In a time of bailouts, loan motivations, and foreclosures, the questions of who is liable when a debt is incurred if often a muddied one. For many, it may seem self-evident that the person who incurred the debt is also the person who should pay it, but we have seen many instances lately where this is no longer the case. Debt forgiveness, subsidy, and acts of Congress has modified that once clear-cut connection.
However, the poor economy is not the only culprit in this lopsided equation. Recently, I heard a message from Steve Lawson at the Resolved 2008 conference (for information on the 2009 conference, click here). In it, he articulated the biblical point that every sin demands a payment. The question is not whether or not sins will be paid for, the question is who will bare the cost.
It was a point that this Sunday School graduate had probably never considered to its fullest extent. It is easy to think of the fact that Christ has made my sin “white as snow” than to realize that the only way He was able to do this was to exchange my righteousness for His (for a great sermon on this topic, click here – March 1, 2008, Mike Fabarez). Because I accept Christ it doesn’t mean that my sin is no longer accounted for, it means that the penalty for it has been poured out on Christ. It’s just as if I accepted my own personal bailout for the debt I’ve incurred against God. When I accept Christ as my Savior, I in effect tell the Lord of this Universe that “I recognize the guilt of my sin and I’m accepting your payment for it.” To do so lightly or without a recognition of the costs to the King, is a perversion of the awe and magnitude of Christ’s grace.
However, this transaction also recognizes something else. When I say to Christ that I accept His payment for my sin, I also recognize that I am unable to make reconciliation on my own. To ever attempt to do so through the paltry offer of my good works, would be like offering monopoly money on the national debt. It’s not only inadequate, its not even the right type of currency.