NOT GUILTY

 There is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 

“How do you find?” 

“Your Honor, we the jury find the defendant guilty of rape.” 

We watched as the young man slumped down into his chair and began 

crying. The defense attorney put his arm around the shoulders of this man who was not even 20 years old yet and was just completing his junior year in college studying to be an engineer. 

          Many of us on the jury wrote letters begging the magistrate to have mercy on the teen as the law had confined us to make the guilty verdict. We asked the judge not to incarcerate the man as we, the jury, believed there were extenuating circumstances (alcoholic blackouts, witnesses who were not questioned, and other testimonies that contradicted the accuser). He would not hear us and not only labeled him a sex offender (which would follow him his entire life) but sent him to prison. 

          Because of my background in law enforcement and corrections, both the defense attorney and the prosecutor requested to speak with me (individually) after the trial to get my perspective. I told them how I felt (disappointed with the judge’s sentencing) and that I did not believe it to be rape, but I had to follow the law. It was disheartening to say the least. 

          GUILTY! How that one word carries such a weight. Imagine the soul standing before the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty. Imagine yourself being confronted by God. The weight of your sin bowing your shoulders, knees and head in shame. Like the prophet of old, speechless. What defense do you have? What can you say to the ultimate Judge?  

          Then down through millennia the words from Paul, inspired by the very Spirit of God, “Not guilty! Not guilty! NOT GUILTY!!” By the blood of the Lamb the Christian can stand confident before God knowing that every sin they ever committed, every sin they might commit, every sinful thought or intent is washed away by the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ! 

          That young man truly wanted to hear those two words; not guilty. But it was not to be. Yet, every believer in Jesus needs to hear: 

          No condemnation! Not guilty! Why do I keep repeating that? Because we (yes, I include myself) keep rehashing sins we have done and forgetting that just like the woman caught in adultery, Jesus does not condemn us!  

          Jesus has declared that you are NOT GUILTY! Are you powerful enough to disagree with Him? Are you smart enough to argue with Jesus? “Oh, but Lord there is this one sin . . .” 

          Not guilty! Not guilty! NOT GUILTY! Praise God! He does not see your sin-stained garments as they have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb! The Father sees the robe of righteousness that Jesus gave you the very instant you accepted Him and received Him into your heart! 

          Do not let the enemy keep you groveling in the dirt because of your past! You are a new creation! Old things have passed away, you are brand new in Christ! Let us start acting like it! 


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