As our nation continues to be divided and with part of the government shut down, many grow increasingly nervous wondering what the future will hold. Will the debt ceiling be raised? Will there be negotiations? Who will save us from all this?
While we might wonder what our governmental leaders may or may not do, Christians have no need to wonder what our eternal future will hold. There is no debt ceiling, there are no negotiations, the crisis has been averted, and the shutdown has saved us.
The Debt Ceiling
Our debt is out of control. Each day, our sins continue to pile up without any way to pay for them. No act of government can pay for them, and we certainly cannot pay for them ourselves. In fact, if we try to make a payment by being good or helping others, we only pile up more debt. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isaiah 64:6). Increasing our debt to God for our sins can’t save us. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one (Romans 3:12). There is no ceiling, no limit to our sinfulness. Human nature is totally corrupt.
Governments solve policy problems by negotiating a solution. But we can’t bargain with God. We can’t negotiate for a lighter punishment for our sins. We are simply told, You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). If we look at our own lives, we can easily see that we have all failed.
Debt eventually must be paid. We can try to pay off our debt ourselves, but we can’t pay any of it. The payment due for our sins is eternal death and punishment in hell. On our own, the situation is hopeless. Our debt keeps growing, we can’t make payments, and the deadline for payment in full is fast approaching. Who will save us from all this?
There is only one way out of this mess. It’s not through negotiations. It’s not by us being immovable. It is only through the work of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. He “shut down” the power of sin, death, and the devil. He lived the perfect life demanded of us. Jesus has been tempted as we are, yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). The punishment we earned for our sins was taken by Jesus. The debt was paid. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Galatians 3:13). Now, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, we can look forward to an eternity in Heaven instead of punishment in hell. We are justified, declared “not guilty” of our sins. We have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9).
Life After the Crisis
Often in life, we can’t see beyond the crisis before us. When it comes to our eternal lives, the crisis has ended—our sins are forgiven. So how do we live our lives now that the crisis is over? Should we simply return to our sinful behavior? The Apostle Paul, by inspiration, answered this question clearly: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer (Romans 6:1-2)? We have been set free from the guilt and punishment of sin. Daily, we return to our Lord, seeking and receiving the forgiveness earned for us by Jesus. And daily, in thanks to God for His love and mercy, through the Holy Spirit working in us, we live our lives according to His Word.