Guilty Until Declared Innocent

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, June 4, 2020

A fundamental principle of our judicial system is that people are presumed innocent until there is proof of guilt. Unfortunately, that principle of law is far too often overlooked. Law enforcement does it. Lawyers do it. Citizens do it. Almost everyone on Facebook or Twitter does it. We assign guilt before due process has had a chance to function as it should.

The legal principle of presumed innocence stands in stark contrast to the spiritual principle of proven guilt. Read what Jesus said in John 3:17-18.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

In a court of law, the accused is considered innocent until proof of guilt has been offered and the judge or jury declares the accused guilty. That is not the case for every human being in the context of their spiritual life. Every one of us stands condemned before God, declared guilty by the Righteous Judge based on the inherent nature of sin within us. But the same Judge who declares us guilty based on our indwelling sin will declare us not guilty based on our belief in Jesus Christ. Our sin nature was fully punished by God in Jesus Christ when He died on the cross, so that we who believe could be declared innocent.

In the court system, the accused begins as innocent and based on evidence is declared guilty. In the Spiritual world, the guilty prove their guilt by the evidence of their thoughts and actions, and yet can be declared innocent by confessing their guilt to the One who paid the penalty for their sin. Faith in Jesus Christ removes all condemnation.

What is it that condemns you? Thoughts of your past. Words of other people? Knowledge of the evil that resides in your heart and mind? All of this and more are proof of our common condemnation. Jesus did not come to condemn us. We are already condemned. Jesus came to save us, and he makes freedom possible through His death on the cross. Jesus was condemned for us, so that we might be forgiven and given eternal freedom.

What is keeping you from faith in Christ? Is it fear of admitting your guilt? Your guilt was carried to the cross by Jesus. Is it fear of the penalties that will be imposed upon confession of your guilt? Jesus paid the total penalty for your guilt when He died for you. Maybe you are afraid that your sin is too great and you must make restitution before you are worthy to be forgiven. Jesus died as the worst sinner and paid for the worst sin, and God declared His satisfaction with His payment by raising Him from the dead.

You have nothing to fear. By faith alone you can be forgiven and accepted into the eternal family of God.  Today is the day you can go from guilty sinner to saved saint. Turn from your sin. Turn to Jesus. Believe He died for you, and be saved.

Pastor John

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