"Heresy! How can that be? Does that mean we can sin all we want and God will not punish us?" Actually, yes you can because God exacted all the punishment meant for us on Jesus at the cross. (again, please read this article before you suffer a heart attack from all the indignance welling up inside you)

We accept it as normal when we hear preachers say we must sacrifice, we must give up something to God, we must do this, we must do that ... but when we hear that there is nothing for us to do except to believe, we say,"Heresy! This is just an excuse for lazy Christians!"

What does the bible say?

Romans 6:23 (NLT)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:17 (NLT)
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:4-5 (NLT)
When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

John 3:16 (NLT)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The advertiser saw nothing wrong with the above advertisement and published it because we all have been conditioned to accept that we have to pay a price (albeit sometimes a subsidised price as in the case of the laser printer) for everything.

Yes, I agree that is true but get this into your head, my fellow Christians: the price for the gift has been paid by the giver, the receiver does NOT have to pay! God paid for our salvation by giving His only Son, Jesus.

Our God is not a cheapskate - if He expects payment from you, then it is not a gift.


Malcolm Loh said...

A gift is not supposed to cost the receiver anything.

For example, salvation and righteousness are gifts; it costs us nothing, even though it may have cost the giver everything.

This advert claims the printer is a CNY "gift", but is charging $100 for it. That no longer qualifies it to be called a gift. They should instead call it a CNY "discounted offer" or something to that effect.

Jeffrey said...

Right on bros.To balance law and grace or to say that truth is a balance between law and grace is to say that we have to balance wages(what we work for) and what we receive as a free gift.Rom 11:6 clearly explains this.

Law and grace or old and new covevant is an antithesis in the bible.How good if my boss tells me that he wants to balance my salary with his.To balance my working days with my weekends.

So I work 3.5 days and I rest 3.5 days a week.Sounds crazy? That's what balancing law and grace does!