What this Article is Not
First, this article is not a recommendation on what Christians should do regarding the Biden Administration’s recent move to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for those who make under $125,000 annually.
This happens not by forgiving debt, but by forcibly transferring debt to others. Those who will be responsible to pay are not doing so out of love, charity, desire, or from their heart — they will be obligated to do so.
My intention in this post is not to coach you or tell you what you should do as a Christian if you have student debt. Decisions like that require searching the Scriptures, much prayer, and discussion with your pastor(s).
In light of that, many confused Christians and non-Christians of the political left are suggesting that many biblical passages encourage the right to partake in this governmental relief of debt. However, we must respond with biblical truth.
There is a right way and a wrong way to apply biblical passages to situations. If we just simply search for certain words in the Bible and strip them from their original meaning, we can make the Bible be and say anything we want.
What the Gospel is
The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became human and died in the place of an innumerable multitude of sinners, bearing their sins and absorbing their wrath, and rising on the third day from the dead to grant the forgiveness of sins to everyone who turns from their sins and places their faith in Christ (see Mark 10:45; John 3:16-18; Romans 3:19-28, 4:1-8, 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 3:10-13; Ephesians 2:1-10).
The resurrected Christ now stands at the right hand of the Father from which He will come again to judge the living and the dead (Mark 14:62; Hebrews 1:3).
In the gospel, God truly does forgive sinners from their unpayable debts owed to Him by the death of Christ. There is more forgiveness in Christ than sin in us.
Jesus is wields an ocean of grace for us wayward and weak sinners, and by His grace our sins are forgiven. He saves to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25); everyone who trusts in Him will not be put to shame (Romans 10:11).
By faith and faith alone (Romans 5:1) God freely and legally transfers our sins to Jesus Christ and credits to sinners not just forgiveness of sins, but Jesus’s perfect righteousness to our accounts (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The Great Contrast
In the gospel, the Lord counts no sins and debts to the sinner (Psalm 32:2) but instead credits to them the unmerited righteousness of Christ — the righteousness of God (see Romans 4:4-8).
Philippians 3:9 tells us that we are credited with this righteousness not by works or deeds or morals, but by faith in Christ alone.
And perhaps most relevant to this contrast is that God is not and was not obligated or forced to forgive the sins of many. God is under no obligation nor is He forced to save sinners.
God acts freely — by His grace (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8-9). In the gospel, God demonstrates His freedom to save or to justly judge sinners (Romans 9:14-18).
Jesus willingly lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11, 18). God the Father of His own love sends and chooses to send the Son to pay for our sins (John 3:16-18; Romans 5:8-10).
The Father and the Son work in perfect harmony at great expense to themselves in order to forgive and justify the sins of many in love (see John 6:37-40 and John 17).
Also unlike the administration’s loan plan, all sinners qualify for the forgiveness of sins in Christ. There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and standard (Romans 3:22-23).
And therefore, whoever turns from their sins in sorrow and repentance, and turns to Christ in faith will find Him to be a perfect Savior (Luke 24:47; Acts 4:12, 10:43).
In the gospel, God willingly acts in love and mercy, and justly forgives the sinner by faith in Christ.