When I went to college, I had to take out student loans to cover the tuition. The amount I had to pay back was not very much, but I still had to make payments each month, interest accrued daily, and in the end, the amount of money I paid back was more than I had borrowed. Such is the case with student loans here in the U.S., even today.
When my hubby and I married, we took out life insurance policies, so that in the event of our passing, our surviving spouse would have help going forward. We make payments each year toward the insurance to keep the policy active, knowing eventually it will be needed.
Many people believe salvation and grace in Christianity are like loans and insurance. Our grace is only based on what has been borrowed. We cannot have any more and when we pay it back it will cost us more than what we originally borrowed. This is not the case.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift —not from works, so that no one can boast, (Ephesians 2:4-9 HCSB, bold mine).
God’s grace does not have a limit, it is not something we have to pay back, something we must somehow make up to Him. God gave it to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ on our behalf. We did nothing to earn it, we can do nothing that will cause it to run out. Scripture says clearly it is, “the immeasurable riches of His grace.”
This grace, amazing, scandalous grace, is available to anyone who wants to receive it. We just need to ask God to forgive us for the wrongs we have done- the sins we have committed- and accept His forgiveness is faith. He loves us; it is ourselves, our doubt, our pride that get in the way of His great gift of grace.
Salvation is often looked at as “fire insurance,” something we have, but we don’t want to use until we absolutely need it. We try to pay into it by good works, by trying to be a “good person,” and all the other ways we try to earn God’s favor. Our salvation – true salvation- comes when we realize no amount of good works, good behavior, donations, or any other self-imposed actions will be able to win our salvation. Again, Scripture is clear, “it is God’s gift- not from works, so that no one can boast.”
We do not have to grovel, give up everything we have, pay back, or whatever else may have been told to us in our lives to “get God.” Jesus has done it all for us. When Jesus spoke the words, It is finished! (John 19:30), He declared the sin debt for all mankind was “Paid in Full.” Just as if there was a bill of debt and it was stamped with “Paid in Full.” We are not responsible for getting to Heaven on our own accord. Jesus took care of the cost.
The only decision we need to make, Best Beloved, is if we will receive it. Will we allow the payment Christ made on the Cross to cover us, cover our sins? Or will we try to find some kind of back door into Heaven? Dear Ones, there is no back door. There is only the front gate and Jesus is the only key that unlocks it.
As we come into the Passion Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, may we be honest with ourselves. What are we trying to accomplish? Are we still going to try to get into Heaven by loans and insurance? Or are we going to accept the free gift of grace and salvation offered to us by the God of the Universe through His Son, Jesus Christ?
It is a decision you need to make, Precious Child, no one else can make it for you.