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Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness ......       Romans 4: 4 -5 [A letter written in the First Century AD by Paul, an early Christian leader]

Friday is wages day. For many in Jersey payday is once a month. Either way, salaries and wages are definitely not a gift. No way. They've been earned – earned more than once over actually. To an employee they are his or her "due" - as Paul wrote above.

A few years ago, a small depositor with a major bank in Jersey received a letter from the bank on the day he was leaving Jersey for a holiday. The letter informed him that his deposit account had been credited with £1,300,000. That definitely was not his "due". But it was there in his account…..

Can there ever be, in this world, a time when a human being can be credited, rightly credited, with something that is not his or her "due"?
‘No man is rich enough to buy back his past.' (Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900)

How about a lottery win - or a gambling gain?                 True.                 (Interestingly, Jersey law is similar to UK law in one important respect with regard to gambling: gambling "contracts" are unenforceable in Jersey's Courts. So if you have a wager with a friend and the friend does not pay, Jersey's courts will not make him pay.)

But a lottery win or a gambling gain is, in a way, a “due”…. admittedly from a very small outlay.

Can there ever be a credit, an accounting entry, a deposit on the plus side, for any individual - without any previous outlay?

See above.

Righteousness can be credited without any outlay whatsoever on the part of the person to whom it is credited.

In these really distressing days for very many folk in Jersey regarding past sexual sins - and past cover-ups of sexual sins - this may be a most welcome truth to discover. Almighty God (and Jesus Christ his Son, the Judge of all) credits righteousness to a person without the person working at all. It is counted to him not as a "due" but as a gift.

As if to confirm this beyond any doubt whatsoever for any person whose sexual sins and subsequent actions loom large in his past, Paul continues his above sentence by reminding his readers in Rome about King David (alive 990 BC) who brought into his bed another man's wife. She became pregnant. David tried to cover it up by getting the husband to come back on army leave - but he didn't sleep with his wife. So David had him placed in a disastrous position near enemy lines and the husband was killed.

‘Christ comes with a blessing in each hand - forgiveness in one and holiness in the other; and never gives either to any who will not take both.' (Anon.)
Paul's sentence above continued by referring to this incident and quoting David’s lasting joy in being forgiven: "..... just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 'Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the LORD will not count his sin.'" 
God’s accountancy is on a grand scale - on a "gift" basis instead of a "due" basis. And no, its nothing like a bank error, it's for real.
Richard Syvret

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