New Life Sunday – Court…

A few days ago we had court for our foster child who is the brother of our adopted son Isaiah.
 
Court is not fun!
 
It seems to dredge up painful memories and provide for painfully awkward situations.
 
Like…being  crammed in a waiting room in very close proximity to the birth parents. The parents who have lost custody of their kids for failing to provide a safe environment for children. They…are holding our foster child, tending to his needs (if that’s what you call it) and usually speaking loudly enough to the baby so that we can hear them…AWKWARD!!!
 
The waiting room is packed with a sea of humanity…somewhat reminiscent of the last time you stood in line at Worlds of Fun in 100+ degree heat, with people you have never met spending way too much time in your personal space, dripping sweat and talking about things that would make you blush if it wasn’t so hot already.
 
Back to the waiting room at court…there is a moment when someone steps out of the courtroom and calls the next case…everyone stops to listen for their name…and if it is a typical day, this happens many times before our hearing is called into session.
 
Once inside the courtroom, the environment changes dramatically…especially once the judge enters. Out of respect, everyone is asked to “rise.” The case is read, attorneys talk, witnesses answer questions and a verdict is given.
 
Court provides a clear parallel to our topic for this Sunday in our series about the core values for New Life. We will study from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and our core value this week is: “Gospel Transformation–Recognition of my separation from God, acceptance of God’s grace and willingness to share.”
 
Our personal experience with the Gospel begins with a verdict from God’s courtroom. Even though we have failed God miserably, and deserve His justice for our sin…God has acted independent of us by providing His only Son Jesus as a sacrifice to fulfill the just requirements of His perfect law.
 
In a nutshell, we are guilty, Jesus has provided a covering for our sin, God as our Perfectly Just Judge willingly accepts the sacrifice made by Jesus on our behalf when we ask for it by faith with a humble, repentant heart.
 
In the language of the courtroom, God takes the evidence into account along with the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins and then pronounces us JUSTIFIED.
 
Not because of anything we have accomplished, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
 
The beauty is that the greater our awareness of our status before Christ, the greater our appreciation for His sacrifice.
 
God’s court still may not be fun, but it is a lifesaver…and this Sunday we are going to talk in detail about this New Life core value of “Gospel Transformation.”
 
Because HE lives!
Troy

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