“God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
One of the buzz words in our world today is the word, “DEBT”. Everywhere we look in our world today, we can see the ugly face of debt. Debt rears its ugly head as we talk about the 22 trillion dollar debt of the USA, or when we see the debt of some of our country’s largest companies, or more close to home when we talk about the debt of ordinary people like us. Maybe to get a handle on this word, we should define what debt is. The word “debt” simply means “to owe someone something.”
If to be in debt is to owe someone something, isn’t it also appropriate for us to speak of debt when we consider our relationship to God? Aren’t we all in debt to God when we disobey his commands? He tells us to go south and we go north. He says turn left and we go right. Rather than loving a neighbor, we hurt them. Instead of seeking his will, we look to ourselves. We’re expected to forgive our enemies, but we attack.
Aren’t we accumulating debt when we ignore and disregard God? He grants beauty and shows great power, and we credit Mother Nature. He graciously provides us with food, homes, and possessions, and we give all the credit to our hard work and human ingenuity.
And don’t we go into debt when we disrespect our children and families? How must God feel when he hears sarcasm and angry words directed at a child or a spouse? When someone curses at their own family member or a neighbor? When we criticize a co-worker, or gossip about a relative? Like our wonderful country, and some very large companies who have accumulated large financial debt, we all have to grudgingly admit that we have accumulated a very large spiritual debt – a debt we can never repay.
So how do we fix this problem of our spiritual debt? The world fixes its debt by earning more money so it can pay off its debts and it can then return to solid financial ground. When it comes to the debt we owe God, that’s another story. Waving at our neighbor, giving hugs and kisses, being kind and compassionate and being charitable won’t cover any of the spiritual debt we’ve accumulated.
God did something that would make a banker’s jaw drop. Instead of punishing you and me for our debt, God took upon himself the responsibility of balancing our account. He didn’t overlook our debt of sin. “God made him, who did not know sin, to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus paid the price for our sins. God, our Heavenly Father, took our spiritual bank statement that was overflowing with the debt of sin and put his name on it. In exchange for all our debt, he took his own statement, which listed the deposit of the perfect righteousness made by his Son and gave it to us. Jesus’ perfect deposit of righteousness has become ours. In simple terms, this means that our debt of sin is completely paid in full by the innocent blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross of Calvary.
Honestly, have we ever been given a gift which compares to what God has done for us? Being given this gift of mercy makes the poorest beggar a prince. Missing out on this gift makes the wealthiest person the poorest person. We can trust God to handle our heavenly banking account. In him we have become eternally wealthy – we have received the righteousness of God. We are spiritually debt free!
Pastor Mark Gartner
Summer Sunday Bible Study
We have started our new Summer family type Bible Study which is being held on all non-Communion Sundays this Summer. The study is entitled, “The ABC’s of Worship — Lutheran Customs and Practices.” Our next classes will be in July on July 14 and 21 starting around 9:00 am. The classes have been well attended and many good questions have been asked and answered. Even if you have missed the first lessons, you can still join us. If you would like one of the study booklets, please talk to one of the Pastors
Bible Information Class
Our next Adult Instruction Class will begin on Tuesday July 2 at 6:30 pm. If you or someone you know are interested, please speak to Pastor Gartner.