Summary: Today we are going to look at Romans 8:1-4 which is the response of Jesus Christ to our accusers on the “sinful nature” team. Let us read the response of the defense and I believe along the way you and I will gain some perspective on grace and guilt.
GRACE OR GUILT
Order in the court! I am going to ask you to put yourself on trial this morning. I want you to imagine that you are sitting in the court room of life and you are in the hot seat. You are on trial. Your actions and thoughts are on trial. Your attitudes and heart are on trial. Your goodness and your not-so-goodness is on trial. Laid before you is your life… your successes and your issues… your victories and your problems. You are on trial.
The prosecution is the “sinful nature” team led by none other than the great accuser himself, Satan. The Book of Job, Zechariah 3:1, and Revelation 12:10 state plainly that Satan stands forth and accuses us of our sins. They are seeking to convict you and I on the basis of the sinful nature that lurks inside each of us. The defense is the “law of the spirit” team led by none other than our divine advocate Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6, Hebrews 9:15, and Hebrews 12:24 explains that we have a mediator and an advocate who speaks on our behalf to the Judge… that is Jesus Christ. The Judge is God… He’s always the Judge.
The prosecution begins their case. You got problems. I got problems. We all have a laundry list of issues we face in our daily lives and we know that we need to deal with them. The prosecution nails us on our sins and the fact that we always say we will deal with them (at some point) but never do. We always say that someday we will be a better person. We say:
Someday I’m going to stop worrying constantly and trust God
Someday I’m going to quit smoking and get a handle on this addiction
Someday I’m going to stop drinking and not lose control
Someday I’m going to be organized, make good decisions, and not live in chaos and not procrastinate
Someday I’m going to get a handle on my anger and quit cursing
Someday I’m going to stop lusting and reach a point of purity and honor myself and my spouse
Someday I’m going to make God a priority and pray and read my Bible
Someday I’m going to get a hold of my mouth and not gossip and commit to integrity
Someday I’m going to stop overspending because I crave material things and live within my means
Someday… Someday… Someday…
Jealousy. Covetousness. Laziness. Apathy. Lying. Impurity. Sowing discord. Selfish ambition.
The prosecution begins and ends their case with the absolute truth that you and I have problems that war against us and we struggle with on a daily basis. There is a constant war inside us. It is a battle between the sinful nature and the inner God-honoring nature. There is a battle between the law of sin and death and the law of spirit and life. Romans 7:21-24 says, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul leaves off chapter 7 in Romans with the thought that every single one of us are in trouble. What hope is there? The prosecution seems to have an open and shut case. You and I are sinners! The prosecution rests.