December 6 I Sunday
1 John 5
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 6:23
C. H. Spurgeon was a famous preacher in Britain during the nineteenth century. He told the story of how one of his assistant pastors went to the house of an elderly woman to give her money for rent as a gift from the church’s “Poor Relief Fund.” He knocked on the door but no one answered. He knocked again, still, no answer. He later discovered that the woman had been home the whole time. When asked why she did not answer the door, she replied, “When I heard the knocking, I thought it was the rent collector coming to evict me.” The woman had mistaken the rent man with the one who wanted to pay the rent.
The rent collector knocking at the door to evict us for non-payment is Mr. Law. Sometimes, we fear the law’s demands so much that we are afraid of getting close to the risen Christ, not realizing His demands are paid in full by His resources. One of the biggest threats to living a Christian life that is free, relaxed and joyful is living married to the law. It is the easiest thing to do because there is nothing wrong with the law.
Yet, we die to the law every day when we live in dependence on the Spirit of God, who enables us to live new lives by forgiving and cleansing us when we fail. Slowly but surely, it begins to reproduce in us the character, the image of Jesus Christ. It will be exactly what the law demands but what the law itself cannot produce.
The law is the rent collector knocking to evict us for our inability to pay. The Spirit is the one who knocks on the door to pay the rent. Some of us may be hiding from the rent collector, but the marvellous thing is that we can come to Christ, be transparent, honest and real, pleading, “Lord Jesus Christ, I realize my inability, failure and weakness. Please forgive me. Cleanse me and come by Your Holy Spirit to live in me the resurrection life of Jesus, the life that has died, been raised from the dead so death cannot touch it again. Empower me to live a holy life. Amen.” God will answer, and we no longer need to worry about the rent collector.
We are equipped to go into this world that is dirty and godless and live a life that is clean and godly. Not because we are trying a bit harder than we used to, but because it is the Spirit of Jesus Christ who works in us to will and do according to His good purpose.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that I no longer need to worry about the rent collector, You have paid my debt in full. Praise You for empowering me to live a holy life.