Summary: When we were born again we had our sin debt wiped clean; canceled. Okay, now what? What will we do as a result? There is an improper response and a proper response to having our debt canceled. This week, we'll look at some improper responses.
INTRODUCTION: There is a pro basketball player who started out strong but lately has fallen on hard times. Because of injuries he has played in just 10 games over two seasons, and I suppose is frustrated with his low pay since his over ten million dollar a year contract isn't cutting it. Currently, he is in default on a $575,000 loan that he made at a shockingly high 85% interest rate (which you would think was illegal…but it was made in Nevada). He owes $1.2 million to another loan service, has $2.5 million a year garnished from his wages to pay for alimony and child support, owes on most of his 12 cars including a Rolls Royce convertible & two Land Rovers.
According to the AP report, household expenses cost him $30,000 a month, while $17,000 a month goes out to family and friends, $1000 goes out to cable and satellite television, and for some reason $350,000 a month goes out to Juwan Howard. The seven footer has made $57 million over 9 years, but has had to foreclose on his Chicago mansion. Regardless of the amount of money this pro ball player makes, he will not be able to pay back his debt. A debt he can't repay.
As absurd as this person's story is, the reality is that's the boat we're all in; spiritually, that is. We 'accumulated' a debt of sin that cannot be repaid on our own. That's where Jesus comes in. He has the means to pay the debt for us; and he did. And when we received his 'offer' we had our massive debt removed; wiped clean; canceled. Okay, now what? There are two different responses we can have when our debt is canceled-a proper and an improper response. Let's take a look at them.
1) What do we do as an improper response to canceled debt?
Start accumulating more debt.
Think if the basketball player had the opportunity to have his enormous debt wiped out. Can you imagine how excited and relieved he'd be? Then picture him responding to that unbelievable gift by going out and continuing his foolish spending and accumulating more debt! But it happens. People claim bankruptcy and then go out and start racking up more debt. And then they claim bankruptcy again!
What does this behavior stem from? They claim bankruptcy and go right back to accumulating more debt. Why? Because they either don't know any other way to be or they don't care. They didn't learn the lesson that their poor choices got them into this mess.
It can be the same way spiritually. An improper response to having our spiritual debt canceled is to go right back to living how we always did. It could be because we know no other way to live so we're just acting according to how we always lived. But that's not a valid excuse because before we didn't have the Holy Spirit living in us enabling us to live the better way. Now we do and we are called to live according to our new nature. So it's a choice if we continue to live according to our old nature.
Or, it could be we don't care. We know the power is there but we just don't care to change. I would say this response is due to wanting to be saved but not wanting to change. We want Jesus to be our Savior but not our Lord. And that doesn't work; trust me.
Not being appreciative.
Luke 17:11-19, "Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Here we have a group of Jews (and one Samaritan) who had leprosy; which meant they couldn't remain in regular society, they had to live in their own little area outside of the regular population. Which is why they addressed Jesus from a distance; otherwise they would've made Jesus and those with him unclean. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priest, which is what one did if they thought they had been cured from leprosy.