On Debt and DEBT
This article was originally published on Tania Evans' personal blog, and she has graciously agreed to allow us to re-post it here!
This past Sunday our pastor shared a great sermon about our infinite moral debt to God, and how Christ's perfect life and substitutionary death is the only currency that can pay this debt. To paraphrase him: We certainly have failed the obligations of God's law - to love, worship and obey him as we should. Christ is the only one that can free us from the damning obligations of a law we have failed to keep. I simply don't have the currency to pay this cosmic debt. If we fail to accept Christ as our bankroll, so to speak, we are foolishly financing our life; the Judge of all the universe could call your debt at anytime.
"And you, who were dead in your trespasses... God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14)
This debt analogy is very real to Shawn and I. For the past five years, we have been tackling about $55,000 of debt. Last week I shared with a dear friend that we were less than $2,000 away from being debt-free. Sunday evening Shawn and I received an email from this friend and her husband--it was a notification that they were transferring $1,000 into our bank account to help us pay off the final part of our debt. I was immediately reluctant to gratefully accept this gift because my pride couldn't deal with someone else paying off MY debt. I even said to Shawn out loud, "Why do they have to pay our debt? We are the ones that incurred it." It just didn't seem fair or right. Shawn laughed and replied, "Because they are being a picture of Christ and the gospel." It is not fair, but it is just. The debt IS being paid off - by them, in our place.
The analogy is not perfect, of course, but it makes the point that our pride can also keep us from accepting Christ's payment of our moral payment. "I can be good enough; God will accept me as I am--I'm not THAT bad of a person," we say; and we start listing off our list of good deeds, however tainted with selfish motives they may be. But we must take God seriously at his word when he says that our good deeds will never be enough to pay the infinite moral debt we owe him. Only infinite payment of infinite value can relieve this soul-crushing debt. Christ, God incarnate, the second person of the Godhead, is the only payment that can foot this bill. Take it. Humbly, gratefully, and in faith cling to him alone.