How Much I Owe


So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?

(Luke 16:5)


Were this question, which the unjust steward put to his lord’s debtors, put to me concerning that immense debt which has made me forever insolvent, how could it be answered? It is an indescribable debt I cannot calculate, much less pay. I am a debtor to God’s infinite, free, and sovereign grace.


When I think of my being, I realize that no human ledger is sufficient to calculate even the gifts of creation and providence with which I have been boundlessly blessed all the days of my life. Looking back over all my days, I am compelled to declare to the praise of my God, “surely goodness and mercy have pursued me all the days of my life.”


But when I think of my well-being in Christ, of the boundless riches of God’s free grace bestowed upon my soul in Christ, I am humbled with gratitude and overawed with wonder and praise. The calculation of my debt is infinite. Before God’s holy law, I was utterly bankrupt, condemned by the righteous justice of God and under the dreadful penalty of everlasting death in hell. The terrors and alarms of a guilty, screaming conscience held me in fear of death. The accusations of Satan tormented me day and night. What an oppressive load of guilt and sin I carried in my dark soul! My heart sank within me. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” stepped in, gave me life and faith in Christ, spoke peace to my soul by the blood an righteousness of his darling Son, revealing Christ in me as my all-glorious, almighty Savior, and my burden fell from my soul! — “How much owest thou,” O my soul?


When I think of my Savior, the Lord Jesus, and remember that he has restored all that I owed, fed my hungry soul, and clothed my nakedness with his own righteous garments, I bow before him in amazement. He has made me to be a man who has done that which is lawful and right before God, as one who has walked in his statutes and kept his judgments. All the bounty of his grace he has given to this sinful man freely, not “upon usury,” but freely, taking no increase from me. Yes, he has ransomed me from the power of death by his death in my stead. He is for me the plague of death and the destruction of the grave (Ezek. 18:5-13; Hosea 13:14). My ever-blessed Savior has cancelled all my debts. He has fulfilled all the demands of God’s holy law for me. He has silenced Satan, my accuser. He has redeemed me out of the hands of everlasting bondage, misery, and eternal death. He has brought me into his everlasting kingdom of freedom, joy, and glory. He has made me an heir of God and joint-heir with himself! — “How much owest thou,” O my soul?


When I consider the love of God my Father in giving his dear Son to be my Savior, when I meditate upon my great Redeemer’s love in coming to save me, when I think about the love of God the Holy Spirit made known to my soul in effectual grace, my heart cries out, “How much owest thou,” O my soul! Oh precious debt! It is ever increasing. Yet, owing it makes me blessed forever!