"For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
My friend in accounting is responsible for reconciliation. I had only heard that word used in relational terms, so I asked her, “What is your job?” She told me that sometimes the amount paid by the debtor was insufficient to settle a bill. After failed attempts to receive payment, the final solution was reconciliation. For the sake of settling the books, a minor amount owed was forgiven and considered “reconciled.”
In God’s ledger, the infinite debt you owe for your sin against Him is in the “liability” column. Perhaps you attempt to pay the bill through good works or acts of penance, but nothing is credited as an “asset” despite your hard work. The only way to balance it is for God Himself to reconcile the books out of the riches of His grace – through the priceless blood and righteousness of Jesus. The amount is “paid in full” – no debt remains!
Continuing to try to pay – in any way – on that reconciled account undervalues Christ’s blood and rejects His righteousness. To be saved, you must consider it “paid in full”!
Believing we can pay off our debt means either we don't acknowledge the enormity of it, or we don't accept the sufficiency of the cross.