but I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to corinth. [2 cor 1:23]
every day we make vows.
every day we swear our innocence.
when was the last time, just between you and God, you called God to testify on your behalf for your innocence?
paul, is continuing his defense against the false teachers and apostles. and now, he is calling God to his defense. he is asking God to take the stand on his behalf. what a request. what a humble and yet bold ask.
in a moment of manipulation of hoping to quiet our opponents, we might have sworn, “as God is my witness,” i am innocent! but rarely if ever in the quiet of our own soul, do we say, “God will you speak to my innocence.” we don’t do that very often because we know in our own soul how sinful we are. we don’t feel very innocent. we don’t believe we are innocent.
today, i want you to bring God to the stand and ask him this question, “God am i innocent?”
ask him right now … go ahead. please, ask him. then read his response below. these are his words, his faithful and holy words spoken about your innocence – if you are in Christ Jesus. if you have trusted your soul to the redeeming work of Jesus, hear his words spoken in your defense. this is your identity in Christ!
there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [rom 8:1]
do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? … for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. [1 cor 3:16-17]
for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [2 cor 5:21]
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. [eph 1:4]
in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, [eph 1:7]
and you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [col 2:13-14]
by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [heb 10:10]
why does this matter – your innocence? well, your heart knows. it wrestles with guilt and shame every day. your heart hides you from God and others ultimately because your heart does not feel innocent. and because of this, you carry guilt and shame that is not yours to carry. it has been carried, by Jesus, paid in full, and no longer can way you down … if you believe your identity in Christ is innocent. it matters! o friend, it matters!
LORD, help me believe today your words spoken over me because of Christ’s work for me. in Christ i am innocent. yes, i still sin. and yes, you are making me more and more into your image so my desires will become your desires. but, my record, my standing is and will forever be – innocent! thanks be to Jesus Christ, who alone makes me innocent!
~ john ryan