I remember Jay Leno on the Tonight Show mentioning that his whole life was videotaped for security reasons. Leno’s purpose in saying this was to introduce some incident between him and his cat, which he wanted us to assume was totally impromptu.
But what if . . . what if our entire lives, every waking moment, was somehow captured on video? Furthermore, what if this was available for any enemy of ours to use against us?
Far-fetched you might say?? Revelation 12:10 refers to Satan as “the accuser of the brethren” and as someone who “accuses” us as believers “day and night before our God.” Satan is able to recount incidents (and perhaps replay events) from my life and then bring charges against me, “Look at this display of unbelief! Did you see that lack of faith in his display of anxiety! Jonathan claims to be your child, but look at his prideful behavior. Surely he is not who he claims to be.” Satan never gives up in his relentless efforts to accuse us both in person and before our Father in heaven.
However, I John 2:1 says that when we sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Whew! I have someone to defend me before my Father, a never-failing advocate on my behalf. We are never left defenseless against Satan’s attacks.
Romans 8:33-34 further describes this courtroom scene in heaven, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Because we are justified before God, Jesus never fails to intercede on our behalf and defend us against all charges made against us.
When Scripture says we are justified, this signifies God’s proclamation that we are righteous solely because of Jesus and His death on the cross for our sins. Justification is a legal term indicating a judicial pronouncement made in a court of law. All the legal claims against us have been forever cancelled; they are nailed to the cross and we bear them no more (see Col. 2:13-15); God declares those in Christ forever righteous in His sight. Jesus is our righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). In addition, Jesus remains our advocate, our defense attorney, always ready to defend us before the Father.
Romans 8:1 sums up this wonderful news, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Notice the apostle does not say there is “no condemnation” for the religious or for the moral or for those who always obey God. No, the promise is for those “in Christ,” for those who have a saving relationship with Jesus.
Satan can bring a whole flash drive full of condemning videos; it will never change God’s verdict of righteousness on those of us who know Jesus as our Savior. Jesus is the one who continually defends us and when you think of it, could there possibly be a better defense attorney in the entire universe?
Recently, someone asked me to make a value judgment on a politician’s character based on a short video of less than a minute. While the incident on the video certainly put the man in a bad light, I could not agree it exemplified his entire life. As I later reflected on the discussion regarding the video, I realized I am no better than that candidate. A great number of equally condemning videos against me could be paraded before my Father in heaven to which I could only lower my head in shame.
My confidence, however, rests solely in Jesus and His righteousness. He is my only defense against all the countless charges made against me, past, present, and future. This is what it means to be justified before Him: no future charge can ever change our righteous standing before God or interfere with our hope of someday reigning with Christ. Jesus is not only our unfailing advocate, but coming soon to take us to be with Him in heaven.
He alone is the reason we are secure in our hope of spending eternity with Him. This is why we can confidently look for His appearing. He alone is our unfailing hope.
Romans 8:31-32 says this about those in Christ, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Some might claim, as they did in Paul’s day, that such grace opens the door to more sin. However, as the reality of what Jesus has done and continues to do for us sinks increasingly into our hearts, it energizes our desire to serve and love Him all the more.
Praise God for His amazing grace, love, and mercy! So undeserved but welcomed with much thanksgiving!!