To most people of the world, CREDIT is a “necessary evil”, but the reality of credit is that it is, by definition, “The provision of money, goods, or services with the expectation of future payment.”
People use CREDIT to get something NOW and pay for it LATER.
A BORROWER, therefore, is someone who wants something NOW, and agrees to pay for it LATER, or over a span of time. There will be a consequence of borrowing, and the first consequence is that the BORROWER shall pay interest on the money borrowed. Interest rates these days are generally above 28%.
A CREDITOR is someone who loans a BORROWER money, goods or services, and expects to be paid back, over time, the amount loaned plus interest.
The CREDITOR has certain laws that favor the LENDER. Short of filing for bankruptcy (a consequence of borrowing), the CREDITOR can get all of the money loaned – plus interest…even if the LENDER has to resort to confiscating everything the BORROWER owns in order to repay the debt.
CONSEQUENCE: “Something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions."
A CONSEQUENCE could be good, or it could be bad. Generally, it is used in conjunction with “sets of conditions” that have gone poorly.
Parents may teach their young children the CONSEQUENCE of touching a hot stove. That “set of conditions” of touching the hot stove is followed by the CONSEQUENCE of getting burned. Although the set of conditions bringing about that consequence is bad, the good in it is the lesson learned.
On the other side of the coin, if a person invests money into a stock, and it pays them handsomely, then that set of conditions has a reward of a good CONSEQUENCE. The investor comes away with all of his investment plus a profit.
In my Book – Satan’s Games, I devote a lot of time toward helping people understand the CONSEQUENCES of using CREDIT, but for this article, I want to challenge the minds of readers by associating CREDIT with certain principles espoused in the Word of God.
In 2 Kings, 4:1, we discover that a man has died, and he has left a widow and two sons behind.
Unfortunately, the man owed a CREDITOR some money. The CREDITOR, having the law on his side, came to claim the two sons as his SLAVES.
Here is the scenario outlined in 2 Kings: “The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his CREDITOR is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."
So, early on in God’s Word, we discover several things about CREDIT. The first is that when a BORROWER signs a document to borrow money to buy something he or she wants NOW, that set of circumstances – initiated by the BORROWER, carries with it – CONSEQUENCES.
The BORROWER becomes a SLAVE to the CREDITOR. The CREDITOR becomes the MASTER of the SLAVE.
If all of the conditions of the contract signed by the BORROWER and CREDITOR are not strictly adhered to, the CREDITOR may enforce that CONTRACT, and take all that is necessary for the BORROWER to repay the DEBT.
The story had a happy ending. God intervened on behalf of the poor, distraught widow, and arranged to work out a miracle for her.
That story, however, is designed to teach us NOT to borrow, and not to owe anyone anything – except to love them. Romans 13:8 – “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.”
I will speculate that this widow suffered a great deal of stress knowing that the CREDITOR could take her sons from her until they worked off the debts of her husband…their father.
We do not know if the widow also signed a DEBT INSTRUMENT, but I will speculate that she did. Otherwise, the law would not be in favor of the CREDITOR.
God gives us insight about signing DEBT INSTRUMENTS for ourselves. He tells us not to do it. He also tells us not to sign DEBT INSTRUMENTS for anyone else, for in doing so; we create a MASTER/SLAVE relationship between ourselves and the CREDITOR in the event the “friend or relative” BORROWER defaults on their loan.
Proverbs 22:26 tells us, “Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt
or put up security for someone else.”
If we get into DEBT for another, we become their LOAN GUARANTOR. You, therefore, take their place as DEBTOR if they DEFAULT. You become “SURETY” in their place. Surety means, “One who has become legally liable for the debt, default, or failure in duty of another.”
God gives us what the likely CONSEQUENCE of that action of becoming a co-borrower will be.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived or who will ever live on this planet (other than Jesus) told us, in Proverbs 11:15 ,–“He who is guarantor for a stranger will surely suffer for it, but he who hates being a guarantor is secure.”
I have personally discovered that what Solomon said will, most likely, pan out!
I once loaned money to a friend so he could buy a car. He had a thousand good reasons for wanting a car.
Later, when he failed to make the payments, the CREDITOR called me…their “SURETY”…their “GUARANTOR”.
I repossed the car personally, and delivered it to the CREDITOR to sell, and had to make up the difference. Co-signing for another makes the co-signer “hate being surety”. I decided after that lesson...with CONSEQUENCE, never to become SURETY for anyone. Solomon sent us another warning about not becoming a fool by sigining a NOTE or DEBT INSTRUMENT for another.
In Proverbs 17:18, Soloman (my financial advisor!) gives this advice: “A man VOID OF UNDERSTANDING striketh hands (co-signs a note), and becometh surety (a GUARANTOR) in the presence of his friend.”
A man who is “void of understanding” is a fool!
A CREDITOR has the right to accelerate payments if a condition is not met. The CREDITOR can repossess goods bought with the money loaned, and if a deficiency exists, they can secure all possessions of the BORROWER until the debt is satisfied.
Now, let’s put some additional Bible principles into play concerning CREDIT, DEBT, FORBEARANCE, and REPAYMENT.
God has extended CREDIT to those who choose to believe that His Son, Jesus, came to the earth to minister…to teach, and to become a one-time blood sacrifice for our sins.
The CREDIT that God has extended, is eternal life in heaven for born-again believers. Upon the moment of salvation, this CREDIT (the ownership of heaven) becomes ours immediately.
God FORBEARS our sin when we accept Christ as Lord and Savior. FORBEARANCE is “a refraining from the enforcement of something (as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due.”
God tells us that we owe a SIN DEBT. We cannot repay it. God has chosen to FORBEAR or refrain from collecting on that SIN DEBT if we choose to accept what His Son did for us on the cross.
If we choose NOT to accept what Jesus did for us on the cross, God must collect on that debt.
The CONSEQUENCE of our DEBTS is to become separated from God and the place He sends those who have willfully trampled on the blood of His Son…is to a place of eternal torment…a place called hell.
Jesus became SURETY for our debts. Jesus became our Co-signer.
Because we can never repay the debt of sins that we have committed, we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus became our SURETY when He placed Himself on the cross and took upon Himself all of our sins…all of them…past, present and future.
The DEBT has been paid by Jesus, and He died for every human on the planet. The only stipulation made by God for us to be FORGIVEN of those debts, is that we choose to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Jesus said, “For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The Old Testament (covenant, lawful Agreement) stipulated that a blood sacrifice was necessary for the “REMISSION” or forgiveness of sins.
The Old Testament stipulated that this blood sacrifice would only be used by God to FORBEAR or “refrain from enforcing for a period of time” the punishment for sin. It would “cover over” or “atone” for sins committed. A Jewish priest would offer sacrifices for the sins of Israel(and for himself) daily in the Temple. A “high priest” was authorized by God to offer a blood sacrifice for the sins of Israel once a year. Jews still commemorate this “Day of atonement”.
When Jesus died, and was buried, and rose again on the third day, His blood sacrifice became our ONE TIME SACRIFICE FOR SIN…that is to say, for all who believe and receive Him as Savior.
Jesus became our High Priest. Because of His work on the cross, we get to have the gift of heaven immediately. Heaven is our home, and we’re just passing through this earth on the way there once we are born-again.
The CONSEQUENCE, therefore, of accepting God as our CREDITOR is wonderful!
God used FORBEARANCE for the sins of man until Jesus came. Jesus became our SURETY for the DEBTS we could never repay.
God then ripped up the DEBT INSTRUMENT that judged us (The instruments known as the Ten Commandments – the Law), and allowed us to exchange that DEBT INSTRUMENT for a New Covenant…a New Testament….which is called GRACE through Jesus Christ.
GRACE is the unmerited or undeserved benevolence of God toward us in that He exchanged our sins for His Son’s righteousness…at the moment we accept the Gospel of Christ and believe.
Have you made that choice yet?
You can enjoy the good CONSEQUENCE of owning a place in heaven NOW, and never having to pay for it later. Trust Christ as your Savior today, and have God extend this CREDIT to you.
John Tyler, Author
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