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Staff Member

- June 27, 2005

One of the most intriguing financial developments in the last few years has been the astounding amount of credit being offered. From "same as cash deals" at furniture stores to zero interest car financing (with approved credit of course), in the USA, we have been swamped with offers for more money than I should ever be allowed to borrow.

I have studied the whole scenario with greater interest than banks charge. Lending institutions want to get us sufficiently in debt so that when those low or zero rates disappear, we'll be paying them money at a much higher rate. I am keeping a wary eye on such offers.

That said, credit is a very important part of Biblical Faith. Verse 9 of the reading says, "Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness." Just as I can buy something with someone else's money, Jesus Christ paid the cost of my salvation. It is an eternal, zero interest loan of the righteousness of Jesus Christ to me. In other words, when God looks to see if I am righteous, He sees the righteousness of Christ!

All other religious systems are based on a payment system. In other words, if you do enough right, you move up the ladder in God's eyes or get closer to attaining some kind of nirvana. True Christianity teaches that our righteousness is not earned, but instead is given to us by grace through faith.

Contributed by Michael Ullrich. Michael has served in pastoral ministry since 1979. His weekly devotional column appears in numerous newspapers, magazines and online publications, as well as on his Web site. He and his wife, Bonita, have seven children.