When was the last time you read the parable of the merciless servant in Matthew 18:23-35? Did you get the fact that the servant did not understand his master had entirely erased his exorbitant debt—one that he would never be able to pay? Because of this misunderstanding, the servant believed that he still had to collect money from someone who owed him so he could pay his master. What if that servant had heard his master correctly? What if the knowledge of his new debt-free state had penetrated his mind? The excessive weight would have lifted, and joy would have seized him. If only that servant had received the message that the master had wiped his slate clean, how free He would have been!
Jesus fully paid your debt for sin. He wiped your slate clean. Yet, do you live as if you are still under obligation to pay your Master—forever struggling to win His approval? Why do you allow the enemy to convince you that you must earn God’s love? Is it because you believe you owe something and must make payment as penance? Self-effort never credits your spiritual account with His righteousness. Good works can never save you. So what does your payment achieve? The enemy of your soul blackmails you, saying you must continue to work to make payment to be forgiven. The truth is your payment would never be enough. The enemy’s lie is that the debt exists. In Jesus, you have no debt. You are forgiven and free.
If you could understand the truth of the Gospel that you, like the servant in the parable, are entirely debt-free, you would begin to grasp your identity in Christ. You would see yourself as He sees you—freely forgiven by His Grace. You would comprehend the truth that Jesus paid the debt of your sin with His righteousness. Almost too good to be true—this truth is life-changing!
Knowing you are debt-free in Jesus is freedom from the performance trap. Trying to compensate for a debt you do not owe achieves you nothing but frustration and defeat. Knowing and believing Jesus has paid your debt in full gives you freedom like nothing else. You do not work for Him because you owe Him. When work for Him is born of your faith, it flows from the upmost gratitude. It pours from the deepest debt-free joy. You have a revelation of His Grace as never before. His love is freely received and generously expressed. At last, you understand what your freedom means!
Jesus accepts and approves of you—not because of who you are but because of who He is and what He has done. Abraham’s faith was credited to Him as righteousness. Faith in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross is credited to you as righteousness. You do not have to prove who you are in Jesus. He has already shown it on the Cross. Jesus became your sin so that you might know freedom in His righteousness. There is no debt—nothing you owe. He paid the price, and you are free.
©2020 Lynn Lacher