Browse Weekly Wisdoms

Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 28, 2019

You are more sinful than you can believe, but you are more loved than you can imagine.

Outside of conservative Christian circles, it's not very common for people to believe that they are inherently bad. Instead, people's logic often goes like this: Sure, I occasionally do bad things, but at heart I'm a good person.

Although it may be tempting to give yourself credit as being a good (or, in Biblical lingo, righteous) person at heart, such a view of human nature is at odds with what God reveals in his word. God makes it very clear that every one of us is "bad." We don't just do bad things; we are bad.

The Apostle Paul exclaims that because of our sin every one of us falls short of God's radiant splendor and glory (Romans 3:23). None of us are good—that is, righteous (Romans 3:10).

Our unrighteousness is not due to the fact that we break God's commands. Instead, we are unrighteous because we are "in Adam," to borrow the language of Paul in Romans 5. Even people who did not sin by breaking a command still died because they were by nature sinners (Romans 5:14).

The bad news is that you're sinful by nature. Even if you lived your whole life without breaking a single command of God you'd still reap death. The bad news is probably worse than you may care to admit.

Fortunately, that makes the good news better than you had imagined. Despite your sinful nature, God offers the life of his very son for you (Romans 5:8-10). God doesn't owe you anything, but he gives you everything. That's love.

Your sin is placed on Christ, and Christ's righteousness is placed on you. You gain what he deserved—life—and he gains what you deserved—death. How great is the love God lavishes on us! (1 John 3:1)

When you forgive, the debt doesn't just go away. You absorb the debt. That's why forgiveness is so hard.

Say you lend a person one thousand dollars, but suppose that when the time comes for the loan to be repaid that person is unable to repay you. If you forgive that person of his debt, then that person no longer owes you anything. By forgiving, you forfeited the money—you absorbed the debt.

How is it that God is able to forgive our sins against him? He absorbed them by sending his son to suffer the penalty for our debts (sins). Christ absorbed the penalty of death so that we don't have to. When God forgave us, he said, "There's no need to repay me." (We couldn't repay God even if we tried, but now we're freed from the burden of trying.)

When you forgive someone, you absorb their debt. That's why forgiveness is so hard.

In Luke 7, Jesus tells this parable to Simon: "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Forgiveness is a sign of love. To forgive someone of a massive debt (in this case, five hundred denarii) is a sign of massive love. How is forgiveness a sign of love? Because if you forgive much, then you must absorb much debt (pain, suffering, loss, etc.). Our sin against God is the biggest possible debt we could have; so for God to absorb that is a sign of his endless, measureless love.

When He forgave us, God didn't just ignore our debt; he absorbed our debt.

Recent Weekly Wisdoms
February 18
February 11
February 4
January 28
  • You are more sinful than you ...
  • When you forgive, the debt ...
January 21
Archive