Friday, 16 November 2018

Debtors' Prison

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.  

      The old hymn describes it clearly, " He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away."  
      We were all headed for eternal debtors' prison until Jesus paid our debt in full with His blood sacrifice. Debtors' prison as described by Wikipedia was a place where destitute people who were unable to pay a court-ordered judgment would be incarcerated (usually similar in form to locked workhouses) until they had worked off their debt, via labor or secured outside funds to pay the balance. The product of their labor went towards both the costs of their incarceration and their accrued debt.
      Jesus spent so much of His ministry time trying to equip us from falling into sinful debt. The wages of sin is death and the cost of death is eternal debtors' prison. The Lord Jesus came to deliver us from this eternal judgment. 2 Cor. 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. What an amazing feat our Lord and Savior pulled off for any and every person who would receive His gift of sacrificial love by faith. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
      When we finally find out who we are in Christ, we will also work toward helping people stay out of debtors' prison so to speak. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. This was done so that we could help those break out of debtors' prison and become God's children in His kingdom. Being in debt to anyone but Christ is a mug's game that will leave you hopeless and eternally destitute. As the Proverb says, you will eventually mount up debt to the point of becoming a slave to it.
      If this principle is true in everyday life, then how much more will it be a fact in your spiritual life? If you have creditors knocking on your door demanding payment for stuff purchased on credit but now you are penniless - the debt does not go away. It surely will be paid somehow and at some time. However, your life will not be your own as it will belong to the creditors. Prov. 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. 
      This is what happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned through their disobedience toward God. They became slaves to sin and found out in a short time that the wages of sin is death. Gen. 3:19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return. They became separated from an intimate relationship with God because of the sin they had committed. In order to escape the debtors' prison man was now in need of grace because there was absolutely nothing man could do to pay for the eternal tormenting result that sin had caused. Rom. 7:24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
      The good news is that Jesus paid our debt in full through the work of the cross and blood sacrifice He gave us out of His love for us. We were bailed out of debtors' prison, and all we have to do is accept the Lord's gift by faith. Now that we are out of death's debt, we can bring life to those who are seeking deliverance from the slavery many have found themselves to be in. Prov. 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 
      Let us commit to staying away from sin because as someone once said, "Sinning is empowering Satan to speak on your behalf."  Well, saints, the devil will not speak for me as I have been paid for in full by the blood of the Lord who keeps me out of the jailer's hands. Blessings to you all.

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