Saturday, July 14, 2012

Not Guilty, Not Condemned by Martin Wiles

My day in court finally arrived. I was extremely nervous.

I can’t remember the month, but the year was 1969. I entered the courtroom and took my seat followed by the jury. Then I heard “All rise.” Everyone stood as the judge entered and took his seat. He peered over the top of his glasses and said “Be seated.”

“What’s the case number and charge,” he barked at the bailiff who quietly read both. Then he asked for my plea. When I said “Not guilty,” he instructed the prosecutor to call his first witness and the trial began.

One by one the witnesses took the stand and testified about my crimes. Gossiping, lying, cheating, unfaithfulness to God, wife and friends, stealing, illegal drug use. I was only nine years old and didn’t remember any of that. I didn’t even have a wife.

When all evidence was presented, the judge instructed the jury who left for the jury room to decide my fate. No sooner had they exited than they entered. The judge asked the customary question: “Have you reached a verdict?” They had-“Guilty.”

But instead of sentencing me, the judge said; “You’re free to go.” I didn’t’ understand, so he explained. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (I John 2:1).

Jesus is the perfect defense attorney. Connecting with him through faith means hearing God the judge say: “Not guilty, not condemned.” Regardless of how many times we mess up after “hiring” him, the verdict never changes. Satan the prosecutor will accuse you, make you feel rotten, worthless and guilty, but our Advocate will always stand up and proclaim your innocence.

Prayer: Thank You merciful Lord for Your forgiveness that frees us from sin’s prison.
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