“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”
— Romans 1:14
Are you in debt? These days, it seems, who isn’t? But financial obligations are one thing. We also incur spiritual debts. Paul claimed he was a debtor to the Gentiles, the barbarians, the wise, and the unwise. Yet how could this be? What had those people done for him? Nothing at all. At least, nothing good. In fact five times they beat him with forty stripes minus one. Three times they beat him with rods, and once they stoned him and left him for dead. So what debt did he owe?
Just the same debt that pertains to every single person who claims to believe in Jesus Christ. Everyone who has received the gospel of Christ has received it as a steward, responsible to God, who gave it, and to the rest of humankind, for whom it’s intended.
“I am a debtor,” cried William Carey as he launched the modern missionary movement, setting sail for India to bring the Gospel to the Hindus.
“I am a debtor,” cried David Livingstone as he plunged for the first time into the interior of Africa to open the dark continent to the light of Christ’s gospel.
“I am a debtor,” cried William Wilberforce as he devoted his entire life to ridding Great Britain of the onerous slave trade. On his deathbed he received word that he had finally succeeded.
“I am a debtor,” cried Florence Nightingale as she went to far-flung battlefields to begin the noble profession of nursing, to bind up the wounded, and to care for the dying.
“I am a debtor,” cried William Booth as he started the Salvation Army to reach the downtrodden of the world.
And how about you, my friend? Are you a debtor? Does the realization of what Jesus Christ has done for you compel you to serve Him and others? Today ask God to use you to share the Good News.
“That land is henceforth my country which most needs the gospel.”