When he was an attomey, Abraham Lincoln was once approached by a man who
passionately insisted on bringing a suit for $2.50 against an impoverished debtor.
Lincoln tried to discourage him, but the man was bent on revenge. When he saw that
the man would not be put off, Lincoln agreed to take the case and asked for a legal
fee of $10, which the plaintiff paid. Lincoln then gave half of the money to the
defendant, who willingly confessed to the debt and paid the $2.50! But even more
amazing than Lincoln's ingenuous settlement was the fact that the irate plaintiff was
satisfied with it. *
Due to our sin, you and I are "impoverished debtors." We are like the servant
who owed 10,000 talents (an astronomical amount of money) and was called before
the king to settle the account in Jesus' "Parable of the Unforgiving Serent: " (Please
read the parable in Matthew 18:23-35.) Unable to pay the tremendous debt, the
servant pled for mercy. "The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and
let him go" (Matthew 18:27). We also do not have enough resources to "pay" the
debt for even one of our sins. We need mercy.
But God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3: 16)
to pay the debt for our sins. "In Him we have redemption through His blood.
the forgiveness of sin, according to the riches of His grace' (Ephesians 1: 7).
The blood of Jesus removes the debt of those who will: believe in Jesus (Acts
16:30-31), repent of their sin (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Jesus before men
(Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus for the
forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus continues to keep one's record
clean as he continues to live for the One who made His redemption possible (1 John
1: 7). As Jesus also taught in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, we must also be
willing to forgive the debts of others (Matthew 18:38-35; see also Matthew 6:14-15).
When we accept God's forgiveness on His terms, we are able to sing "a new song":
''He paid a debt he did not owe
I owed a debt I could not pay
I needed someone, to wash my sins away
And NOW I sing a brand new song, ''Amazing Grace."
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay."
Won't YOU allow the blood of Christ to cover the debt of YOUR sin by
submitting YOUR life to Him in trusting obedience?
- David A. Sargent