Paid In Full
“And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.”
Several years ago, I received a letter from the American Honda Financial Corporation, the business from which I borrowed the money to pay for my car. The top line read, “OFFICIAL NOTICE THAT YOUR BALANCE HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL. ” Since I had purchased this car just a few months prior, I knew there was no way that my last payment had payed for my car IN FULL.
I thought of my dad first, that he would be the only person who would do something like this. But when I called him, he said that he had not. I shared with another FCA staff member about the letter and asked him if he knew anything about it. He told me that an anonymous member of the community wanted to pay off my car debt for me in appreciation for the ministry that goes on in our local schools.
After that blessing had soaked in, the Lord whispered a similar message in my ear. “Denise, your salvation is PAID IN FULL.” And through the whole process, the Lord revealed five things to me:
1. I will never have to pay anything else for my sins, because Jesus payed them when He died on the cross. In ancient Rome, criminals would have a stone tablet outside their prison cells stating the offenses they had committed. If they were able to live long enough to get out of the prison, the prison guards would write “tetelestai ” across the tablet, meaning the person had paid his debt for his trespass IN FULL. He could not be put in jail again for the offenses that had been committed. “Tetelestai. ” Jesus paid for our debt IN FULL.
2. We have a message to share. I called about 15 people that day to share my blessing, and I still share it with just about everyone I see. But how many people do I call each day to share the message of salvation? I can’t promise anyone that their car is paid off, but I can tell them that the debt for their sins has been paid if they accept Jesus Christ into their life. The greatest debt we will ever owe has been PAID IN FULL!
3. After opening the letter, I felt so much like I did not deserve such a wonderful gift. God reminded me, “You can do nothing to earn My gift, either. ” Salvation is a free gift.
4. I desired so much to keep the car in great condition, because it had been given to me, and I thought about how often we don’t take care of our salvation (reading His Word, praying and praising). These things won’t earn us His gift, but they will enable us to take care of it so that someone else may come to know the Gift Giver.
5. I told God back then, “This car is Yours. If there is anyone You want me to take to church or to offer a ride, use this car. It is Yours, and I give it back to You. ”
The Bible says, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
Today, the day after Easter, be reminded that Jesus has taken all of your sins (past, present and future) to the grave; and when He arose, He left them there. We no longer are defeated by sin, but have VICTORY over death in the Cross!
1. Have you accepted His gift to you? Your sins PAID IN FULL.
2. With whom will you share what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross?
1 Corinthians 15:54-56
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise Bernath is an FCA staff member in Tallahassee, Florida.