“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
There are millions of people who go to church on Sunday and confess their sins, but they are not converted as a result of this exercise. If we had to confess all of our sins in order to be saved, salvation would be beyond reach. For one thing, we can’t remember all of our sins, and even if we did, tomorrow is another day with new sins. It would be like wiping the floor with the faucet running!
When God saves us, He has to absolve us from all of our sins—past, present, and future—in one divine act. He does this by crediting us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ in response to saving faith. By that act, we are legally perfect forever.
Twenty-four hours a day, God demands that we be perfect if He is to fellowship with us and welcome us into heaven at death; twenty-four hours a day, Jesus Christ supplies what God demands. Jesus stands in for us and we are accepted as if we were Him.
Yes, of course, we as Christians confess our sins to maintain fellowship with God, but our legal standing remains unchanged despite our continuing struggles with sin and failure. The unchangeable righteousness of Christ, once credited to us, is never diminished nor removed from us.
So who can bring a charge against God’s elect? Your conscience can. Other people can. And of course, there’s the devil, who accuses the saints day and night. In response, Paul says, “It is God who justifies.” And, what is more, Jesus, even now, intercedes for us. Only such assurance silences our conscience—our judge within.
Personally, I rely upon this truth every day: I remind myself that my Heavenly Father sees me as being “in Christ,” and thereby my guilt is removed and my conscience is stilled. We must pray that we and other believers will depend upon this blessed reality whenever overcome by regret and guilt.
Let Us Pray
Father, open my eyes to the reality that Christ’s righteousness is mine. May I, despite my struggles with sin, rejoice that Jesus represents me to You. Though I mourn over my sins, may I not be disheartened. Help me to look to Jesus, and not my own performance, as a basis of my acceptance.
I pray for ____that they might be satisfied with what Jesus has done; may they be freed from the condemnation of sin, and rest in the assurance that they’ve been accepted in the Beloved One. Each morning, let them rise to renew their confidence in the promise that Jesus has made them pleasing to You. May the discouragement that so often leads to a spiral of sin vanish when they remember that no one can bring a charge against God’s elect without being met by the declaration that they have been justified.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.