Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totalled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
One estimate of the equivalent value of the books of magic these penitents surrendered when they got saved puts it at the equivalent of more than the wages someone could earn in two lifetimes. That’s approximately 165 years worth of wages according to one estimate! That would translate into millions of pounds sterling nowadays. This attests to the fact that these Ephesian believers meant business with God.
A common statement among Christian folks today is that salvation is free. Really? Just how free is salvation? In the first place, salvation is not free because it cost God the precious blood of His only begotten Son. The Bible actually says we were bought at a very high price (see 1 Corinthians 6:20, 1 Peter 1:18-19). So in fact, salvation is the most expensive asset in the whole wide world. So salvation isn’t free at all.
Secondly, following Christ will cost YOU something. You must be prepared to give up things you consider valuable. The Lord Jesus said all who intend to be His disciple must deny themselves, pick up their crosses daily, and follow Him (see Luke 9:23).
So the penitents in our text today illustrate the principle of the Cost of Discipleship tremendously. Today’s believers must not expect anything less. We must not settle for a cheap Gospel. We must not be content with a valueless spirituality.
Those who are unwilling to let go of their earthly treasures can never know the priceless treasures of heaven. Those who will not give up their old life can never grow in the new life. Those who don’t renounce the powers of darkness can never experience the authentic power of God. You can’t have your cake and eat it. What must you give up today in order to be an authentic follower of Christ? Pastor Josh