Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Wednesday, July 13

Court case outcome lessons

Aall this provides good fodder for sermons on the myths we hold about God and sin

  • Myth 1 Christians are exempt from the troubles of the world

  • Myth 2 So long as you mean well ....

  • Myth 3 I am a good person/I have only sinned a bit, so God will forgive me for the little things I do wrong ....

  • Myth 4 I do a lot of charity work which will balance out my sins ...

  • Myth 5 God won't hold you to account for breaking laws you didn't know about (you know, when people say 'what about those who have not heard the gospel?')

The truth is: in British law you are not judged for the good you do 99.99% of the time. It is the little things you do wrong that get you in court. I can tell the magistrate that yesterday I helped an old lady cross the road and put a tenner in the colection for Africa, but the magistrate will say 'I don't care - you were still driving carelesly on the day of then incident'. I can say (I did say) I didn't know about that law. The magistrate did not say 'Oh, thta's OK then, go away and don't do it again'. I was still found guilty, despite my ignorance of the law.

[I am talking about the verdict here - good character IS taken into account for sentancing]

This is British justice, which is generally held to be one of the best legal systems in the world.

Why do we think that God will have a lesser standard of justice than our own, bending the rules to suit us?

The Bible says 'without the law there is no transgression'. God wrote the law, not to trip us up, but to make it clear to us where we were going wrong. But now that the law has been written - "he who breaks one part of the law has become a law breaker'.

So we are stuffed. we have all broken one part or another of God's laws, through ignorance or through eliberate rebellion. And for that little sin, that 0.0001% of our allegedly saintly lives - the bible says 'The wages of sin is death'. Not the wages of a lot of sin is death! Just any sin is enough.

None of us have a leg to stand on.

Which all seems like a very negative message.

But this is only half the story.

The other half is about the love of God. he takes no pleasure in condemning us. He sticks to the rules and apllies justice - death for sin - but he does not enjoy it. (note that our 'little' sin has had consequences on other people who demand justice from God)

Therefore, God himslef came down to earth in the form of Jesus. He became man. He lived the perfect life satisfying every detail of the law. 100%. So he had no death of his own to die. Then he received on our behalf the wages of our sin - death. He took us into himself, so that we died with him. So that we came back to life with him.

The just requirements of the law have now been fulfilled - we died in Christ.

We are justified - in right standing in the eyes of the law.

No more death.

Instead - life with God.

A new life with new gifts and skills to live a life in harmony with our fellow humans and with God and with our envirnoment. A fresh start.


Come and join in!

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