Pointing finger

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.”

You know that you are constantly being accused and condemned. Job was a man famous for the terrible tragedies he suffered. The Bible tells us that behind those tragedies were the Devil’s accusations. “Job’s faith is shallow and untested. Job is a fair-weather Christian. Job loves God out of selfish interest, but make his life a little uncomfortable and he will curse you to your face,” he told the Lord. He wanted to turn Job against the Lord, and the Lord against Job, and he picked on the weakest thing he could find in the man to do so.

The last book of the Bible, Revelation, says that the devil is still “the accuser of our brothers.” He is still trying to turn God against us by reminding him of our sins. And when he gets no satisfaction with God, then he turns on us and goes after our own consciences. He plays on our guilt. He whispers in our ears, “Look at what you have done.” Remember The Lion King? The young lion Simba is playing in the canyon where he doesn’t belong. His jealous uncle Scar starts a stampede of wildebeests that threatens to trample the future king of the beasts. When Simba’s father Mufasa rescues his son, Mufasa barely escapes the canyon himself, only to be thrown back in by the evil Scar to be stampeded to death. But Mufasa’s murder all takes place beyond Simba’s view. Scar then goes to play on Simba’s guilt. “What have you done, Simba?” Look, it’s all your fault that your father died rescuing you.

That’s what the devil does to your heart. “What have you done? Look at the mess you have made. You can’t fix this. And God certainly isn’t going to love you anymore.” He charges you with sin. He condemns. He does everything he can to drive us away from God.

But look at the way God defends us. “It is God who justifies.” It would be one thing if we weren’t really guilty of our sins. Then it would make sense for God to defend us. But our guilt is real. It would be one thing if our sin were really only a matter of ignorance. But more often than not, we knew what we were doing. It would be one thing if our sin were really only directed at other people, and didn’t involve God. But no matter whom we hurt, the commands we break are always God’s. Still, he justifies. Still, he defends. Still, he does not hold our guilt against us. How can he defend us this way?

“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.” God justifies us because justice for our every sin has already been carried out in the death of Jesus Christ, our substitute. God has raised him from the dead as proof that he accepts Jesus’ death in place of ours. God justifies because he cannot escape the evidence that our debt to heaven has been paid. Two thousand years may have passed since the cross, but there in glory, at the Father’s side, is the living Lord Jesus with all power and authority. He is a little hard to miss, the one who paid for our sin, in that condition. We may continue to sin, but Jesus continues to intercede, to plead, to go to his Father on our behalf. He demands that our sins not be held against us because of the price he paid. Now you can ignore the devil’s accusations. Your God in heaven certainly does. He continues to defend us, because God is on our side.

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