Skip to content

The Rev. Dr. S. Randall Toms: “The Debt of Love We Owe” (Luke 7:36-50)

April 23, 2010

The sermon The Debt of Love We Owe, from the Rev. Dr. S. Randall Toms of St. Paul’s REC in Louisiana, based on Luke 7:36-50, was preached for Good Friday and I have to say it is a wonderful sermon.  Fr. Toms talks about the Parable of the Two Debtors and points out there are these truths we can learn from this parable:

  • First, we owe a debt to God that we cannot pay.
  • But, because God is full of grace and mercy, he freely forgives us.

And this portion is how Fr. Toms ties this parable to Good Friday:

Now, how is it possible that God can forgive us in this manner?  How is it possible that our debt for all the sins and for all the punishment that they deserve has been cancelled?  That is what we are celebrating on this Good Friday.  Jesus went to the cross to pay our debt.  When he went to the cross he took all the punishment that our sins deserved, and received that punishment in our place, and when he did so, the debt was cancelled.    In a miraculous moment of time, Christ suffered the equivalent of the eternal punishment we deserved.  As we read a moment ago from Isaiah 53:5-6:  “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  God doesn’t forgive simply because he has chosen to overlook our sins.  He is a kind, merciful, and loving God, but he is also a holy God of justice.  But when Jesus went to the cross, God’s mercy and his justice were satisfied.  Because Christ died on the cross, he can be merciful, because his only Son took on himself the penalty for our sins.  God loved us so much that he was willing to send his only Son into the world to die on a cross for us that we might be reconciled to him.  Each Sunday when I repeat the Comfortable Words of Scripture, I say, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins.”  That word “propitiation” means “to appease.”  God’s wrath, God’s justice has been appeased by the sacrifice of Christ.  Because Christ went to the cross, God can forgive us freely.  There is nothing we need do, for Christ has done it all.  He can forgive us fully, because there is no sin so great that he cannot forgive, nor sins so numerous that the blood of his son cannot cover.

Fr. Toms goes on to talk about the debt of sin, so to speak, being converted for us into the debt of love, for those of us who have been forgiven so fully and freely.  That debt of love is not daunting at all like the debt of sin was; we can indeed spend our lives joyfully seeking to repay Him in love for what He has done.  I commend this sermon to you, brothers and sisters.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: