My friend cetroyer and I were having a discussion about salvation. I told him that one of my friends had asked me to describe why salvation was such a big deal. My best analogy was about gift cards. However, cetroyer pointed out that gift cards are a reward — something above and beyond. Cetroyer then proceeded to provide what I thought was a better analogy. I have combined both our analogies in what I hope is a good explanation of salvation.
The Debt Begins
A long time ago, a husband and wife were set up in a nice little house run by their landlord. However, the husband and wife caused much trouble and the landlord was furious. He bound them to a debt so high that the couple had no chance in a lifetime — much less a thousand lifetimes — to pay the debt off.
In order to pay off this debt, each of the couple’s children (and there were many) had to help pay off the debt. However, the debt wouldn’t ever go down because of the interest. No matter how hard the children tried to pay off their parent’s debt, the debt wouldn’t budge.
The Debt is Paid
The landlord felt sorry for all of the children. After all, they weren’t the ones who caused the debt. However, they were the ones having to help pay it. The landlord, in his great mercy, decided to write out a check and write off the debt and any future debts that the children might come under.
However, some of the children didn’t realize that the debt was paid off. Some of the children kept paying it. Other children refused to believe that the debt had been paid off.
The Gift Cards
For each of the children that had acknowledged that the debt was paid, the landlord gave each of them gift cards worth different amounts. The landlord said, “Make sure you spend all of it. The gift cards each have a different expiration date, so make sure you spend it wisely.”
Some of the children spent all of it immediately before the expiration date. Some of the children didn’t spend the cards at all. Some of the children used the gift cards to pay off debts that should have already been paid for. And some spent the money wisely, and actually had a positive return on investment.
The Analogy Explained
The debt that is explained in the analogy is the debt that man is under with regards to sin. God — in his great love and mercy — sent Jesus to Earth to cover our debt (our sins) so that we would be made pure in God’s eyes. It is up to us, however, to acknowledge and believe that this debt has truly been paid through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
The gift cards are the spiritual gifts that God has given us. Only after salvation can we really use these gifts to minister. Some choose not to use the gifts. Some use their spiritual gifts wisely and produce much fruit.
What do you think about this analogy? Can you think of another one to explain salvation?