“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Paid in Full, by Randall D. Kittle
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A few years ago, a newspaper article reported that a Utah businessman had filed for bankruptcy and declared his debts to be $613 billion — not million … billion! Can you even imagine what it would be like to owe such an enormous sum of money? His study was overflowing with letters warning of defaulted loans, foreclosure notices, and stacks of checks stamped “NSF” — Non-Sufficient Funds. What was even more astonishing, the man claimed assets of only $7,310. In other words, if all his debts were honored, each creditor would receive a little more than one-millionth of a cent for each dollar. There was no way he could even begin to pay off his debts.

Spiritually Bankrupt
Before you and I surrendered our lives to Christ, we were in the same situation spiritually. The Bible tells us that we were all debtors. We had all sinned, and the wages of sin is death (see Romans 6:23). Because of our sin, we stood before God hopelessly, spiritually bankrupt. Our sin caused a
“… record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands” (Colossians 2:13). No matter how hard we might try, or how long we would labor to pay off those debts, none of us could ever pay for them ourselves.

But the great news of the Gospel is that our vast debt has been completely removed — paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross. When Jesus hung dying for our sins on the cross, the last words that He said were,
“It is finished!” (John 19:30). What did Jesus mean by that? Did He mean His life was finished … or His suffering was finished? No, He meant something far more transformational.

Paid in Full
Those three words are the translation of a single word in Greek, “
tetelestai,” which means: “to complete, to bring to an end, to accomplish, or to perfect.” It was a term commonly used in those days by merchants and bankers. Once you paid off a bill or debt, the banker or merchant would give you a receipt that had “tetelestai” written across it, meaning “paid in full.”

Not only was the Son of God nailed to the cross 2,000 years ago, the debt of your and my sins was nailed there as well! They are gone now forever. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was declaring that the price for our sins had been “paid in full” by His death on the cross. It was as if Jesus was taking a big rubber stamp and stamping across our lives “Paid In Full!”

While all our efforts are insufficient to pay the price for our sins, the precious blood of Jesus is more than sufficient to satisfy sin’s debt. Jesus paid the price for our sins — fully and completely. Now we’re free from the sin and shame of our spiritual debt; free to pursue a relationship with God that is motivated by gratitude and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Whenever the enemy tries to bring guilt, shame, and accusation against you, remember that your debt has been taken care of; it has been
paid in full!

Although salvation is a finished work, we still have unfinished business with God. There is one debt we still owe — an eternal debt of thanks and praise to our wonderful Lord. Because we have been given so great a salvation, our lives should be overflowing with thanksgiving to the Lord. As those whose debts have been canceled by our loving God, here is the heart of thanksgiving we should possess:

Psalm 69:30 –
“… magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Ephesians 5:20 –
“… always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 –
“… in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus, thank you for coming to give your life as payment in full for my debt of sin. Help me to remember that You have paid the price in full. I thank You that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This day I choose to no longer live a life that walks in guilt and shame, but instead walks in thanksgiving and praise for all that You have done for me.

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