There’s an old joke about an engineer who dies, arrives at the Pearly Gates, and is told by Peter that he can’t find the engineer’s name in the book of life so he has to go to hell. The engineer shrugs, goes to hell, and immediately starts improving things as only an engineer can. Soon, hell has Air Conditioning, running water, and escalators. God checks in with Peter and realizes that the engineer shouldn’t have been sent to hell…some kind of problem with the filing system…and He calls Satan and tells him to send the engineer back. Satan declines, noting the improvements. So God tells Satan to send him back or He would sue. Satan laughs and says, “Where you gonna get a lawyer?”
It may seem that God would be in a dilemma in a situation like that with us. Then, when you multiply it by the countless people who have lived on this earth, should Satan accuse them of deserving hell, we would be in big trouble without a lawyer! Romans 8 though is not a chapter that talks about despair and defeat. Romans 8 is a chapter of victory. We are reminded that in the Court of the Supreme, God is on our side. We live each day in the sure and certain knowledge that Jesus is our lawyer when the accuser brings his charges. When we plead guilty and ask for grace, we gain grace in the eyes of God. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
We do not live in fear of defeat. We may lose little battles. We may even lose our life when we follow Jesus, but, as Paul reminded us, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) This whole passage of Romans reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loved us. God, the Supreme Judge is for us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God! Many psychologists looking at human interaction would talk about people striving to gain the love and approval of others. We live each day hoping that we will be loved. The message here is that God loves us and is for us no matter what may happen. In our family we have recently had a struggle with cancer. As the battle began, we had no idea what would happen with the cancer, but we knew that we would be victorious in death or in life because we would walk through the journey with God’s love. Cancer couldn’t take that away no matter what the outcome. We are rejoicing that cancer lost this battle, but we knew that no matter what the outcome would be, God would win in the end. If God really is for us, who can be against us?
The joy and the freedom we experience when we realize that truth is amazing. I don’t live each day, pondering each decision, wondering whether or not God will love me after I do something. I look at problems and try to do what I think God wants. The key, though, is that when I mess up, when I do something wrong, I don’t live in cringing fear that God will zap me. I confess it to Him with the full knowledge and assurance that His grace will cover me; His mercy will bring forgiveness. Life in Christ brings a great freedom! Some look at things that they “can’t do” and turn away from Christ. I look at all the things God allows me to do that bring honor to Him and I live each day rejoicing in Him. I don’t need to seek His approval. I don’t need to worry about whether or not He loves me. I am loved by the God of this Universe and He knows my name. My lawyer has been appointed for me, my fees and penalties have been paid, and I have been redeemed to walk with God each day. Hallelujah!
I praise You, God! I am so grateful that You are for me. I am so grateful that You love me and support me even when I fail You. I pray for myself that I might honor You with my life. I pray for others that they would know and experience this same freedom.