Saturday, October 2, 2010
The Credit Card
I dreamed I had a credit card with God’s company. I charged on it without restraint. My balance went up fast. One day Jesus reminded me of the payoff. The charges on the card represented sins. He said the card would soon come due and the only payment was my life. (Ezekiel 18:4 says “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine; the soul who sins shall die.” Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death…”)
I told Jesus I would quit charging on my card.
“That is good,” He said. “But it doesn’t take care of the balance so that you can live.”
“I’ll make up for sins,” I assured Him. “I like to help people. I’m really not a bad person, just some bad habits, you know.”
He was very pleased that I wanted to take action.
“Will my good things cancel out the sins?” I asked Jesus.
“No,” he said. “But you have an option that can take care of your problems so you can live.”
“Really? What can I do besides not adding sins to my account and doing good deeds to make up for the bad ones?”
“It doesn’t work like that,” he said gently. “Sins require that the sinner dies. There is no other way.”
“But I would die? I thought I was supposed to get to live?”
“Yes, that is what I said.”
“Please explain,” I said. “I don’t understand.”
“Your sins deserve death. You committed them. It is right that you die, but if you have an acceptable substitute who takes your place, you will live. I am that substitute. I can pay off your card, and you will no longer have a balance.” Jesus was very persuasive.
“You mean I wouldn’t even have an account anymore?”
“No, you still have an account!”
“So I guess if I sinned again, it would start all over,” I said. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop right away. I’d really have to work on a few things.
“No, it doesn’t start again. Once I have taken on your account, I keep the balance at zero all your life. You are obligated to change, though,” he explained. “I pay for your sins and you live my life. The card changes, too. It no longer represents the balance of your sins, but the balance of my grace. (Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.)
“So you die and I live. I give you my sins, and you give me your righteousness. I ran up the bill and you pay it. You didn’t sin, and so you don’t have a bill to pay. Say, Jesus, will you stay with me and help me understand all you have said. I want to hear the part about grace again.” (Romans 3:24 (we) are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.)
“I’ll be there all the way,” he said. And then I woke up.