Picture, if you will, having been indicted for a serious crime. You walk into a courtroom for your final hearing. The judge before you, upholds the law and holds the power to change the course of life as you know it. Making matters even worse, you know you are guilty of the accusations with which you have been charged. Justice will be served because the law is no respecter of persons. Unless someone steps in as your advocate and settles the debt to be paid, you can be certain of the guilty verdict that awaits you. Anyone who has broken the law has to pay the price for what they have done. Who would ever come to the defense of someone charged with such egregious crimes? Jesus is our advocate, sent by God to save us from a guilty verdict.
Who would ever come to the defense of someone charged with such egregious crimes?
Ultimate Court Of Authority
Former attorney and present Bible teacher, Dr. Andy Woods said, “The Bible is the ultimate Court of authority in all matters of Christian Faith and Practice.” The Bible is the final and ultimate standard of truth. As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Additionally, Hebrews 4:12 reads, “…the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Scripture reveals not only the character of God, but also our character and who we are in relation to Him.
This past summer, I had an opportunity to work as a legal assistant in a law office. Through that experience, God gave me a better picture of how gracious He is towards us. It is hard to put into words how grateful I am for the Grace of God. He is incredibly loving despite all of my failures and shortcomings. God uses terminology that has legal implications which describes man`s condemnation, Jesus as our advocate and His finished work, and the believer`s position under grace apart from the Law.
God uses terminology that has legal implications which describes man`s condemnation, Christ as our advocate and His finished work, and the believer`s position under grace apart from the Law.
The Case Against Us
The book of Romans describes how we are all condemned under the law. Dr. Robert Lightner describes sin as, “A violation of the holy character of God. It is an affront against Him in thought, word, or deed (pg. 33).” Everyone has an indictment on their heads because we have broken God`s law, which is a serious offense against a holy and righteous God. Just as a good judge will see to it that justice is served, God will always see to it that His truth prevails. God is right in everything that He says and does, and we all fall short of His righteous standard. As God is perfect in every way, so is His law. No human being can keep God`s law perfectly. We all have a guilty verdict and the punishment we rightly deserve is eternal separation from Him. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is a legal concept that is referred to as Blind Justice. It indicates that the law does not consider your background, nor does it consider ignorance of the law. If you have broken the law, you will receive the punishment that is due to you. In other words, there is no partiality regarding the law. God`s law acts similarly. Romans 2:11-12 says, “For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” Just because you are ignorant of the law, does not dismiss you from being charged with breaking it (Acts 10:34; Romans 3:19-20).
Romans 3:20, “…by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin…”
Paul also addresses people who believe they can obtain a right standing with God on their own terms. We all stand guilty before a Holy God (James 2:10). The law is our schoolmaster and is designed to reveal our sinful nature like a mirror showing us the dirt on our faces. The law was meant to reveal our desperate need for a Savior (Galatians 3.24). If we do not receive the Grace of God, we will get the condemnation that we deserve.
The law was meant to reveal our desperate need for a Savior (Galatians 3.24).
Helplessness To Hope: Jesus Is Our Advocate
God has made our standing under the law clear, but He was not content to leave us without hope. Without a Savior, we stand in a grave position before God. While God is a just judge, He is also kind and loving. God sent His only Son to take on the punishment that we deserve, to pay the debt that we could not pay, so we can walk in fellowship with Him.
John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
God is so kind in giving us a chance to trust Him (Rom. 2:4). His desire is that people trust in the work that Christ has done, so He is giving them time to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Second Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” God sent Jesus to come to our defense and advocate on our behalf.
God has made our standing under the law clear, but He was not content to leave us without hope.
Our Mediator, Advocate, And Defense
Jesus Christ stepped into history as our Mediator, our Advocate, and our Defender. He is the one who willingly came to save us from our sins. Jesus is both God and man and He is the only one who could ever intercede on behalf of mankind (Phil. 2:6-11). Scripture describes Jesus as being a mediator (Hebrews 9:15; Galatians 3:20; Hebrews 8:6).
1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Legally, the goal of mediation is to come to a reasonable solution to a problem or dispute between two parties. During mediation, both parties involved typically have an attorney representing them. Each party separately walks into a previously agreed upon location and they are placed in separate rooms. Once both parties are settled, then the man of the hour steps in, the one who has come to settle the dispute, this man is also known as the Mediator. The parties have a conflict that needs to be resolved and the goal of mediation is for someone to step into the situation and settle the disagreement because they cannot settle the dispute on their own. Because of sin, God has a dispute with man and only Jesus Christ can settle that dispute.
Romans 8:34-35, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
Because of sin, God has a dispute with man and only Jesus Christ can settle that dispute.
Jesus Is Our Advocate And Our Case Is Dismissed
Jesus is our advocate or our “defense attorney.” Jesus ever pleads our case before the Father (1 John 2:1). Even though Satan tries to accuse believers of sin, Christ stands there with the proof in His nail-scarred hands that He has paid for sin with His blood, and the work is finished. He is the living proof that believers are innocent of all charges because He stood in our place and took the punishment that we deserve. As believers stand before God dressed in Christ`s righteousness, He declares our case to be dismissed, as our debt has been paid in full by His only Son (1 Corinthians 5:21). We are free to walk in fellowship with God because Jesus chose to die and He rose again for the sake of the ones He loves (John 3.16). Jesus chose to suffer the punishment that I deserved, and on the cross, He cried, “Tetelestai!” Tetelestai is an accounting term meaning, “Paid in full.” Believers no longer have a debt to pay because we stand under grace and not under the law (Ephesians 2.5-9). Oh what a beautiful picture of perfect love that God has given me. What an amazing Savior that I have an opportunity to serve!
Christ is our advocate or our defense attorney.
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