Courtroom - June 14th

By Judy Nichols

June 14, 2015

I have only ever been in a courtroom as a participant in the legal proceeding once. We had an attorney to represent our interests and present our case before the judge. The whole thing was a rather scary experience, compounded by the fact that I was dealing with an illness that could have taken my life. We were grateful to have an advocate at a time when we both felt very overwhelmed by life’s challenges.

The Scripture teaches us that we have an enemy who accuses us before God day and night (Rev. 12:10, Job 1:9-10). He also accuses us directly by shooting his "fiery darts" (Eph. 6:16) into our minds, as well as through the accusations of others. Increasingly the culture around us vilifies those who stand for Biblical truth. We are accused of "hate" simply because we will not call sin by its innumerable euphemisms. (Just as "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," so sin by any other name is still a stench to God.) Indeed, refusing to accept, affirm, and celebrate sinful behaviors is now grounds for accusation, legal complaints, lawsuits, and punitive damages.

All this should come as no surprise. Jesus said, "A slave is not greater than his master; if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20). And Paul reminded Timothy, "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tim. 3:12). These are scary times we are living in and it’s tempting to feel overwhelmed as we see the culture turning away from truth and baring its fangs toward those who embrace it.

But we have an Advocate, One who pleads our case before the Judge. And His intervention is effective. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:33-34, "Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? . . . Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us." The death of Christ paid the full penalty for our transgressions. His resurrection signaled God’s acceptance of that sacrifice to fully satisfy His righteous wrath against sin. His ascension identifies Him with the Godhead and puts Him at the right hand of the Judge in the heavenly tribunal, where He speaks on our behalf on the basis of His shed blood.

We may or may not be vindicated on this earth. Persecution of Christians is rampant and increasing every day. Modern day martyrdom is in the news almost weekly. I read not long ago that there were more Christians martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in all nineteen prior centuries combined. But our focus is not to be on this world, but on eternity. Jesus told his disciples, "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28). We will all stand before the Judge to give account for our deeds in the flesh, for whether we have stood our ground for truth or succumbed to the lie. It is a comfort to know my Advocate stands ready to defend me. Until then we do well to remember: "God is for me; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6). And, "The one who endures to the end will be saved" (Matt. 24:13).

© Judy Nichols 2015

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