RECAP: Jesus Paid It All


Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body as a holy and living sacrifice to you. 

Jesus, We belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Romans 3:19–20 (NIV)

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.


Near the end of his life, John Newton, author of the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” said these words:

“My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”

The purpose of the law is to make us conscious of our sins. On this point, the Bible is clear. 

In other words, the Law was not given in order that people would endlessly strive to fulfill it and consider they were doing a pretty good job. It was given to show us our desperate need of God and our hopelessness to obey it apart from him. More on that tomorrow. 

In other words, the Law was given to reveal to us the insolvency of our souls. Yes, we are born into bankruptcy. We didn’t ask for it. We didn’t earn it. It’s not fair. You might say we didn’t even deserve it. None of this changes the fact of it. This is what the Bible reveals to us about the nature of human beings. We are born debtors because of the sin of our forbears in the Garden. Though we didn’t create the original debt we have added to its immensity. 

Here’s the problem I have. I have debts, but I don’t much think of myself as a debtor. And I surely don’t think of myself as bankrupt. (Well, maybe a little bit, but that’s for another day). But doesn’t that tell the story? There’s no such thing as a little bit bankrupt. Our capital S Sin has put us into the condition known as bankruptcy. Our little s sins are like the interest adding up on the debt. We can never repay it. It’s kind of like the national debt of the United States. As of now, it stands at $31 trillion dollars. And somehow, all of us are able to walk around and live our lives like it is not even real. And we certainly don’t really own that we have had anything to do with it. Nevertheless, the day is coming when that debt will come due. Though it can be extended and extended it cannot be extinguished unless it is repaid. 

It is the same with our sins. We can walk around a long time carrying a debt we can never repay—just wracking up interest—and living our lives like it’s not even real. At the same time, it is taking its cruel toll on our souls, bit by bit, day by day. The day is coming when that debt will come due. Whether we want to face it or not, there will be a judgment, an accounting, a calling of the note. 

It is a terrible, awful thing (even shameful) to be in so much debt without hope of repaying it. It leads to the searing of the conscience and the hardening of the heart. 

It’s why the gospel is such a song: “Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.”

Again, what can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. 

Again, “My sin, O the bliss of this glorious thought; my sin not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! O, my soul.” 


Jesus, I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. And I believe. Part of me is ashamed of my bankrupt soul and yet you came in and paid it all. It is too good to be true and yet it is true. I receive it, Jesus, as an unworthy, grateful sinner. I receive it. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. O, my soul. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


Does the debt and bankruptcy metaphor help you grasp the nature of sin and the grace of salvation? Do you struggle to confess the bankruptcy of your soul—as you once were? How about now? 


You know where we are headed with today’s hymn, Yep! “Jesus Paid It All.” It is hymn 557 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. Let’s sing it in a spirit of exuberant joy. 

For the Awakening,
J. D. Walt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. Without ongoing active animation by and continual close connection to the inner life of the rivers of God’s Spirit, a human soul is homeless, helpless, broke, and broken. It might outwardly appear fine but inwardly it is bankrupt and empty. It is running on the fumes of pride and denial, overcome with debts it can never repay, and often unaware that it desperately needs a bailout from its hopeless situation. A soul that won’t awaken to its huge need for never-ending unconditional surrender to the living Jesus will miss out on the world’s greatest news–“Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Every day, with an open heart, read the Book that can awaken your soul to Christ’s inner animation and His “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

  2. I’m unable to recall were or when, I first read it or who wrote it; but I believe that the reason so many believers, myself included, are able to live in self-denial about the depth of our Sin condition is because the Gospel is often shared in such a a way that it’s more likely to vaccinate us against the sting of the law. The law is given as a mirror to show us how God sees us rather than the way, because of our Sin nature, we view our selfs. Also the fact that we’ve been told since childhood that we live in a “Christian Nation “ adds credibility to this deception. We’ve been given a pretty low bar to compare ourselves against. The law when understood properly destroys this fallacy.

  3. Yes, I am born a debtor, a sinner. But once Christ died for me and paid my debt of original, imputed, and personal sin, am I still a debtor? If I still refer to myself as such, aren’t I saying that Christ’s sacrificial death wasn’t enough? Insufficient. That I still need to do more.
    Because of Jesus’ love for all, He took the fall for us that the Fall of Man created.
    Now, my spiritual position has changed. I’m born again! Into the family of God. I am His child, I have the mind of Christ, Jesus is in me, and me in Him.
    I am a new creation.
    My handle is no longer a sinner, but a child of God, who can choose to sin. Gone are the intentional, life-destroying sins. The sinful nature is still present, but its authority is stripped. It still tugs and pulls, so I’ll experience nuggets from the wages of sin (a temporary, emotional separation from Christ), but I am under the authority that gives life and gives it abundantly. I choose life in Him.
    Now I’m learning through daily sanctification to respond through love and not react from fear.

    2 Timothy 1:7
    For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    Note: If God didn’t give us the spirit of fear, who did? Only one place. It had to come with sin’s package. Fear is the heartbeat of sin.

    Staying 💪’n Christ
    Ephesians 6:10
    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

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