The Costliest Bailout

By April 8, 2009 culture No Comments

You cannot avoid news about the government bailout even if you avoid the news. This is on the hearts and minds of the people, and it is a common thread of conversation. It forms a financial framework for our lives today.

Whatever your opinion about the government’s fiscal choices, the result is undeserved aid being pumped into the system in hopes that life—and vitality and confidence—will return.

To some citizens, this assistance merely validates corporate irresponsibility by giving a way of escape. Other citizens see the bailout as necessary to protect the innocent even while disagreeing with the irresponsibility of the guilty.

There’s no doubt: The bailout is enormous. It is costly. And it may not motivate a change in business practices or an increase in altruistic methods. It may even result in greater dependence upon help and handouts.

It reminds me of another bailout. It’s one that dwarfs the current financial exchange.

It’s the bailout of mankind from the debt of sin.

Some people assume their intellect or luck or grit will bail them out of their debt. Some are furious that the bailout proposed by God might allocate forgiveness to the irresponsible and undeserving. Some see the spiritual bailout as a nice idea but discount it, certain that the riches won’t ever reach their impoverished souls.

Whatever your opinion about God’s redeeming act, the result is people receiving aid that infuses Life into the soul.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:13-14)

How we need this bailout from sin—sin with all its guilt and shame and pride and emptiness. How we need life and aid and assistance—a rescue that will outlast every economic turn.

The economic bailout staggers the mind. The numbers seem almost laughable. But the spiritual bailout? That defies explanation. Why would God come to pay the debt of sin accrued against Him?

That’s the mystery and glory of a God whose ways are astounding to mere mortals.

Through the Word we discover that God is working all things together to display the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things . . . through His death, though He was innocent, sinless . . . through His resurrection, to conquer death and sin on our behalf . . . through His return to glory, and one day, through His victorious return for those He has redeemed.

It is common for recipients of this ultimate bailout to get reflective of the Lord’s sacrifice in this season of remembrance. As one of those recipients, I stand grateful for His sinless life and undeserved death that bought me both life and death—life in Christ and death to sin and self.

This bailout I receive gladly from the wealth of my Benefactor, upon whose grace I am forever indebted and dependent.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:4-9)

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