In our day and age, it seems that we to only hear talk today about ‘debts to pay’ and that we have only to give, give - and give again. As we continue giving, subtracting, being ‘stolen’ from, soon there is nothing left. So it would be really good news, once in a while, to hear that our account has been credited with a hefty sum. “No chance!” you might think. But it could happen, as the saying goes that one day a hen “will lay the golden egg". The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the authentic one, does not speak in the first place, about our ‘giving’ but of our ‘receiving’, not charging our account, but crediting it.
The Apostle Paul, at the end of the first chapter of his first letter to the Christians living in Corinth, writes: "He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1: 30-31 NET). Here, we have spiritual riches, those which, when we receive them, cannot fall into the hands of a thief. This which make a person dignified and pleasing to God, which is what counts most. This kind of wealth is the gift that, in His grace and mercy, God gives to those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ with confidence. The One who has earned for us these riches is Jesus. He the One giving us this gift, this ‘sum’ which is transferred to our account. About this ‘credit’, the Apostle says, we can legitimately ‘boast’.
Usually we are proud of what we are, and about what we have achieved. It happens, nevertheless that, sooner or later, we realize that, in fact we are and have ‘nothing’. Our personal account is bankrupt. In Jesus and through Jesus, Christians are those who, having honestly recognized the futility of life without God and the inconsistency of their own accomplishments and merits, will ‘receive’ from God in the person of Jesus Christ, whom they fully trust, a priceless gift. It is the wisdom which they cannot find anywhere else. It is the righteousness (and justice) that otherwise they could never achieve. It is that purity of life that the ‘mud’ of this world would not even allow them to cling to. It is the sanctification that no programme of self-improvement could ever accomplish. It is that redemption from the chains of our existence that, alone, we can never break.
All this is what accompanies Jesus Christ received with faith and followed faithfully. This is not theory, but reality. If you have not tried it, might you consider trying it for yourself in this period of the Christmas holidays?
See here this message with links to the same in other languages