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Settled out of Court

Romans 8:33-34
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (NIV)

Paul asks two questions: "Who will press charges against you in the court of heaven?" and "Who will condemn you?" Of course, Satan will try - he is called 'the accuser of the brothers" (Revelation 12:10). And his accusations seem to have weight - it is true that we are sinners and that our nature is to sin ... for which we deserve condemnation. And in our more guilty moments we would agree with that.

But, for those who have put their faith in Jesus, God has already justified them. As the punishment on Jesus was enough to cover all our sins, there is no charge to answer. As the condemnation for our sins was loaded onto Jesus, there is now no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1). Paul is writing about this least Satan should wrongly accuse and announce that there is no good reason to hope in God's mercy; and drag us away from trusting in Christ.

It is not only evil temptation which seeks to drag the believer down. Everybody whose conscience has been sharpened by the Holy Spirit will agree that they are far from what they ought to be. Each of us has enough awareness of the wickedness and potential evil within us to drive us into depression or anxiety. But the truth remains: if we are trusting in Jesus then God will not press charges against us and Jesus will not condemn us. This is such good news; but if it not shared it is useless. First we need to remind ourselves and learn to forgive ourselves. Secondly we need to confront Satan's lies and know the relief of doing so! Thirdly we can and must share this Good News with others at work today. When God has pronounced, "Not guilty", we should rejoice and get moving to serve Him.

Dear Lord God. Thank You for these verses to remind me that You will never accuse or condemn me in Your heavenly court of justice. I am sorry when I have allowed the devil to tell me that I am worthless because I can never please You. Help me to trust what You say in these verses so that I can be released from the burden of my sin and defend myself against Satan's lies. Help me too to be the joyful person You have designed me to be - an ambassador for heaven because I am willing to share my faith. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams