Monday, April 23, 2012

“Paid In Full”

     You’ve probably heard the old adage, “In God we trust.  All others pay cash.”

    Ask any retail business owner about the truth of this saying.  They’ll tell many stories of extending credit to deadbeats who never intended to pay their debts, and also to responsible people who had every intention of repayment, but who fell on hard times and couldn’t fulfill their obligation.

     In spiritual terms, the entirety of Adam’s race fits into both categories regarding our obligation to God.  He creates us, sustains our being, and we belong to Him (Psalm 24:1).  However, we fail to respond responsibly, as it were, and thus require someone else to step in and do for us what the Apostle Paul (typifying the Lord Jesus Christ) did for Onesimus regarding his debt to Philemon…

     “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it” (Philemon 1:18-19).

     This is exactly what the Lord Jesus says to His Father regarding a deadbeat and impoverished race of those who owe Him everything.  Our sins were placed on the Savior’s account.  Then, God imputes the perfect faithfulness of Christ’s righteousness to our account when we believe.  We go forth from the transaction of grace cleared from all obligation, and birthed into a family relationship with God wherein “freely given” gifts of a Father to beloved children mean that we will never again incur debt toward God (I Corinthians 2:12).  We serve not from obligation, but from love.  He gives, we receive, and more and more, the love He showers upon us returns to Heaven as the love springing upon from our hearts in grateful adoration.

     We owe God nothing.  That’s a powerful statement, and one that appears to be anything but true.  However, by His own design, our Heavenly Father gives to born again believers a relationship wherein “Paid In Full” will forever characterize an unending forever of grace.  Even more, we are sons and daughters of a most generous Father who would never think in terms of His offspring “owing” Him for His beneficence.  God would have us free from any sense of debt and obligation in order that we may serve Him in a boundless joy of heartfelt devotion.  Our blessed Savior gave to us such a sublime relationship by the sacrifice of His life.  Yes, “Jesus paid it all, “ as the old hymn declares.  Or, as another song beautifully proclaims…

“He paid a debt He did not owe.
I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song,
‘Amazing Grace’ the whole day long!
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
(Romans 5:15-18)

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