What does it really mean to be saved? The Apostle Paul writes the following to the Galatian believers: “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
There are five truths that jump out at me from this text. We’ve seen the first truth which is we are at peace with God! (v. 3). The second truth in this text about being saved is we have been paid for (v. 4)! Jesus “gave himself for our sins”! Our sins separated us from a holy God. Jesus paid that debt for us.
The eleventh century scholar Anselm wrote a tract entitled Cur Deus Homo. My Latin is lousy, but the translation is “Why the God-Man?” Anselm argues that we owed a debt to God that we could never pay. Only God Himself could pay that debt. But God didn’t owe Himself that debt. However, out of love the Second Person of the Trinity became man specifically to pay that debt for us! In presenting his argument Anselm dialogues with his friend named Boso (really). At one point, Anselm says, “You have not realized how great a burden sin is.” A discussion of Anselm’s brilliant argument is found here.
One last point from Anselm. He says, “So, if, as I showed earlier, the heavenly kingdom must be filled with men, and if this cannot happen unless the satisfaction is made for sin — satisfaction which no one can make but God, and no one ought to make but man — then it is necessary for the God-man to make it.” That’s precisely what Jesus did for us. He made satisfaction for sin. He paid the debt we could never pay. He “gave himself for our sins.”
I heard about a motorist who took a certain toll road to work everyday. One day he decided to pay the toll for the person behind him. Just to be nice. As he drove away, he noticed that the following driver was having to pay the toll collector a second time! Infuriated, the first driver decided to confront the toll collector the next morning about charging the second driver. The next morning, he asked, “Why did you collect a toll from that driver? I paid his toll!” The toll collector said, “I didn’t charge him for his car. He volunteered and paid for the driver behind him. And this went on for eight more cars!”
Glad that Jesus paid your toll? Me too!