Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The American legal system has a very important principle that just about everyone has heard before, “you are innocent until proven guilty.” It is called the presumption of innocence. The reason this is so important is it protects the individual from unjust convictions or punishment. In John 3 Jesus takes another approach, “guilty, until you receive my innocence.”

That’s right, every single person ever born stands guilty before an almighty God. This is due to what we call the sin nature. Everything in this world has a nature, purpose. A giraffe does what is according to its nature, a lion eats a zebra because it is it’s nature to do so, and a light bulb provides light in dark spaces because…well I think you get where I am going with this. So when Christ says that we, “stand already condemned,” He is affirming that the nature of humanity is one that is in opposition to God.

Unfortunately there will be no talking your way out of this verdict, but fortunately you don’t have to. Jesus also states that whoever believes that He is the Son of God and comes into the light will be saved from the guilty verdict. Many people struggle with this concept because we believe it to be unfair or unjust. How can my sins, which compared to many others, are rather insignificant, really warrant eternal judgment.

So like the people of Jesus day we accept His teachings of morality and love but throw away his guilty verdict which was proclaimed over all of humanity. This is a problem. God is neither Love or Fury, he is actually both. In a perfect and righteous union without sin or selfishness. That concept alone is difficult for us to comprehend because we have no examples, except Christ, on which to base that kind of nature. The nature of the Almighty.

See you this Sunday as we study the second half John 3.

Peace,
Nathan Bentley

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