Lovely stuff from Neil Powell:
I don’t think for a moment that Paul wants us to see the purpose of the Christian life as pay back to God. The problem I have is that it is pretty instinctive to want to pay back what I owe, and to begin to apply that to our relationship with God. So can I ask whether your Christian service begins to function in that way for you? Ever tempted to think that way? I owe God and therefore what he wants of me is to pay him back.
The problem, friends, is that when our drivers are duty, or even guilt, our very ministry begins to be a denial of the gospel. It’s actually putting the gospel in reverse. When Paul says that you and I have a debt to God he is not using guilt or duty to motivate your service. You see the secret of the gospel, I’m just beginning to discover, is that the right place for us to be, the only place for us to be, is forever in Jesus’ debt.
“O to grace, how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
Bind my wand’ring heart to thee.”