Accuser vs. advocate (2)
Paul writes: ‘Who can accuse the people God has chosen? No one, because God is the One who makes them right. Who can say God’s people are guilty? No one, because Christ Jesus died, but he was also raised from the dead, and now he is on God’s right side, appealing to God for us’ (vv.33-34 NCV). Even though we may have read this verse many times, we can often still have that feeling of guilt. It’s important to remember that not all guilt is bad. Guilt can remind us that we’ve stepped away from God’s best and need to confess, repent and seek His forgiveness. The problem comes when we start to define ourselves by our guilt. But doing something that’s not good doesn’t mean that we’re not good. The guilt reminds us to bring it to God, but then let it go. We don’t need to found our lives on it, define ourselves by it or be trapped by it. Every day God gives us a fresh start. The Bible says: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness’ (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV). When a woman was brought to Jesus, after being caught in adultery, Jesus said to the people accusing her that the first person to throw a stone should be someone who doesn’t sin. Gradually all the people walked away until it was just Jesus and the woman left. He said to her: ‘Neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin’ (John 8:11 NIV). However many accusing voices we hear and however much guilt we feel, Jesus says the same to us today.
Memorise Romans 8:1 and declare it out loud when you feel guilt and shame rising up.