What happens when God is on our side? Do you believe He is on your side? Do you think He is for you or against you? When bad things happen, do you think He is against you and is only for you when good things happen to you?
This was an issue the believers in Rome were struggling with. In Romans 8:31 (TPT), Paul asks, "If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us?" It's really one of those no-brainer questions because Paul has just told them in Romans 8:28 that God is working out everything for their good.
God Is Our Judge
If we read further, we'll see this passage is akin to a courtroom scene. "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Rom. 8:33-34, NIV).
God is our judge, and if the judge in the courtroom is on our side, it really doesn't matter who is against us. Jesus is also there as our defense attorney. There is no one who can condemn us when God is on our side, even though we are guilty of crimes against God, which is really what happens when we disobey Him or sin against Him.
I know what this feels like in this life. There was a time when I was guilty of damaging another person's vehicle and had to go to court because of it. The judge, who didn't even know me, was on my side because my dad was my mediator.
I was 16 with a brand new driver's license and my first car, an older 1962 Ford Falcon with a manual three speed and no air conditioning. I was headed to school at about 6:30 a.m. With the bright sun reflecting off of a car parked way to close to the four-way intersection, I hit it without even seeing it.
Scared and shaking, I pulled around in front of it, so no one would hit me in the intersection. No one came barreling out of the house, so I wrote down my insurance information and phone number and knocked on the door. I woke up a sleepy college student. When I told him I hit the car, he peered out the door with not-quite-awake-yet eyes and said, "Looks OK to me." That's because the damage was on the street side, not on the side he could see.
My car had a huge dent on the front passenger side, but maybe he just couldn't or didn't think to see that. I gave him my information and went to pick up my cousin for school. This was before cell phones, so I called my dad from my aunt's house. He told me to go on to school.
It was at the end of first hour when I was called to the office and there stood a policeman. He led me out to his car to ask about the accident and why I didn't stay. I told him the owner of the car didn't want me to call the police.
The policeman gave me a ticket which included a court date. In effect, I was arrested; I just didn't have to go to jail yet. However, I had no idea what would happen if the judge declared me guilty because I knew I was. I hit the car. No doubt about it.
What would happen? Would I lose my license? Would I have to pay a huge fine? Would they put me in jail? Would I have a record? The more I thought about it the more worried I got.
My Day In Court
When court day came, my dad had taken off work, a rare thing for him, and was there with me. I remember watching the judge sentence others. Some did get taken away in handcuffs, even though it was traffic court.
Dad sat with his arm around me mainly to keep me from shaking. I was sure I would faint when I had to stand up in front of the roomful of fellow criminals and look up at the judge on that big bench.
The judge had been quickly moving people through the system, until my turn. Then the he appeared to stop and ponder the information in front of him. He called my name and asked me to come out into the hall. I'm so glad Dad was with me. I couldn't have gone by myself. I could barely walk.
In the hall, the judge immediately became just another man. "Is she a good driver?" he asked my dad.
"She is a really good driver," Dad said. "The sun was in her eyes that morning, and she couldn't see the car. But she did the right thing by going up to the door and giving the owner all her information."
The judge turned to me and said, "Your dad's a good man. If you promise to listen to him and do what he says, I am going to dismiss these charges. Because the cars were moved and the policeman wasn't able to document the accident, this ticket should never have been written. Like your dad said, you did all the right things."
That was it. I was free to go. No handcuffs. No jail. I still had my driver's license. I wasn't going to have a police record. Dad intervened on my behalf. He acted as Jesus for me that day.
What happens when the judge is on our side even if you are guilty? He declares you not guilty. He does not condemn you. It is as if you had never done anything wrong.
You get the picture. This is exactly the same thing that God, our judge, does for us. Like my dad, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. He stands up for us if we are His.
The question Paul asked in Romans 8:31 is really a no-brainer. If God is for us then who can ever be against us? The matter is settled if the judge is on our side. The answer is no one.
Jesus Paid Our Penalty
The verdict has already been cast thousands of years ago when Jesus willingly went to the cross, died and was raised again. Of course we are guilty of sin, but Jesus paid the price for our sins. So the matter is settled.
When God is on our side, He protects us. He stands with us. He knows what we have done, but He wipes our slates clean as if the guilt was never there. It is cast into the deepest sea never to be seen again. We can choose to live for Him because He is for us.
"I love You, Lord. You are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my savior. My God is my rock in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me and my place of safety" (Ps. 18:1-2, NLT).
When God is on our side, our destiny is secure.
For more on this topic, check out this episode of Sweet Grace for Your Journey on Charisma Podcast Network, God Is For Us.
This article first appeared on teresashieldsparker.com.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.
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