“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 NKJV).
The book of 2 Kings Chapter 4 verses 1-7 presents to us an interesting account of a certain woman in a desperate situation. Her husband had died, leaving her and two sons in debt at the mercy of a cruel creditor.
When the woman saw that the creditor was coming to take her two sons to be his slaves, she became very desperate and thus cried out to Elisha the prophet of God for urgent divine help and intervention.
In response to the desperate cries of this poor widow, who was at the mercy of a cruel creditor, Elisha the prophet of God helped her to discover and appropriate the provision which God had already made available and placed at her disposal (in her house) to settle her debt and be free from the harassment of the creditor.
Like Elisha, the primary responsibility of God’s servants today is to help the people who run to them seeking for divine intervention to discover, understand and appropriate the provision (grace) that God has made available for the salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ (John 1:17, Tit. 2:11).
Sadly, unlike Elisha, many servants of God today are manipulating, defrauding or exploiting those who run to them in desperation for divine help, deliverance, or intervention.
Rather than helping believers to grow in the grace of God and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus increasingly enjoy the liberty in Christ, many servants of God today are subjecting believers to bondage to Mosaic laws and burdensome religious rites.
It is good to note that although neck-deep in debt, yet the woman and her sons were at ease until when they heard that the creditor was coming for them. They were unperturbed, undisturbed and felt no need to cry out to God for mercy and help until someone alerted them that the creditor was coming for them.
Even though the woman and her two sons were already sold to the creditor, yet they went about their normal daily activities until they saw or heard that the creditor was coming for them.
The reality of their terrible condition only dawned upon them when they heard the news that their creditor was coming for them. Apparently, they were completely lost in their own world of deception and delusion until they were woken back to reality by the news that the creditor was coming for them.
Just as the woman’s husband left her family in debt and at the mercy of the creditor, so did the first man Adam leave the entire human race in debt and slavery to sin and the devil. By birth and practice we all are sinners and therefore lawful captives or slaves to Satan.
All sinners regardless of their status, positions, qualifications or possessions in life are debtors or slaves to the devil.
The Scripture amply reveals this truth.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. (NKJV).
34 Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (NKJV).
1 John 3:
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (NKJV).
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (NKJV).
Unfortunately, like the woman and her two sons, many people today who are slaves or debtors to Satan (the creditor) are living securely and luxuriously in sins. Though they are in bondage to sin and at the mercy of Satan, yet they are at ease.
Though as sinners they are living on the verge of eternal damnation and destruction, yet they are not disturbed. Though they are gradually slipping to hell fire, yet they feel nothing. Though they are under condemnation and awaiting the fiery judgement of God, yet they still feel very comfortable.
Apparently, many sinners are completely oblivious of their true spiritual condition and what lies ahead of them. They are obviously sleeping in a fool’s paradise and certainly need someone to jerk them to reality.
All sinners whether in the church or in the street are on the verge of eternal damnation and destruction, but sadly many of them are completely unaware of their true spiritual condition and of the fact that they are in imminent danger of hell fire.
Obviously, they need the help of concerned and compassionate neighbours and friends (believers) to wake them up out of their spiritual sleep to the reality of the certainty and severity of God’s judgement awaiting sinners after death.
But more importantly, sinners or debtors to the devil need to know that their debt have been paid in full by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Scripture states that Christ “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24 NKJV).
Through His sacrificial or substitutionary death on the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ has “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col. 2:14 NKJV).
This is the Gospel, the Good News to all spiritual debtors!
It is certainly good and necessary to let sinners be aware of their true spiritual condition and also warn them about the certainty and severity of God’s judgement awaiting them at the end of their ungodly life.
But, if that is all we preach to sinners; we have not preached any good news to them. It is obviously not good news to proclaim to sinners that they are debtors to the devil and that they can never pay back in full the debt they owe.
However, it is good news to let sinners know that by His sacrificial death on the cross, the Lord Jesus has paid in full the debt they owe and can never pay back.
John clearly states this truth in 1 John 2:
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (NKJV).
Also in 1 John 4:
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (NKJV).
Beloved, you are called to proclaim to sinners the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ has bore their sins and all the consequences of their sins in His own body on the cross, thereby wiping out their debt completely and permanently.
The only thing left for sinners or debtors to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and surrender wholeheartedly to His lordship (Acts 16:31).
But how can a sinner appropriate God’s provision (grace) for his inherited spiritual debt?
Find out in the second part of this piece!
Prayer: My Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for paying in full my debt through Your death on the cross. Today I believe wholeheartedly that my debt has been paid in full and I receive and confess You as my Lord and Saviour. Empower me to proclaim this good news to all sinners, in Jesus’ name. Amen.