PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
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
P.S. An Invitation to Join the Seed Team . . .
You may have or will be receiving an email from me. It’s an invitation to invest in the seed of the Wake-Up Call. Thank you for considering it. We don’t raise funds. We willingly receive gifts from Jesus through friends like you who he leads to give. Consider the opportunity here.