|Vol. 13 No. 7 July 2011||
David A. Sargent
Do you own a cell phone? Do you think your monthly bill is high? The amount you pay is surely far less than the bill received by Bob and Mary St. Germain. This couple received a bill of nearly $18,000 from Verizon Wireless back in 2006, and it was not a mistake! The St. Germain’s son believed he had free data downloads and used at least 816,000 kilobytes, which led to the enormous bill. Although an $18,000 cell phone bill is hard to imagine, it is insignificant when compared to the debt of sin that each of us has incurred.
You and I are represented by the servant who owed 10,000 talents (an astronomical amount of money in that time) and was called before the king to settle the account in Jesus’ “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.” (Please read the parable in Matthew 18:23-35.) Unable to pay the tremendous debt, the servant pled for mercy. “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go” (Matthew 18:27).
Due to our sin, each of us owes an enormous debt to God Who created us and has provided everything for us. We do not have enough resources to “pay” the debt for even one of our sins. We are completely dependent upon the mercy of God. Yet, God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to pay the debt for our sins. He paid the price for our redemption by dying on the cross for our sins. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
The blood of Jesus removes the debt of those who will: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus continues to keep one’s record clean as he continues to live for the One who made His redemption possible (1 John 1:7).
As Jesus taught in the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant,” we must also be willing to forgive the debts of others (Matthew 18:38-35; see also Matthew 6:14-15).
When we accept God’s forgiveness on His terms, we are able to sing “a new song.” “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. Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.”
Please allow the blood of Christ to cover the debt of your sin by submitting your life to Him in trusting obedience?
The only hope of a young man dying with cancer was to have his tongue removed. The surgeons knowing before they operated that he would never be able to speak again said, “Do you have anything you would like to say?” A look of sadness fell across his face and the young man who did not lie through the operation, lifted up his head and said, “There’s a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” John in Revelation 1:5 said, “…unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins by his own blood…” Paul was told by Ananias, “and why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). The blood of Jesus is what washes away sins. Baptism is when sins are washed away.
My friends, it cost the priceless blood of Christ to enable us to get from earth to heaven. Peter declared in 1 Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [manner of life] received by tradition [handed down] from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” After you have been redeemed by the blood of Christ (Revelation 1:5; Acts 22:16), walk in the light that you might be ever cleansed of your daily sins (1 John 1:7).