To get a man soundly saved it is not enough to put on him a pair of new breeches, to give him regular work or even to give him a university education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged, you have wasted your labor. You must in some way or other graft upon the man’s nature a new nature, which has in it the element of the Divine.William Booth
Have you ever met a convicted criminal who openly admitted, “I did it”? Probably not. I think the only place you’ll hear anyone openly admit his or her guilt is on a TV show like Matlock or Law & Order. In real life, it’s difficult for any of us to admit that we’re guilty. There could be an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting our guilt, but the words, “I didn’t do it” always seem to be on the tips of our tongues.
When it comes to being a sinner, the evidence against us is insurmountable. Paul said it best in Romans 3:9–12: “We have already said that Jews and those who are not Jews are all guilty of sin. As the Scriptures say: ‘There is no one who always does what is right, not even one. There is no one who understands. There is no one who looks to God for help. All have turned away. Together, everyone has become useless. There is no one who does anything good; there is not even one.’”
According to the Bible, no one is exempt from this truth. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Are you getting it? We are all natural-born sinners. Case in point: I recently asked my two-year-old son, “Do you have Daddy’s car keys?” His immediate and deliberate answer was, “Nope!” But all the while, I could hear the keys jingling in his pocket! Each of us, regardless of who we are, is guilty of sin. Have you ever told a lie? Cheated? Stolen? Lusted? Been prideful? Then you’re guilty.
Revelation 12:10 identifies Satan as our accuser who accuses us “day and night before our God.” He’s like a prosecuting attorney who relentlessly brings charges against us and constantly seeks to remind God how sinful we are. Although Satan acts as an accuser, thanks be to God, he is not our judge. God is our Judge, and He gets the last word.
Our heavenly Father knows that sometimes our struggles get the best of us. He knows that Satan is waging an ever-constant spiritual battle to draw us away from Him. God knows that because of sin entering the world, we are fallen and subject to an unquenchable desire to sin. He knows that our sin created an enormous divide between Himself and mankind. And so God decided to formulate the greatest plan of redemption in all of creation. He sent Jesus Christ—His Son—to take the penalty for the sins we’ve committed!
Can you imagine going to prison for someone else’s crime? How about facing the death penalty for a friend? I have friends I love, but if I’m being completely honest, it would be extremely difficult for me to serve a prison sentence for something they were guilty of. But that is exactly what Jesus has done for us! The night before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Hours later, He knelt down in the Garden of Gethsemane and as sweat, like drops of blood, poured off his face, He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will but Yours be done.” And because it was God’s will for you to go free, Jesus willingly chose to serve your sentence. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, the guilty charges against you are dropped, and Satan’s case is thrown out! Praise God … you’re not guilty!