What’s the verdict?

Psalm 19:9b “the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether”

The term “rules” here used in reference to the Scriptures, is a legal term meaning a verdict.  God is the righteous Judge of all the earth, and He has rendered verdicts in His Word for each one of us to read.  His verdicts are righteous, and they are true.  A verdict has to do with a pronouncement of either guilty or innocent of the one being judged, and God has proclaimed both in His Word. 

Aren’t you glad He’s given us the end of the story?  Aren’t you glad we don’t have to wait to see how it all pans out? We don’t have to wonder, as some do, for the day of judgment, and hope that our good deeds outweigh our bad. That’s the way most religions believe.  Most are rooted in the belief that no one can really know if they will be justified in the end. We just do the best we can and hope for the best.  But God hasn’t left us to wonder like this. He hasn’t kept the verdict for the end, something that no one can know but Him. You see, He’s already told us. He has plainly said that we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23).  He has told us that “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. (Romans 3:10-12).”  So, no matter what any of us might think about ourselves, God is the judge, and His verdict on each and every one of us is “Guilty.”  And with that verdict He has pronounced the sentence: “The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).”  That means that every one of us has a sentence of death hanging over our heads, both physical death and eternal death in the lake of fire. 

But just as God has pronounced this verdict on every sinner, which means each and every one of us, He has also made a way of forgiveness, a way of pardon. It is a very specific way. But there is only one way. You see, there is a wonderful word “but” at various places in Scripture, and one of the best places we find it is in Romans 5:8 “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  God made a Way for someone – and only One – the perfect Passover Lamb of God, to die as a substitute for us.  It was Jesus who came to earth to pay the penalty for our guilty verdict. He was the only One who would ever be able to do this, for He was sinless.  He was righteous. He was the only One in whom God was well-pleased (Matthew 3:17).  And He was thus the only One who bore the verdict of “not guilty” from the righteous God.  Yet, this righteous and holy Judge of all the earth did this: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).” 

So, have you read the verdicts of God? Do you know where you stand before Him?  Do you realize that all of us have been pronounced “guilty” by God, but that He has made a way for that guilt to be passed onto the perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)?  Do you realize that each guilty sinner who puts their faith in God’s provision for their sin can be completely forgiven with a new and wonderful verdict of “not guilty?” And with that verdict comes pardon from the sentence of death, and the gift of eternal life.  It is the righteous Judge who has pronounced the following verdict for all who will believe: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved (Romans 10:9-10).”  So, have you done this?  Will you?  God’s verdicts are true, but it’s our choice as to whether the words “guilty” or “not guilty” will be pronounced upon us in the end.

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