Guilty (October 2015 Newsletter Article)

I’ve never been a fan of shows like Judge Judy but a clip appeared online this week that caught my attention.  It’s only about 30 second long, however, it caused a great deal of laughter between Kelley and I.  In the clip, the plaintiff is explaining what was in her purse that was stolen, apparently by the defendant.  She is going through the list of what she had to replace, and said that she had an ear-piece in the handbag.  Then, out of nowhere, in a move of stupidity, the defendant speaks up and says, “There was no earpiece in there ma’am” to Judge Judy.  And Judge Judy starts laughing hysterically.  This guy, not even realizing it, admits to stealing the purse.  In under 30 seconds, the case is over, the defendant has incriminated himself, and Judge Judy has awarded the plaintiff an award of $500.  The guy was guilty, but what made the situation so funny is that he accidentally admitted to the crime.  Who knows how the case would have gone if he had just kept his mouth shut, but he didn’t.  The man got what he deserved. 

We’re guilty too.  Romans 3:22-23 states, “22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”.  For all have sinned.  We are all guilty.  And honestly, if we think about it, if we were to go before God trying to hide that sin, we would mess up just like the defendant in front of Judge Judy.  We can’t fool God, and He’s going to know exactly what we did.  But the beautiful thing for us, as Christians, is that we don’t have to appear before God on judgement day alone.  We will have someone to fight for us.  Paul hints at this in a way in I Timothy 1:15-17, which reads, “15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Paul is saying that he is that guy on Judge Judy.  The one that has sinned and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is guilty.  But Jesus has offered him mercy to show us all that His mercy and grace are available to us.  That should be comforting.  We don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing when we come before the judge.  We have someone that will confess us before Him.  Matthew 10:32-33 records Jesus as saying, “32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”  If we have confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior before men, and not been ashamed of Him, He will confess us before the Father.  We have someone that will be our advocate.  In fact, to finish out what Romans 3:22-23 is saying, read Romans 3:24-26.  It says, “24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

I, for one, am glad that I have Jesus.  I will not be ashamed of the fact that He is my Lord and Savior.  I want to live that through my life.  And He will be my advocate in front of the Father.  I won’t have to try to keep myself from saying “there was no earpiece in there, ma’am”.  We all know I’m guilty, but Jesus’ blood has paid the price for my sin, and for your sin if you’ve confessed Him before others!  No more being ashamed of Him!

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