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The true meaning of Christmas can be lost under a pile of tinsel, baubles, presence and receipts. Advertising on the television and in the shops tell us and our children the must haves for the season but each year the cost escalates and to the average family most is well beyond their means.

After my brief excursion ‘Christmas shopping’ I keep all the receipts in one place, just in case, not as a reminder of how generous I have been but to see if I have managed not to run up too much debt. However it seems in today’s world debt seems inevitable; wouldn’t it be wonderful for someone to come along and stamps paid in full and cancel all of your debts and bills..

Well actually this is the real good news of Christmas,

I don’t think I have ever met anyone who is 100% perfect; in fact

the Bible says that ‘everyone has fallen short of the glory of God,

and that being the case we all have incurred debt. Debt that is against the purity, generosity and grace of God which is commonly known as sin; and it is sin that separates us from the love, grace and mercy of God. But the debt of sin has been paid!

How Did Jesus pay for our sins?

Jesus paid for our sins in the sense that He took our sins upon Himself and died with them. He took our place and made a legal payment according to the Law. Payments are made to legal debts. We incur a legal debt to God when we sin because sin is breaking the Law of God (1 John 3:4). Note that it is the LAW that we break--laws like the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17 ). Laws have punishments. Laws are legal requirements and boundaries. Therefore, we sin by breaking God's law when we lie, steal, etc. When we sin, we incur a legal debt to God, and we deserve to be punished. But Jesus, who was God in flesh ( John 1:1, 14), took our sins upon Himself and bore them in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Jesus died on the cross and paid our penalty, then that is how He paid for our sins.

When we sin, who do we sin against? We sin against God. Who forgives? God forgives. Who pays? God pays.’

Matt Slick (is President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry)

So let’s have a Christmas free from the debt that has eternal consequences and rejoice in the real joy and peace that comes from God bought by the gift of His Son Jesus