December 22 - LD 51, Day 6: For the Sake of Christ’s Blood
by Rev. Martyn McGeown
Romans 5:9: “… being now justified by His blood …”
In the fifth petition, we ask not only that God would send away our sins, that He would remove from us the obligation to pay, but also that, in not imputing to us poor sinners our transgressions and sinful natures, He would account us positively righteous in His sight.
To understand the enormity of that request, consider an earthly example. A poor widow owes a creditor ten thousand dollars. Which widow would have the audacity to make this request of her creditor: “Do not make me pay the ten thousand dollars. Remove from me the obligation to pay back that money. And credit to my account the positive balance of one million dollars”? That is what we ask—in spiritual terms—in the fifth petition.
Forgive our debts. Cancel them; send them away; tear them up. Make it so that we do not have to pay. But, Father, do not stop there. Go further! Credit to our account perfect obedience, so that we become positively and legally worthy of eternal life. Let us stand before Thee as those who have never had any sin, who have never sinned, and who have kept the law perfectly.
That is implied in LD 51. When we ask God not to impute to us poor sinners our transgressions and sinful natures, we mean, do impute something positive to us. And all of this is based on the work of Christ—“for the sake of Christ’s blood.”
In Scripture and in the Catechism, Christ’s blood stands for everything in His life, and especially in His death, which He has accomplished for our salvation. Christ’s blood is His death on the cross, where He personally took legal responsibility for our debts—for the debt to God’s justice which demanded our punishment; and for the debt to God’s law which demanded perfect obedience and righteousness.
The debt which we owe has been paid. Nothing has been ignored or overlooked. When God sends the burden of guilt away from us and lifts it off our shoulders, it is because He has placed it on another, namely on His Son, Jesus Christ. When God is pleased not to impute to us, poor sinners, all our transgressions and our sinful natures, it is because He imputed that guilt to another—and Jesus Christ paid the full penalty. When God no longer demands from us perfect obedience to His law, it is because He already demanded, and has received to His satisfaction, that perfect obedience from His own, only begotten, dearly beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Thus we see that on the last day, God’s record books will be perfectly balanced. Every sin will be punished; no debt will be ignored; no transgression will be overlooked. Some will be forgiven, and others will be eternally condemned.
What will God see when He looks at your record? Will He mark your iniquities against you? Will He see the mark, “Balance outstanding”? Or will He see stamped in blood, “Paid in full. Fully satisfied”? Believer, your debt is paid; unbeliever, you must flee to Christ, lest on the last day you be found a debtor!
- Date: December 22
Rev. Martyn McGeown (Larisa)
Pastorates: Missionary-pastor in Limerick, Ireland for the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Northern Ireland - 2010; Providence PRC (Hudsonville, MI), Sept. 2021Website: www.prca.org/current/news/churches/usa-canada/providence-prc-hudsonville-mi
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