Today's Devotional: Litigation

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2 ESV).

We live in a litigious society. You have read many accounts of people and the many suits that have been filed against companies and individuals. Do you remember the suit brought against McDonalds by an individual because of burns received after spilling hot coffee in their lap while driving away from the drive-through? They won the case and a settlement of immense proportions. I suppose their lawyer was better than McDonald’s lawyer!

If you have ever been sued, then you know the value of a good lawyer. But even if you don’t have legal problems now, the time is coming when you will need the best possible lawyer! How so? God has a case against you! One day you will stand in the Supreme Court of heaven before the Highest Judge of All. Then, you will need the ultimate lawyer. This is what John expresses in our reading this morning. The court scene being described is the final judgment. The Judge is God the Father. Jesus Christ is the Advocate or Lawyer. He represents before the Judge of all, those who believe in Him. You see the problem is that God has a case against each one of us. And the penalty we are all due is the death penalty. When God brings us into court, He is perfectly just in sentencing us to eternal death in hell!

Believe me, we need a very good lawyer! He is Jesus Christ. And this Jesus Christ paid the penalty due for the sins of others. This is what the cross is all about. Christ takes upon Himself the death penalty in the place of others. And you need to trust in the sacrifice of Christ as the only adequate payment for your sins. When you trust in Christ as your Advocate, He represents you before the Father. And He tells the Father that He died for you! Case closed! You are acquitted!

Praise God that He has not withdrawn His offer of forgiveness for sin! This good news, however, is for sinners only. Many people, though, don’t see themselves as sinners in need of salvation. They make excuses like my good deeds outweigh my bad, or I’m not as bad as some people, or usually I’m a good person. Their shortcomings, they feel, don’t jeopardize their standing before Almighty God. Imagine a citizen being brought to trial for several charges of shoplifting. It would be useless for that person to appeal to the judge by saying: “Don’t forget, my good deeds outweigh my bad.” “I’m not as bad as many others.” “Most of the time I’m a law-abiding citizen.” The offender must be judged according to the offense, not according to previous good deeds. If justice is to be done, someone must pay, and that someone should be the offender, unless another is allowed to bear the penalty instead. That’s exactly what Christ in love did for sinners. We can be acquitted through the grace of Jesus Christ. Do you have Him as your lawyer? You should!

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