Debt Free in Christ

“He canceled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” –Colossians 2:14

Black Friday has just passed us by. It is the busiest shopping day of the year; the day when retail ledgers supposedly return to being “in the black” rather than “in the red.” This isn’t how the name originated but is how it has come to be understood. What is interesting about this is that the vast majority of purchases are done with credit cards, and so the debt transfers from the retailer to the consumer. Debt is a form of bondage. King Solomon went as far as calling it slavery: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). In a similar way, mankind purchased from the Serpent in the Garden, the false promise of a fast track to enlightenment, thus placing ourselves under a debt of sin. Mankind was first created righteous and holy but our first parents, Adam and Eve squandered that away, and because of their sin, all mankind inherited this sin debt (Romans 5:12). And like our first parents, we continue to run our ledger deeper into the red with our own sinfulness. The only suitable payment is eternal death (Romans 6:23).

In this current age of indulgences, we have become completely desensitized to credit card debt, considering it just a regular part of our daily lives. Likewise, we are completely desensitized to sin, not even realizing or admitting to ourselves the debt we owe for our sinful actions. When those collection letters come in the mail for our unpaid debt, we just simply toss them away, ignoring the inevitable consequence, which in the case of the sin debt, is eternal death. Whether we choose to accept it or not, this is our destiny. Without Christ, we are morally bankrupt; there is no holiness or righteousness left in us. Our accounts are empty.

But because the One for whom we owe our debt loves us immensely and eternally, He devised a way for our debt to be forgiven. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is Himself God in the flesh, transferred our indebtedness of sin and death to Himself, paying our sin debt in full with His own blood. Colossians 2:14 says, “He canceled the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Because of this great act of mercy, our debt is paid and instead of inheriting death, we become co-inheritors of eternal life with Christ. All that is required of us for our sin debt to be wiped clean from the ledger is to turn away from our sinfulness and to become followers of Christ Jesus, the one who paid our debt.

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