Can I Buy My Pardon?

judgementThe conclusions of the FBI Director, James Comey, concerning Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private emails and breaches of security have caused a tempest in America. Every news outlet was discussing the issue last night. Predictably, some were saying she was vindicated, others were insisting that Comey had exposed her lies. Some saw a miscarriage of justice, just politics as usual. Others claimed the system worked just as it should.

In recent years, in my own involvement with people caught up in the ‘justice’ system, I have become convinced that the system is not just, that the poor bear a disproportionate burden in our courts, and that ‘who you know’ is often much more significant than what you may or may not have done.  The ‘truth’ has long been sacrificed on the altar of efficiency and political careers of prosecutors.  As the public comes to see our justice system as unfair, the rule of law will continue to deteriorate with no good end!

But, there is justice in the End! I may not trust the courts, but I trust the One who sees, who knows, who decides. Nothing is hidden from His gaze. He cannot be bought. He is beyond influence. Does that thought frighten you? It would, but for the amazing fact that in Christ Jesus we have an amazing Advocate who stands with us! John tells us that we are universally guilty of sin but that “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2, NIV)  One translation of the Bible uses the word, advocate, in place of ‘speaks in our defense.’  The word in the original text is ‘parakletos.’ It described a person who came to the side of one in a dispute, who spoke on his behalf.  In the court of the Judge, we are not left to present our own defense. Jesus Christ stands with us. Going better than that, He settles the case by accepting our guilt and taking our penalty!

Does regret, shame, or a lingering sense of guilt about something, big or small, hidden or public, keep you from experiencing a joyful life?

Put your complete faith in the Advocate provided! Accept the gracious judgment of God, provided in Christ Jesus.  You were not acquitted by God. You were found guilty, but the sentence was passed to the One who offered Himself in your place. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Romans 5:1, NLT)

So, does this mean that God is unconcerned about justice, that He winks at greed, pride, oppression, hatred, and such things?  Not at all. God will hold us perfectly accountable for the way we live.  No human judge can see the whole context of a person’s actions. God can and does!  He will judge with complete justice.  I hear some of you catching your breath.  We need not fear, if Christ is our Savior. Having said that, let’s not make the mistake of thinking we can live like the Devil and enjoy the rewards of a saint. A faulty line of reasoning goes like this:  if Christ has forgiven all my sins, then why can I not just indulge my whims, follow my own way?  It’s not a new error. The Bible says that our salvation is secure in Jesus, but that we are responsible for our use of the gifts of God and will be held accountable. Paul uses the metaphor of building materials. “Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you’ll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won’t get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won’t be torn out; you’ll survive—but just barely.”  (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

When stand before Christ, our King, the moment will be both glorious and terrifying!  Rationalizations will be shown for the flimsy things they really are.  Things we have done that were overlooked or forgotten during our lives will be richly rewarded.  The Lord’s vision will go deeper than appearance, seeing to our motives.  Perfect justice is God’s promise.  It should comfort us that we will never be subject to a flawed system. It should sober us that “Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.” (Hebrews 4:13, NLT)

So here’s the word from the Word –
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God? …

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God
?”
(Micah 6:6-8, NKJV)

_____________

God of Justice, Savior to all,
Came to rescue the weak and the poor,
Chose to serve and not be served.
 Jesus, You have called us.
Freely we’ve received,
Now freely we will give. 

We must go,
Live to feed the hungry,
Stand beside the broken,

We must go.
Stepping forward,
Keep us from just singing,
Move us into action,
We must go.

 To act justly every day,
Loving mercy in every way,
Walking humbly before You, God.
 You have shown us what You require,
Freely we’ve received,
Now freely we will give. 

Fill us up and send us out!
Fill us up and send us out!
Fill us up and send us out, Lord!

God Of Justice
Tim Hughes © 2004 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055

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