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Three pictures to stick it to your accuser | Romans 8:33-34

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 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. Romans 8:33-34

We're still talking about the incredible but true fact that God has chosen not to condemn us for our sin. Instead, he's made us his sons with Christ and has given us his Spirit to guide us into sonship - obedience, love, and faith. Our actual sonship confirms his justice in setting us free, meaning, the more he makes us actually righteous in word, thought, and action, the less anyone can tell him he should never have let us go. He is making us what he has declared us to be.

And yet, we sin daily. This is the difficult reality in which we live. And it shakes our confidence in what he has promised he has done, is doing, and will do. We question what he's done. Did it really make a difference? We question what he is doing. Has he given up on me? And we question what he will do. How could I ever be fit for glory? What if God gets sick of me?

But there is no condemnation. The courtroom is silent. Every time we sin, we need to hear that silence. God is simply there in the moment of our sin, ready to do all that he does to confirm our sonship - forgive, restore, refresh, strengthen, empower, glorify. One more tiny degree.

And yet our accuser does not remain silent. When we sin, he takes advantage of the moment to persuade us of the lie that God's plans can be thwarted by our sin. It's a stupid lie - God's plans are prompted and designed around our sin. But Satan knows very well that when we have just sinned, our ears are sponges for lies. We crave lies when we've sinned because lies cover up sin.

But the biggest lie of all is that no one can lie their sin away. Instead, the truth sets us free. I've gathered three scenes from the Bible to give you a visual on what is going on in God's mind when you sin. Replace the accusations with these pictures in your head. They are true.

Scene One: You sin. And then you look to see if God is mad. And he is, but not at you. When you sin, God's defensive anger is towards anyone who would stand there over you in that moment and condemn you. As for you, he removes your filthy garments (your sin) and puts clean clothes on you (Christ's righteousness). And he rebukes Satan for presuming to accuse whom God has chosen.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by. (Zech 3:1-5)

Scene Two: You sin, and Satan's finger points at you and says, "See? Hopeless!" But Satan's a poser. When you sin, remember that the voices in your head that speak judgment and condemnation are spoken by one who himself has already been judged and condemned. He's only telling you what is true of himself, hoping you'll believe it and join him in his misery. He's lying. What's true of him is not true of you in Christ.

And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Rev 12:9-11)

Scene Three: You sin, and in the sudden rush of realizing you've gone astray, you want somewhere safe to run. Somewhere to hide. And there is such a place. When you sin, run to the Father like a prodigal Son. You'll expect (because you feel guilty) a thin welcome, maybe a stiff "Don't do it again" but don't be surprised when he treats you with lavish grace, dressing you in clean garments, feeding you rich food, and celebrating over you. His love for you far outweighs your sin. Look for it.

[A son has just wasted his father's fortune on sin and is lying in the mud with pigs.]

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:17-24

What goes on in God's head the moment you sin - what he's thinking, what he's getting ready to do, what he's feeling - is entirely the opposite of what you would expect because it's the opposite of what you know you deserve. But it's real and it's true. Don't let the accuser tear you away from the gospel in that moment. Use these three pictures from God's own mind to remember what he's thinking about when you sin.


Claim it. On purpose I gave you a lot of visuals today. Go back through the passages above and write or draw the visuals that are given here as ways of understanding God's defense against any who would condemn those who are in Christ.

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