23rd January 2014

Don’t Forget—You Don’t Need to Pay! 

“The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6: 23 (NCV)
 

On the radio, I just happened to hear a reminder for listeners about getting their Tax Returns in on time to avoid a penalty. But the final words of this reminder were the ones that struck a chord—they were; “And don’t forget to pay what you owe!” 

Aren’t you really glad that spiritually we don’t have to pay what we owe? This is because we have a substitute called Jesus who died for us “while we were totally helpless” (Romans 5:6), “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8), and “when we were God’s enemies” (Romans 5:10). 

The notion of substitution is that someone takes the place of another or others, especially in order to bear their pain, and save them from it.  In modern history we cannot fail to be moved by the courage of Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan, in that dark, cruel, dungeon of a place called Auschwitz. When a number of prisoners were selected for execution and one of them shouted that he was a married man with children. Father Kolbe asked to take his place, the guards agreed and he and the others were placed in an underground cell, and left to die of starvation. Jesus declared in John 15:13-14 (NIV), “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” And shortly after he uttered those words, he did just that but not only for those who were friends but also for those who condemned him, beat him mercilessly and crucified him without so much as a thought or a tinge of pity! 

Can you even begin to understand such love? This is one of the reasons why Jesus became flesh, gave up all his glory and died in our place; to show us how much we are loved by the Father!  Once we accept this sacrificial love and become reconciled we stand before God’s throne holy and blameless—“For he chose us in him (Jesus), before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4 NIV italics mine). In his sight means before his eyes or in his presence! And just notice when he decided to do this—before he created anything at all; we were on his mind before the creation! Not only that—this is a love for which there is no charge—it’s a gift! (John 3:16 NIV). 

Prayer
Thanks be to you Father, for your amazing plan of salvation and for the love you have for your children. Thank you also for your faithful Son, Jesus, who took the fall; and thought of us above all.
Amen
 

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton, the Worldwide Church of God UK Congregation in Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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