I recently read a blog post about what Jesus had to physically endure on the cross. While it wasn’t the most eloquent writing, it did provide details about the act of crucifixion and explained what the person being crucified experienced during the process. It ended with a comment along the lines of “Jesus endured all that so that you can go to heaven. Why can’t you bring yourself to serve Him?"
I hate arguments like this. I hate it when people talk about what Jesus did for us and then turn it around to guilt someone into becoming a Christian. I don’t like quid pro quo Christianity. I don’t like it because it’s not biblical. But more than that, I don’t like it because it’s not realistic.
“For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
I think that most everyone would agree with me that we can’t repay God for our salvation. But I’ve heard preachers compare receiving the Holy Spirit to a paycheck for doing the work of “preparing yourself” to be saved. And I’m sure many folks have been told to “get themselves right” with God. But I don’t make myself right. I can’t make myself right. If I could “get myself right” with God, then I wouldn’t have needed Jesus on the cross.
We owe a huge debt to God. We do. All of us do. But if you fool yourself into thinking that you can somehow repay Him for what He paid at Calvary, you’re going down a path of misery, legalism, and spiritual torture. You most certainly didn’t deserve what Jesus did for you, but you can’t pay Him back, either. You owed a debt you could never pay, and Jesus paid it for you. Now, you’re free.