“He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.” (Proverbs 18:17)
I am sitting in prison writing to men in prison. Every one of us has had to stand before a judge and listen to someone present a case against us. We all know the first part of this proverb to be true from experience. It basically says, the first person to make their case seems right, until the defense is heard.
If you took a plea bargain, you may never have been allowed to even make a defense. As long as the accuser’s story made sense to the judge, you were in trouble.
Well the bad news is that we have to stand in front of another Judge and face another accuser. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” So once you and I die, we will have to face another Judgment.
Who is this accuser who will make a case against us? Revelation 12:9-10 says:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:9)
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)
The accuser of your soul is none other than the devil himself. And according to our verse from Proverbs, his accusations will seem right. That is, until the defense is heard. The question is: What possible defense can be made to clear us when the accuser has made such a convincing case?
I have found great comfort in Micah 7:9, which says:
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.”
In other words, God Himself will present my defense.
Hebrews 7:25 says:
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
Jesus is continually making a defense for us before the Father; but He is not defending us based on our innocence, or based on our good deeds. He is defending us based on what He has accomplished on the Cross. His defense is that He has purchased our pardon with His own Life’s Blood. That is how He is able to save us “to the uttermost.” No matter how bad it looks, no matter how convincing the accuser’s argument is before the Judge – we can be assured of our salvation, because Jesus has paid for us in full.
Now, notice one more thing in that verse. Those who are being saved to the uttermost are the ones who “come unto God by him.” There is no other way to come to God except by Jesus. There is no other defense that has any chance of saving us. Apart from having Jesus plead our case, we are without hope. We can only expect Jesus to plead our case if we come to God through Him.
What does that mean? What does that look like?
You must first recognize your need for a Savior. You must know that you are guilty, and without hope, apart from Christ. Then you must pray that God will give you the Gift of Repentance and Faith.
When God saves a man, He gives him a new heart, a new nature, one that hates the sin you used to love. That new heart will cause you to turn away from your sins, and place all your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. Once God gives you a new heart, it will be Jesus who has the final word.