Paid in Full, Finally

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

It’s always a happy day when you make the final payment on a car loan or any kind of installment loan! The money you’ve been sending to someone else you can now send to another bill—oops—or a savings account or wherever you feel led to put it. I know, there are some who are greatly excited if you don’t have “X” amount of months’ worth of salary in the bank for who knows what. I’m sure the banks appreciate every penny that people deposit!

Some years back, I finally was able to make that last payment! The coupon book even said, “Last payment, thanks for banking with us” and so forth. I was hoping, honestly, to NOT have to use their services again, anytime soon, but that’s another story.

So, with final payment coupon in hand, and enough in my savings account to pay the final balance (I was hoping!), I went to the bank and asked the teller for the final amount or “payoff”, as it’s sometimes called. Sure enough, I had the money, requested a transfer of funds to pay it off, and even asked the teller if that indeed paid off the loan. She smiled and said, “Yes, sir, you’re paid in full!” She even wrote it on the final payment coupon!

Knowing it takes a time for paperwork to be processed, I kept waiting for the car’s title to be mailed back to me. Where I live, the bank keeps the title until you pay off the loan and then they’ll mail the title to you. A few days came and went, and a few more days came and went, and after two weeks I went back to the bank, with aforementioned payment coupon in hand, and asked what was going on, as I had paid the loan in full. The same teller said she remembered and either checked the computer or made a phone call (I don’t remember which, maybe she did both).

And then she told me the loan was paid in full. . . .

Except, it wasn’t.

“WHAT?!” I exclaimed! And she explained that the title couldn’t be released until I paid one more days’ worth of interest on the loan. She apologized and said she didn’t know about it either. I paid the days’ interest, all right; eventually, I got the title.

I also shook the dust off my feet from that bank!

When our Lord paid the price for our sins, He paid for them in full by the shedding of His own blood. We don’t need to earn salvation—none of us could do that. Salvation is by grace through faith; it’s God’s gift (Ephesians 2:8-9, paraphrased).

Could He be so insensitive to insist that even though He paid our sin debt in full, He really didn’t? Please remember that a perfect Christ could provide nothing but perfection, and that includes a perfect salvation. We can’t earn it, we can’t destroy it, and we can’t improve it.

And our Lord Jesus Christ will never give us a bill, asking for more than HE already paid.

“Salvation is of the Lord!”

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