If you watched TV in the 50's and 60's, you might be familiar with a show called "Perry Mason". If you are unfamiliar with the show, imagine a Law and Order show before there was Law and Order. I don't know if you're like me but sometimes I can get really consumed with a good courtroom drama.
However, there is one part that always irks me whenever it happens: when the bad guy gets away with it. Most of the time, these courtroom drama shows wrap it all nice, neat, and pretty in a bow. Although, there are some times that the murderer or the offender gets away with it. But as I was reminiscing on these types of episodes, I realized something.
You and I are that offender.
I was reading in the book of Romans just the other day and in Romans 3, it says:
As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” - Romans 3:10-12
That includes every last one of us, but here's the thing. Our standing before God does not depend on our actual guilt or innocence. Our standing before God depends on God's justification. God, because of Jesus, has declared each and every one of us not guilty. Even though we're guilty, Paul wrote:
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:31-32
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It's God who justifies! Who then is the one who condemns? No one! Why? Because Jesus is standing in front of God as the perfect defense attorney arguing for us and taking our sentence. Isn't that incredible? Your standing before God does not depend on whether or not you did it. You did it. Your standing before God is blameless because of what Jesus did. While we are certainly not innocent, it is by the grace of God that we are declared not guilty.