The Bottom Line
The profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold (Proverbs 3:14).
It is interesting that the Bible uses financial terms to illustrate spiritual truths. Here is an example.
Do you know what the most crucial figure is in business?
It is not income, as many may think. Many businessmen have gone bankrupt while living a life of luxury on the money that was rolling in.
The crucial figure is not income, but profit. Simply put, profit is the total income reduced by the total expenses.
Our Lord Jesus Christ used this term in one of His most famous questions: "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36-37, KJV).
In other words, our Lord was saying that you can have all the income life has to offer -- health, wealth, social prestige -- and still be bankrupt spiritually.
How can that be? As mentioned, expenses offset income. As any businessperson knows, one of the greatest expenses in a business is wages. And the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23, NLT).
The "wages," or the expenses of sin, wipe out profitability. Unless sin is dealt with in our lives, the spiritual bottom line is eternal loss. On the eternal balance sheet, there is a deficit.
This does not mean that on the eternal balance sheet, the debit side (evil deeds) is weighed against the credit side (good works), with the result determining our eternal destiny, heaven or hell, although a Christian's rewards will be affected by his works.
In Romans 6:23, the Bible further says that while the wages of sin is death, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NLT).
When we receive Christ, the entire debit side of our life's ledger is canceled by His blood and with a free gift Christ imputes His own righteousness to our credit side! Like Abraham (Genesis 15:6), we are "credited" with His righteousness. Paul wrote, "The words 'it was credited to him' were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness -- for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." (Romans 4:23-25, NIV).
Some Christians shout in their praise to God, as the Scripture exhorts (Psalm 47:1). They have probably had this revelation about the imputation of Christ's righteousness. If there is one spiritual truth above all others that would motivate one to shout with joy, this is it. Go ahead!
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.