Your Life's Debt & God's Gracious Payment

(Colossians 2:13-15) Imagine an invoice for your life. It would itemize your sins line by line. What is to be done with this kind of debt?

Receipt paper streaming out of calculator-like device.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash

Last week, we explored why Paul uses circumcision as a metaphor for our new life in Christ.

Today's dab of Bible is a vivid scene of Christ's dismantling of sin's debt.

The Costco Life

My wife and I discovered the beauty of Costco during the pandemic.

Not only can you get enough of what you're looking for, you also get delicious food. They have these delectable ice cream bars, covered in chocolate and almond bits, and…

—I digress.

Though we love getting Costco stuff delivered, we don't love the receipt.

Food prices have been on the rise, and families are feeling it.

When I scan over our shopping invoices, my jaw and heart drop at the same time.

Your Life's Invoice

As painful as food prices are, there's a larger invoice which reflects a debt no one can handle...

When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him when He pardoned us all our transgressions.
He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. After disarming the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.

Colossians 2:13-15 (TLV)

For those who trust in Christ, we can sometimes take this triumph for granted.

Imagine an invoice — with your life's sins itemized line-by-line — handed to you. And it comes with a dire expectation...

Must be paid in full.

Since God is just and righteous, He cannot tear up your life's invoice of sin and pretend it'd never happened.

Instead, Paul says Jesus "wiped out the handwritten record of debts" by "nailing it to the cross."

The Father did not ignore the sin. Instead, He saw it and reconciled the debt by paying in full from His own account.

And here's where the Gospel humbles me so much. The clearing of my sin-debt is something I could have never done on my own. It’s only possible by Jesus’s sacrificial payment of Himself.

A Gracious Payment

I want to zoom in on one phrase from today's dab of Scripture: "He pardoned us."

Most translations say "forgive," and of course it does mean that. But the original word is a verb form of charis, which carries some cool meanings:

  • Favor extended
  • A gift
  • Mercy
  • A pardon

God absorbing the debt of your sin and extending charis (grace) to you, is a divine act of mercy.

"The Father did not ignore the sin. Instead, He saw it and reconciled the debt by paying in full from His own account."

Forgiveness in one sense is a transaction: The payment of your debt by the riches of the Son.

It is also a personal, loving act of kindness and of favor to you.

  • Have you received this gracious payment from Jesus Christ?
  • Are you allowing this charis to pour out of your heart for others?
  • Or, are holding onto invoices, itemizing the sins of others?

Remember God's gracious payment for you and the Messiah's triumph over your life's invoice of sin.

💬 Your thoughts…

There are times I definitely struggle with remembering the permanency of mercy through Christ.

How do you balance the Christian life, remembering Christ’s work but also living in it victoriously in the here-and-now?

Would love to hear your wisdom...

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