“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34)

What a way to begin a new year: to be reminded of the wholeness, healing and freedom we have been given in and through Christ Jesus. This is a great truth that ought to carry us through the New Year and throughout our lives. Daily many people, well-intentioned as well as malevolent, will be only too happy to accuse us of wrongdoing, to remind us of our sins and flaws by. Yet we can know with assurance that, since God has acquitted the believer, nothing can change His verdict. No one can condemn. No one can cripple the believer with shame by reminding him or her of sins that have been forgiven. While the believer still sins, he or she can repent and confess the sin, rejoicing in the knowledge that God forgives and throws the sin into the sea of His forgetfulness. The penitent may still have to accept any punishment that may result from sin. Yet, when one is God’s son, his status before the Father remains unchanged. God sees the each believer as He sees His only begotten Son, Jesus: pure and righteous.

God does not condemn His children whom He has justified and declared righteous. His verdict is the only one that matters and it is final no matter what others or even Satan may say. God’s verdict of holiness is written indelibly on our hearts by His Spirit. Therefore, if we feel still shame, if we feel still hopelessly defective, even after we have confessed our sins, we must ask the Lord to help us to appropriate the truth of His unalterable verdict. We must ask the Holy Spirit to make the truth of our security in Christ real to us. Then, as we appropriate the truth of God’s free gift of righteousness, we can move on to carry out God’s will, secure in His eternal love.