A courtroom can be a scary place. As an addict who repeatedly made destructive choices, I know what it feels like to stand before a judge with my fate hanging in the balance. I experienced so much anxiety, fear, and worry there.
I cycled in and out of jail for years, seeing no need for God. In my mind, I was God. I worked hard trying to control everything and everyone. I judged harshly, and I loved conditionally. You do for me, and I’ll do for you. You love me, and I’ll love you. That’s how I lived.
We’re all born with a sin nature that can lead to pride and rebellion. Some people, like me, cling to this sinful nature, deliberately opposing God and any form of authority. Still, it’s a costly choice to become God’s enemy. The penalty for sin is death—eternal separation from Him (Romans 6:23).
But death doesn’t have to be our fate. It is true that we are born into sin and have a sinful nature. It’s also true that no matter how hard we try, we can’t change that fact. Only faith in Jesus Christ can change our destiny.
Jesus gives us hope. Romans 4:25 says Jesus was “handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God” (NLT).
Romans 5:10 teaches us that while we were His enemy, God reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son. God, in His love, kindness, and compassion, made a way out from the death sentence of sin. Jesus willingly gave His life by taking our place on the cross and canceling our sin debt forever—past, present, and future.
I like to imagine it this way: You and I are standing in a heavenly court with God as our judge. We are guilty. We’re facing the death penalty. But right before God declares our fate, Jesus walks in and says to the judge, “Let them go. I died in their place.”
The heavenly gavel falls with a thunderous sound as God accepts the sentence and finalizes the ruling. “You are free to go,” He says. “Jesus has taken your place and wiped your record clean. You are hereby declared innocent of all charges from this day forward.”
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. This is exactly what Jesus did for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). All you have to do to receive His gift and escape sin’s death penalty is believe and accept that Jesus paid the price for your sins and made you clean (Romans 10:9).
Did you know that when Jesus died, He gave you a new identity? You are not the same person anymore. As a new person, you’re given a clean past. You are not what or who you used to be. God doesn’t see that person anymore (Psalm 32:1–2). Your past sin is no longer an issue to Him.
Along with giving you a clean slate, Jesus removes sin’s power over you. Because of Him, you are free from the bondage and slavery that were part of your past. Sin has no hold on you anymore. God’s Spirit lives inside you to give you victory over all those past habits and vices. (See Romans 6–8.)
Understanding these truths is vital to living a transformed life. Satan will still remind you of your faults, flaws, and failures. He will point out your weaknesses and tell you how unworthy you are of Jesus’s payment for your sin. But guess what. You don’t have to listen! Don’t trade God’s truth and love for Satan’s lies (Romans 1:25).
You were made right with God when you placed your trust in Jesus (Romans 3:22). He did that for you, and nothing you do will change that truth. Receive His gift of forgiveness today. Tell Him, with deep appreciation, “Thank You, Lord!”
And then go live a life that shows your gratitude unto Him.
SHERIDAN CORREA is a biblical counselor who is trained in trauma-informed care. She’s a wife, mother of two teenage boys, singer, and avid runner who has been radically changed by Jesus. She joined the Victorious Living family in 2022 as the digital content manager.