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Who Is "Standing-Up" For You?

Who Is “Standing Up” For You?

     In our U. S. Justice system, one who is a “citizen” is granted certain rights. One of these is the right to an attorney (if needed). If you cannot afford one, the state will appoint one.   Many people understand this right, and when a person is accused of a crime, the accusers have to inform the accused of his or her rights. The attorney is the one who knows the law, and stands before the ultimate authority in civil matters for the benefit of the accused.

     In our military, there are also those who “stand-up” for the accused. In the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy, these are the JAG Corps, or the Judge Advocate General Corps. The Marine’s have Marine Corps Judge Advocates. These are in place to ensure that the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), is properly applied for all involved.  

     Now, let’s leave the civil and the advocates and judges of that realm and apply this principle from a Biblical standpoint.    It is certain that all have sinned as is declared in Romans 3:23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;     As such we are all, not only accused, but guilty and have a real need of someone to “stand-up” for us. The one thing that is in perfect agreement between the civil and the spiritual, is that a person must be a citizen to have certain rights.   This is of great importance.

     In Ezekiel 8:17-18 God told His own people, the house of Juda, that they had lost the “right” of prayer because of their continued disobedience to His Law. Because of their great sin against God, even this great prophet could not be the advocate for them. Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

     This was well understood, even in the time leading up to the purchase of and the establishment of the church, as the former blind man of John 9:31 indicates. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. God (the supreme authority) would not hear His own people who lived in sin. No intercessor had been appointed for them (Isaiah 59:16).  Sadly, some citizens of the New Testament kingdom, the church, have lost the right to prayer, and access to our intercessor, due to disobedience, and the refusal to repent.

       As part of the N. T. kingdom, the church, we (who are citizens in good standing) have the benefit of one who “stands-up” for us. Christ became our intercessor after living a sinless life on earth and then paid the price of His own precious blood to purchase the church. Christ then sent the Holy Spirit (as promised) to His apostles in John 14:25-26 who delivered His Law so man could know how to become a Christian, one who becomes a citizen of the kingdom through obedience to the gospel. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. This was His part of the plan of God to save the souls of men and women.   Man’s part in the saving of their soul’s is to fully obey the terms set forth in the gospel to become a citizen in the kingdom, the church, and then remain fully compliant with God’s N.T. Law.

     That gospel was first delivered by the apostles on Pentecost in A.D. 33 and all who complied with that law were made citizens of the kingdom (the church) and granted the rights that all within the kingdom have.   We read in Acts 2:47, just after the delivery of that law, those who had obeyed were “added” to the church by God Himself. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Those that “should be saved” were those who became citizens as they obeyed the gospel. To not obey the gospel, one remains outside of the church and does not have the rights a citizen of the kingdom enjoys.

      In 2John 2:1 we read where John, guided by the Spirit was writing to Christians, those in the kingdom. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: This is one of the “rights” a Christian has; one who stands-up for them before the Father in heaven.   In so doing, according to Romans 8:34 the Lord intercedes for us. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. All of humanity needs this, because as already pointed out, all sin.  

       Doesn’t everyone need one to intercede for them before the highest of all authorities?   The answer to that is “ABSOULUTELY!” Then why do some not have this privilege and right?   It is because they are not citizens in the kingdom, or they are not in “good standing” in the kingdom because of sin.

       What to do in such a situation?   That is simple. God has laid out in His Law, the way in which one can “legally” become a citizen and the means so that this can be accomplished. Won’t you obey the gospel today? If you are a citizen of the kingdom, the church, and have failed to live in accordance to that Law; won’t you repent of sins and regain your rights as a citizen in good stead?   Your eternity depends upon having Christ “stand-up” for you.

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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