Volume: 909 May 29, 2023
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An unusual gesture happened recently at the check-out line at Good Value Grocery.
A slightly frustrated line formed behind a mother as she took item after item out of her cart and hurriedly placed them on the register’s conveyor belt. The items were necessary. None were frivolous or costly. Hotdogs were rung up instead of steaks. The clerk shoved dry beans, rice, and other staples instead of more expensive processed food. It was apparent that this woman was carefully watching her expenditures and was careful to buy what was needed for her two patiently waiting children and others in her family.
As the items were rung up and bagged, the young mother opened her pocketbook and began searching for her purse or checkbook. Her movements became frantic as she could not find what she had sought. Again, she searched even the small compartments, but nothing was found. One futile attempt was made to check her pockets; still nothing!
A frantic and embarrassed countenance was on her face as she meekly admitted to the clerk,” I am so sorry. I must have left my checkbook at home. I have nothing to pay for the food.”
The message reached those behind her, and their body language and groans made it clear they were unhappy. A confused, aggravated look appeared on the face of the cashier as she said, “That happens, but I will have to get someone to put these things back on the shelf. Next time, be sure you can pay for something before you get in line.”
As the cashier grabbed the phone to summon help in ridding the unpaid products, all but one of those waiting in line moaned. The middle-aged woman let out a soft “Oh, my,” instead. She quickly grabbed her purse, went to the embarrassed woman, and spoke softly to the clerk.
“How much is her bill, Maam?”
Startled, the clerk checked the register’s tape and said, “One hundred eighty-four dollars and 12 cents.”
“Put it on my credit card,” as the concerned bystander paid for the shocked mother’s bill.
A sigh of relief escaped the mouth of the debtee, and surprised words of gratitude thanked the generous giver.
The compassionate giver was not bound to pay the other’s bill. Still, she gave out of compassion and concern for the other woman and her family.
The debt-payer’s action was not unlike what Jesus did for all that will accept His payment for their sins. Jesus did not have to pay our sin bill. The humble son of God offered Himself to be the payment for all who trusted and called upon His name to be saved from eternal punishment.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
He could have avoided embarrassment and pain, but Jesus saw the need and did not want any to perish in eternal torment. The brutal punishment He received, and death on a cruel cross were for no sin He committed. He was sinless. It was for mine and your iniquities!
Unlike the fictitious indebtedness in the above account, our sin debt is not for one deed only. Our debt is for a lifetime of disobedience, ignorance of God’s will, purposeful ignoring of what the Bible commands us not to do, and countless transgressions against a Holy God.
Yet, out of unimaginable love for the creatures He created, God wants none to perish in a horrible punishment created for Satan and those that followed him. He is willing, however, to pay your massive sin debt by allowing the shed blood of His only son to be payment for your tremendous bill of transgressions.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41
If you accept God’s offer, all committed iniquities will be forgiven, forgotten, and under the saving blood of God’s Son, Jesus. Will you humble yourself and accept the Saviour’s payment for ALL your sins?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:6
- Know that you are a sinner:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 Also: Romans 5:12, I John 1:10.
- Hell is the payment for all that have sinned.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12
- BUT, there is good news! Jesus’ death on the cross is the payment for the sins of all that call upon Him for salvation!
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
“What did you have to give up to be a Christian? Hell!”
A group of friends visited an old church, which was of great historical interest to them. They asked for admission, and the sexton gave them the key after saying, “You can unlock the door and go in, and I will come to you directly.”
They went to the door, put the key in the lock, and tried to open it, but they could not turn the key. They turned and twisted it but to no effect. They had just given up in despair when the sexton arrived. “We cannot make this lock open,” said one of the party.
“I beg your pardon,” said the sexton, “I forgot to tell you that the door is not locked. All you need to do is to lift the latch and walk in.”
A great many are like them. They try by their efforts to unlock the door of salvation, but all their efforts (Ephesians 2:9) are a waste of time. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, long ago unlocked the door, and all we need to do is lift the latch, and by faith, walk in.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
A person can know if he is saved. If he has trusted Christ’s death as payment for his sins as the only way to Heaven, he will see himself changed. He will see new things happen in his life.
Here are some of those new changes:
A NEW belief. A saved person believes differently than he believed before.
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:… These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:10-13
A NEW interest in God’s people.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” I John 3:14-16 The “brethren” are other saved people.
A NEW Master. A saved person is attentive and interested in obeying a new Master — God!“Jesus answered them, … But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:25-29
A NEW Life. A saved person gets a second chance at life. He gets to start over, this time with God’s guidance and help.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17
The new life may include things one would never have suspected he would do, such as: reading the Bible, desiring a ministry, being faithful to church attendance, etc. He will also find he no longer wants to do many of the wrong things he used to do and even has a conviction against doing them.
A NEW Trust. A saved person has a God that he can trust and rely on.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” II Tim 1:12
A NEW fruit — NEW interests
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts ….” Galatians 5:22-25
When the Spirit of God indwells a believer, there are some things He wants to be done in our lives and around us. These changes that we allow Him to do in us are proofs of our salvation.