Debt Free and Loving Christ

We had a debt of righteousness we could not pay. We had a debt of justice we had to pay.

So let us rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no condemnation. There is no performance required. Then let us worship like never before. Let us wear ourselves pleasing the Lover of our souls. Some might say we owe it to him. Others just say we love to love him.

 

God is the Creator; he is the one who formed us in his image for his glory.

God is the Lord; he is the Sovereign Master before whom we are to submit and obey.

God is the Teacher; he is the one who has instructed us in who we are to be, how we are to think, and what we are to do.

God is the Judge; he is the one who reviews our worship and determines whether we are square or in debt.

God is the Savior; he is the one who paid all of our debt. Paul states this well in his letter to the Colossians:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, 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).

We were trespassers. We had done much that God had forbidden. We had not done much that God had required. We sinned against our Creator and Lord in thoughts, words, and actions, and as such we were viewed as uncircumcised, blasphemous pagans by the All-seeing Judge.

However, God so loved the world that he gave and sent his beloved Son. Jesus was perfectly righteous and he earned all the merit required by the Holy God. (Active Righteousness)  Jesus then died on the cross to pay the sin-debt or demerit that we accrued. (Passive Righteousness)  We had a debt of righteousness we could not pay. We had a debt of justice we had to pay. Jesus paid it all; the debt of obedience and judgment we earned was nailed to the cross and cancelled.

Therefore, do we owe God anything? Legally we do not. All the righteousness needed for Christians to enjoy an eternal relationship with God has been provided. Yet, while we do not owe God anything legally — according to the Law — we get to do what we ought to do. Or as Paul put it in his letter to the Colossians:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7).

So let us rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ. There is no condemnation. There is no performance required. Then let us worship like never before. Let us wear ourselves pleasing the Lover of our souls. Some might say we owe it to him. Others just say we love to love him.

Joseph A. Franks IV is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is Pastor of Palmetto Hills Presbyterian Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. This article first appeared on his blog, and is used with permission.