“He paid a debt He did not owe”

A friend recently told me that sickness in his family had created a hospital bill of $3.5 million. He told me: “That is more than I can pay the rest of my life.” He has a debt that, no matter how hard he tries, he can never pay.

It made me think of what Jesus paid for us.

We sing a song entitled He Paid a Debt. The lyrics of the first stanza and chorus are:

He paid a debt he did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay.
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And now I sing a brand new song:
“Amazing Grace.” All day long.
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.

Jesus paid our debt when he went to the cross and died for us. We see this when we read Romans 5:8 NKJV: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

God’s great love for us is shown in Ephesians 2:4-8 NKJV:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

We are saved by grace through faith. That is indisputable. However, God has given us certain commands we must obey in order to avail ourselves of His grace. We must:

Hear the word. Rom 10:17

Believe that Christ is the Son of God. Jn 8:24, Rom 10:10

Repent of past sins. 2 Pet 3:9, Acts 17:30, Lk 13:13

Confess Him before others. Mt 10:32, Rom 10:10

Be baptized for the remission of sins. Mk 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Rom 6:4

Without heeding these commands we will be lost. When we are faithful and obey His commands, we then enjoy the love of God expressed by His grace. It is His grace that saves us eternally.

Jesus owed no debt, but He paid ours.

8 Responses to ““He paid a debt He did not owe””

  1. […] could keep it perfectly except the One Who was perfect already. You know the song — “He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay.” That was “the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us” — not […]

  2. “He Paid A Debt” is one of my favorite songs. That’s why I reacted when I happened to come across this comment because your declaration effectively denies that He did, in fact, pay a debt we could not pay.

    Without taking issue with the whole thing, please Romans 10:9-10 again. Read it some more. Be sure to read it in the KJV. I personally prefer the NASB, but in this passage the NASB misses the point entirely. The KJV is the only translation I have ever read that does this passage correctly.

    In verse 10, the ESV does not translate correctly. It is correct to translate it, “and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

    Confession is made – passive, not active. The confession by the mouth is made as the result of the faith. It is the result of the salvation, not the operating cause.

    All the things other than faith are works salvation. I made my confession so now He must give me salvation. I repented so now He owes me salvation. I was baptized so now that is proof of my salvation. No, no, no, no, no!!!!!

    Repentance, confession, and baptism are all features of the Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus taught and taught the disciples to preach. That period is now on hold because Israel refused to hear Him. The nation officially denied Him as Messiah at the trial and stoning of Stephen. That’s why Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the throne of God. We see God standing ONLY when passing or executing judgment.

    During this period of the Mystery of Grace, we know He is seated and we are seated with Him at the right hand of the throne of God. His grace has covered all the bases for us. Paul addressed this in Romans 6. He declares the abhorrent nature of such a claim. He declares it is absolutely, under no circumstances possible to remain in sin once we have been raised with Christ Jesus.

    Jesus paid it all. Not just enough so that we could repent and confess Him and be baptized to complete it. You will not find a single reference to the discipleship issues Jesus talked about in the letters to the churches. The other letters are written to Jewish believers in the Pre-Pauline establishment of the Mystery and to the Post Rapture church which will be dominated by the Jewish believers. The Mystery of Grace does not apply to them. Their only hope is that Jesus will come again and complete His plan, even including the Tribulation, so that His Kingdom can be established. At that time it will be by faith proven by works.

    Today it is simply by grace through faith. Please don’t add in the other stuff to make it fit sinful human need for works and achievement so we can boast about some of it.

  3. Richard,
    Thanks for taking the time to add a comment. However, I am afraid I do not get your point. We very strongly believe that Jesus pid the debt for our sins, and that that debt was one that we could never pay on our own. However, I would suggest that you examine Ephesians 2:10, which clearly states that God has created good works for us to do. Also, James tells us that our faith, to be a saving faith, MUST be accompanied by works (James 2:17; James 2:24). This does not mean that we are saved by works; rather, it means that BECAUSE we have been saved, there are good works that we MUST do, that these good works are evidence that we have been saved and are grateful to the Lord for His having paid the debt we could not pay.
    Doc

  4. Yes we must be born again (John 3:1-7) of the water and Spirit, and yes the very opportunity to receive salvation is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8), and yes we must obey the gospel through repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38; 2 Thes. 1:8). Thank God for this great salvation!!

  5. Thanks for taking the time to add a comment. Our salvation should be te focus of our lives.

  6. Richard,

    Thanks for your comments on a blog I wrote a while back. I want to respond to some of your remarks and will differ with some of your thoughts. My response may be direct but I don’t want you to be offended by my remarks because it is my hope to meet you in heaven someday. We can be friends even though we may differ on the meaning of scripture. However, our understanding of scripture is important because God is not the author of confusion (I Cor 14:33) and we will be judged based on the lives we lived as shown by the division of the sheep and the goats.(Mat 25:31-46).

  7. I just find your site very wonderful and benificial to my congregation. Please sent me a message on this subject. christ has paid me debt for this years eather festivities. Hope to hear from you soonest. bye.

  8. Adjetey,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. If you will access our article of April 9, 2009, you will find a discussion of “Easter.” Actually, what we now celebrate as Easter is a pagan holiday, not authorized by the Bible. Christians celebrate the Resurrection each and every Sunday as we take communion. This is the only celebration authorized by the New Testament. Please reaqd that article.
    doc