Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Not Guilty

                Have you ever been to court? Have you ever been accused of something? These past few days I have found myself being accused, not by a court of law, but in the courtroom of my God. It is in these moments when I find myself being persecuted for past sins. As I was praying this morning before my God, pleading my case before Him that I was reminded that He does not accuse me, in fact, He blesses me instead and says, “You are forgiven, charges dropped.” I believe there are many of us who are being
persecuted for our past sins, many of us who are living in condemnation instead of the freedom we have in Christ. Do we not realize that when we gave our lives to Jesus Christ we stepped out of the darkness and now we are seen clearly by the enemy, and he wants to see us punished, ruined, and as far away from God as possible?
                “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.’” Revelation 12:10-11
                As I read these words this morning, I was reminded that I have an accuser. He loves to stand before God and accuse me of all the things I have done in my life. He stands before my Judge and says, “Look at her. She is a mess. All these things that she has done, she is a sinner. She does not love you, she does not follow you. She deserves to be punished.” These past few days I have heard that in my heart and in my head. Over and over again I have been faced with accusations of what I am and what I am not, and what I have done wrong. I have been standing before God with the accuser of the brethren pointing his finger at me.

                To be an accuser means to speak against, to accuse of a crime or to stand before a judge and point the finger at the other person. All of us have faced accusations, we have had people accuse us of things whether we did them or not. I think about my children when they were young, always accusing the other one of the crime. To accuse means to charge with a fault, offense or crime. It means that the accuser has found fault with you and speaks it openly to others.
                Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines the accuser of our brethren as “Satan (seeking) to uphold his influence among men by bringing false charges against Christians, with the view of weakening their influence and injuring the cause with which they are identified. He (Satan) was regarded by the Jews as the accuser of men before God, laying to their charge the violations of the law of which they were guilty, and demanding their punishment.” Satan does not want us to succeed as Children of God. In fact, the moment you gave your life to Jesus Christ you put a big target on your back and he wants to throw as many darts as he can at you. He wants to make sure that your influence for Christ is brought to nothing.
                Satan stands before God, our True Judge, and points the finger at us. He relates to God our Father all the bad, sinful things we do and have done. But Jesus, He is our Attorney. He stands up in our defense and says, “Father, I took their sins upon Myself and carried their punishment, nailing it to the cross.” Even though we may be accused, and we are guilty, God the Father sees the blood of His Son upon our souls and says, “Charges dropped. Not Guilty. Case dismissed.”
           
     “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…”( Romans 8:1) There is no damnatory sentence going to be handed to those of us who believe in Christ Jesus because Jesus took that sentence, the sentence of death upon Himself for our sakes. Revelation 12:11 says that we “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb. The blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, overcomes all the accusations that Satan brings against us. These accusations mean nothing to us because Jesus has already paid the penalty our sins deserved. We may even be worse than Satan’s accusations, but we are still made righteous by the work of Jesus on the cross.” (David Guziak, Blue Letter Bible Commentary on Revelation 12) “In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:14
                Charles Spurgeon writes, “…regard Satan this day as being already literally and truly overcame through the death of the Lord Jesus. Satan is already a vanquished enemy. By faith grasp your Lord’s victory as your own, since He triumphed in your nature and on your behalf...”We must Know and remember the work of Jesus Christ in our lives, this is the armor we need to protect us from Satan’s deceptions and accusations. But, there is a difference between conviction and accusations. Conviction comes from God the Father, while accusations come from our enemy.
                God convicts us of our sins, and brings us to a place of mercy and repentance. Our accuser brings us to a place of regret, doubt, and spiritual struggle. The accusations that come after we have laid our sins before the Lord do not come from God, but from our enemy. Conviction draws us to God, while accusations make us want to run away. Conviction draws us to mercy and forgiveness, to a godly sorrow that leads us to repentance and a changed life. But the accusations, the condemnation we face from our adversary the Devil makes us want to run and hide from God.
            
    We have a Father in heaven who does not condemn us, nor accuse us. But, we do have an enemy that wants to see us fall down and fall away from God. There is a spiritual battle raging on this earth. There is an accuser of the brethren who stands before God day and night telling Him about all the terrible things you have done, and the terrible person you are. But, we have victory. We have victory through Jesus Christ our Lord who also stands before God our Father and says, “I have taken all their punishment. Forgive them, for my sake.” And the Father replies, “Charges dropped, Not Guilty. Case dismissed.”

                Do not allow the accuser to hold you in condemnation, grasp by faith the blood of the Lamb who died to take away the sins of the world, and who has given us the victory! “Come, my soul, thou hast conquered Satan by thy Lord’s victory. Wilt thou not be brave enough to fight a vanquished foe, and trample down the enemy whom the Lord has already thrust down? Thou needest not be afraid, but say, ‘Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!’” (Charles Spurgeon)No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck us from His hand! Amen and Amen!