Your Honor, I’d like to present the case against this defendant. It is open and shut. We have eyewitnesses. We have video evidence. And most importantly we have their own testimony about why they are here in this courtroom today. Your Honor based on the evidence I ask that you find this defendant guilty and condemn them to death.
What does it mean to be condemned? The dictionary defines it as the expression of very strong disapproval. Buildings are most often condemned. People who find themselves convicted of a crime are often condemned or sentenced to serve time in prison. But what about you? Have you ever been condemned? You may not know it but each day that you live Satan is constantly trying to make you feel ashamed and unworthy. His job is to make you look at the decisions you’ve made in the past and start to live condemned. He wants you live as if everyone, especially God, disapproves of who you are and what you’ve done but…..that is not God’s view of you.
Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” This scripture is quoted a lot by Christians and I often remind myself of it as well; but what does it mean? The first time I heard this scripture I had only been saved for a few months. I didn’t hear it at church. I didn’t hear it from a preacher on television. I heard it from someone who was very close to me and it was the first thing that was said after we became reacquainted. Why would that be the first thing someone said to me? I’ve asked myself that question over and over again and I think I finally have the answer. Shortly before I gave my life to Jesus I was involved in a relationship with a married man. And honestly it was this relationship along with other things going on in my life at the time that made me realize how much I needed Jesus.
I believe that God knew I needed to be away from him so He used a situation with me being diagnosed with tendinitis in my wrist to place me on leave. I was away from my job for a while which meant that I couldn’t see this individual. When I finally was able to go back and I saw him I didn’t quite have the same feelings about him as I’d had before. For years I’ve thought it was strange that he quoted that verse to me but now I know that it was God telling me that no matter what I’ve done in the past, as long as I’ve given it to God and asked for forgiveness, I don’t need to feel ashamed.
How freeing is that? How amazing is it to know that God doesn’t look at our sins and say “I don’t like you.” Why? Because when He looks at us He only sees the atoning blood of Jesus. And how awesome is that all we have to do to receive that atonement is to admit that we are sinners and ask Jesus to save us from our sins. We may have consequences to our sins but we will not have the heavy burden of proving our worth to anyone.
Hallelujah Jesus that we have the opportunity to no longer be condemned, to no longer live a life without hope.