How do you pay for your mobile phone calls? Many people, if not the majority, use the pay-as-you-go system, where you purchase credit beforehand and top-up as you need. Many of us know what it is like to run out of credit just when you need to make that important call.
In spiritual matters we all instinctively realize that we need credit and we know only too well what it feels like when our credit is very low or has even run out.
This gives us a very interesting illustration of how we approach the question of being right with God. We all, without needing to be told, know that things are just not as they should be in our relationship with Almighty God. Our consciences let us know that we have a major credit problem. Some of us try and make amends by “buying some credit” thinking that we can top up our account with God. We do some good in the hope that it will outweigh the bad we have done.
But the Bible teaches that such an approach will never work. Our problem is too great to be outweighed by any good we might be able to do. Our sin problem is so deep that even when we are doing the best we can, it is still riddled with sinfulness. If you or I could purchase sufficient credit with God by our good efforts then the Lord Jesus would never have had to come into this world. He came to save, because we could not save ourselves. Indeed, any notion that we could merit salvation by our good efforts is in fact an insult to the work of Jesus on Calvary.
Paul the apostle put this very plainly when he said
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…" Titus 3:5
No, salvation is not a job for a DIY approach. We need God to step in with a heaven-sent rescue and that is exactly what He done by sending the Lord Jesus into this world.
Jesus did two wonderful things for us.
He died on the Cross and paid the full and complete penalty for all our sins – He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The credit of what he done for us becomes ours when we, realizing our utter bankruptcy before Almighty God, turn in simply faith trusting that what the Lord Jesus done on Calvary covers completely our need of forgiveness.
The second thing that Jesus done is also important. He done what we could never do–He lived a fully human life in absolute harmony with all God’s requirements. He accumulated a vast amount of credit with God on our behalf.
All this credit that Jesus accumulated, will be transferred to your account the instant you stop trusting in your own good efforts and entrust you life completely to the Lord Jesus believing that He lived a perfect life on your behalf and died on the Cross to purchase forgiveness for all who would entrust themselves to Him.
With Jesus’ credit transferred to your account your standing with God will be secure forever, there will never be a need to top-up again.
The person in this position lives for God not in order to gain credit, because they now have all they will ever need, they live for God because their hearts are full of gratitude for His great goodness to them.