If you haven’t been following along in this lesson series, welcome! All who visit this page are invited to share with us as we look into God’s Word (the Bible) and what it says to us. However, if you’re jumping in here (or even if you have been keeping up), I encourage you to read Romans 8:18-30 as some background for the following verses.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? 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, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:31-33 NIV
Taken by themselves, these verses are powerful encouragement. There is no reason to fear the judgment of God when our sins have been forgiven. Any being – human or demon – who accuses those of us who have accepted God’s gift of salvation, well, those accusers aren’t just lying; they are contradicting the grace of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
We aren’t just “squeaking by” into God’s righteousness through being “good enough” on our own. We don’t claim that our ancestry or history makes us good enough to refute accusations of sin. After all, at the very foundation of the Christian faith is the fact that we each choose to sin, and we are all guilty.
Instead of deserving God’s blessings, we are justified through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, provided through God’s grace. When we start to appreciate the immense bounds of God’s grace, and how He works good for (or through) us, the credibility of those who say that God isn’t on our side falls apart as we learn more and more about God’s love for us.
Said another way, think about that courtroom that I described in the previous article. If the devil is our accuser, claiming that we deserve punishment, the holy Judge (God) continues to pile on the testimony and evidence that proves that the accusation no longer holds up. The punishment that we deserved has been paid, and God not only justifies us, but He is standing up for us. In a human trial, this might not be fair, but in this universal reckoning of justice, the judge is clearly on our side.
Maybe that seems rigged, but it is rigged by God’s grace in favor of everyone who will accept His gift, and since Jesus accepted – and served – the punishment for our sins, there’s no need for us to pay that price a second time.
And, who would any accusers complain to? Would they complain to God, who provided the payment for our sins? Would they complain to Jesus, who voluntarily paid the price for our sins? Even on TV, it seems kind of pointless to argue with a judge after the verdict has been given. You’re likely to get thrown out. When the judge has followed the law and also pronounced us free, there is no longer any valid point to argue.
Having said that, when defendants are set free from courts today – even when the law was properly upheld when the judge released them – there are still many today who verbally attack them (or post accusing things about them from the anonymity of their keyboards or smartphones) for their crimes, actual or perceived. Let us not be like that. Instead may we never attack people who have been forgiven by God, by bringing up their past sins as somehow invalidating them for participation in God’s family. After all, we were clearly guilty, and were legitimately set free. May we show the same grace to others.
Let us celebrate our freedom together, first by ensuring that we have found freedom in Jesus, and then by welcoming others who have done the same.
From Sunday School lesson prepared for February 20, 2022
- The Lookout, February 20, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- The College Press Commentary, Romans, Volume 1, by Jack Cottrell. College Press Publishing Company, © 1996.