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“Guilty as Charged”

Romans 2:12

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

Thoughts for Today:

Paul is saying: It doesn't really matter whether we sin under the law (know for sure something is wrong and do it anyway), or sin apart from the law (know in our hearts what we're doing is wrong, but don't acknowledge an authority over us) -- all will perish regardless.

Fifteen years ago I got a speeding ticket and decided to fight it in court. I spent a long time writing out my argument and justification for why I had broken the law: first, the speed limit was 65 mph and I didn't realize it had dropped to 55 mph; second, it was unfair to not conspicuously post speed limit signs (otherwise I would have slowed down and observed the new speed limit); and third, I was a good and safe driver (as my record would undoubtedly reflect) so therefore I should be given a break.

On the prescribed day I arrived at court early and watched the proceedings for a number of cases scheduled before my own. It seemed everyone had an excuse for why they had broken the law. The judge's decision was the same regardless: "Whether you know the law or don't know the law doesn't matter. You broke the law so you are guilty. Pay the fine. Next." When it was my turn, the speed limit violation was read before the court and I was asked, "How do you plead?" I looked down at my carefully crafted notes, crumpled the paper in my hand, and answered simply, "Guilty as charged."

Questions to Ponder:

Studies tell us the average driver breaks six traffic laws for every ten minutes of driving. If so many of us have a hard time following traffic laws, then what hope do we have of perfectly following God's laws? It's going to happen -- eventually even the most upright person will make a mistake. So when that happens, how will you plead before God? Innocent (hoping He didn't notice), or guilty with excuses? I am grateful I have a Savior, what about you?

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.