Debt Free

[God] canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

–Colossians 2:14

In New York City, there’s a huge display called the National Debt Clock. It calculates our national debt in real time ($34 trillion and counting, as of this writing). You can stand there and watch our national debt increase every second. The Bible says each of us is indebted like that to God–not for money but for the payment of our sins. Romans 2:5 says we are “storing up wrath for [ourselves] in the day of wrath.” Every time we sin, we add to our obligation to God.

But by God’s grace, we are debt-free. Look at Colossians 2:14: “[God] canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

Imagine you owed a debt of $34 trillion with interest compounded daily. The person you’re indebted to says, “The debt has to be paid, but I have good news: my son will pay your debt in full if you allow him to.” Would you puff up with pride and refuse the offer, determined to pay off the debt yourself? You would die still in debt. Your only hope would be to accept the payment the son was willing to make for you.

One day, the debt we owe to God is going to have to be paid. We can say, “God, I don’t need Your Son to pay my debt for me. I will pay for it myself.” If we reject the grace of God, then we will die in debt and spend eternity in hell trying to pay off that debt ourselves. Or we can accept the payment that’s been made through Christ Jesus.

When Jesus was nailed to the cross, there was a sign placed above his head that read “King of the Jews” (John 19:19). That was the offense He committed, at least in human terms–Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the King of the Jews. But there was another placard on that cross: a certificate of debt listing not the offenses of Jesus but the offenses of you and me. Who nailed that placard to the cross of Jesus Christ? Colossians 2:14 says it was God. He “canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, . . . having nailed it to the cross.”

When Jesus died, He died not for His sins but for our sins. In the final moments of His earthly life, Jesus cried out, “It is finished!”–literally, “paid in full” (John 19:30). By God’s grace, Christ has paid your sin debt in full.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Amazing Grace” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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