The Forgotten Half of the Good News

I can remember back in the day, back in the days when everyone had land lines for telephones. This was the time, about ten to twenty years ago, of telemarketers who would call you right around dinner time to try to sell you something or offer you a service. One night, our telephone rang and it was a telemarketer wanting to consolidate all my debt. The lady began asking me a series of questions which assumed I had all this debt. After discovering that we only had one credit card that we paid off every month, thanks to the wisdom of Larry Burkett, she was done with me. However, I was not done talking to her. I began to ask her a series of questions. One question I asked her was, “On the average, what kind of credit card debt do you see out there?” Her estimated average, at the time, was between twenty to thirty thousand dollars of credit card debt. I was amazed at her answer. She told me stories of people in the hundreds of thousands of dollars on multiple cards. It was unbelievable.

What if I called you up, on your cell phone today and told you I could pay off all your debt? Some of you, that would mean paying off your home mortgage. Others it may be paying off a home and a few cars. Still others, it may mean paying off endless credit cards, cars, bills, and a home. If I called you up and paid it all off that would be a mind blowing experience and you would think I was the best guy in the world. However, what if I did not stop there but said, “I want to give you, to credit your banking account, with an abundance of income.” Is the deal starting to sound a lot sweeter?

I have heard my whole life that Jesus has paid my sin debt. We used to sing a song that said, “He paid a debt He did not owe. I owed a debt, I could not pay. I needed Someone to take my sin away.” The Bible says. “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Even though this is great news, it is only half of the great news.

If Jesus calls you up and says, “I want to pay for all your sin debt” and you say, “Sure, that sounds awesome. I don’t want to be in debt to God (Romans 6:23) so I accept Your offer Jesus.” I would say you have just made the best decision of your life but I want to ask you a series of questions. Where does that leave your spiritual account? It leaves it at zero if we stop there. Do you really think Jesus leaves people at zero? It does sound great but do you realize it gets better?

Not only does Jesus payoff the debt in our spiritual account, He credits it. What does He credit it with, one may ask. He credits it with His righteousness. Not only does He pay your sin debt, He adds His righteousness, His abundance to your account. This means, while Jesus was on the cross, God the Father, treated Jesus as if He lived your life. One day when you stand before God, if you have become a Christ follower, God will treat you as if you have lived Jesus’ life. God will not see your sin, which is great news, but God will see His Son’s righteousness which is greater news. He will see Christ when He looks at you. What a powerful thought! Thank God that He does not leave us at zero but gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). What great news!

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