Ever Thought About How God Bypassed Condemning You?
In my youth I waited tables. One day after work, I found a parking ticket on my car. The guy I was dating (who later became my husband) was a cop. Now, I know what you are thinking…
“This is how he flirts?”
Imagine if you will, that this ‘ticket’ had gotten turned in and sent through the court system and I was called before a judge. There would be two possible outcomes. First, I could be found guilty of the violation and assigned the fine. Or I could be found not guilty and released. There is NO third option of being guilty but released anyway.
For the judicial system to work properly, this option doesn’t work. We cannot have criminals released free and clear by the courts. That would be a gross misuse of authority.
While my example is fictitious, it is a good train of thought to see through because it illustrates an amazing biblical concept. Did you know that humanity, because of Adam, was charge with being sinners? Because of this, there was an written warrant with this indictment (Col. 2:13-14). It was a serious accusation because ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Rom. 6:23).
Because of this charge, humanity stood condemned. There was no way around it, we WERE guilty. Because God is a righteous judge He had to condemn both sin and the sinner. Yet in Jesus, God orchestrated a third option that exonerated us in a perfectly legal way!
Have you ever thought about how God bypassed condemning you as a sinner?
Here’s His solution—to obliterated the legal charge of indebtedness against us by forgiving our sins and then justifying us (Col 2:13-14).
Here’s the Breakdown of How He Did This...
Let’s follow the courtroom example a little further to understand how God did it. Let’s say in this scenario, that the judge found me guilty of the parking violation. To be just the judge would have to pronounce a sentence (or fine) according to the offense. This is necessary for the proper administration of justice. Now let’s say, after he delivered the sentence, the same judge came down off the bench, stood beside me, took out his checkbook and paid the fine for me. This would be the judge justifying me; paying the fine in my place to fulfill the demands of the law.
This is very legal in the sense that the offense is not overlooked, forgotten or forgiven without restitution. Rather it is merely the judge taking the punishment rather that me, the offender. So in this example, the judge is both JUST and the JUSTIFIER.
This is Paul’s explanation of what God did. “He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be JUST and the one who JUSTIFIES those who have faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:26).
This is extraordinary! God’s justice was demonstrated in the fact that He judged sin. But His mercy was demonstrated in the fact that He justified the sinner—He came down off the bench and took humanities punishment for sin, so that His perfect record, His sinless state (or righteousness) could be legally transferred to us and we would be found NOT GUILTY according to the law that demanded death (Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:21).
“Legal “righteousness” is not a habit infused into the heart, but a gift transferred to our account” A.W. Pink; The Doctrine of Justification.
Writer Brett Barclay says it best, “The crediting of Christ’s perfect life—His very own righteousness—to your life is much better described as “just as if I’d always obeyed.” (Just As If I’d Always Obeyed; Righteousinchrist.com). In Christ, the change in legal status went from ‘condemned sinner’ to one who is, not only regarded as one who had NEVER sinned, but also as one who has ALWAYS obeyed. That is incredible!
Because of this, we no longer stand condemned as sinners, rather we are released from this accusation and the charge against us is cancelled and now we are found not guilty under the Law!
This was the third option—and it was legal, it holds up in the highest court. God condemn sin along with the sinner but then took the punishment which made restitution resulting a change in legal status for believers (former sinners) now regarded as imputed with Christ’s very own righteousness.
This means there CAN NEVER EVER BE a legal charge filed against believers condemning us as sinners and demanding death.
“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” (Rom. 8:33-34).
Who Could Condemn You?
Would God condemn you? No—He is the one who justified you!
Would Jesus condemn you? No—He is the one who died for you, was raised for you and at the right hand of God interceding for you!
They are the only ones who would be able to bring a charge against you. And If neither of them will would do it—
Then nothing else can!