Paul says in verse 14, “I am debtor.” “Debtor” comes from a Greek word meaning “an ower.” Vines’ Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines it as “one who owes anything to another, primarily in regard to money.”
Jesus used this same word in The Model Prayer during the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:12 where He taught us to pray. “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Here the context carries the meaning of “sins.”
Jesus also used the word to describe the amount owed in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35.
No one needs to explain the concept of debt to modern Americans. Many are consumed by debt. It seems the American way is to pay everything out in monthly installments.
Someone said, “The only reason a great many American families don’t own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy monthly payments.”
We all are “debtors” to someone for something. We owe for our mortgage, rent, cars, taxes, utilities, and tuition, not to mention the strangling extravagance of credit card debt. One website on debts said, “Americans’ reliance on plastic (bank credit cards, charge cards, department store and oil company cards, debit cards and ATM cards) is at an all-time high. The average American carries nine cards, with a balance of $21,000.” We are to be debtors but in a different kind of way.