This morning as I was getting ready for work I was listening to Third Day on my iPod. The song “Innocent” came on and it made me feel very blessed to know that Jesus has saved me.
It seemed like I had run out of second chances
And they sentenced me to die
And I was just like a dead man walking
I was running out of time
But you came to me and opened my eyes
You gave me a brand new life
I am innocent and I have been set free
I no longer have chains around my feet
And no matter where I go or what they say
I am innocent
I can still remember what it feels like to be in spiritual chains, to feel like there was no hope. I once was “just like a dead man walking” as I lived in the darkness of depression without the saving grace of Christ in my life.
But now I have been set free. No matter what comes my way, I am innocent in the eyes of God. I have chosen to accept the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and so when God looks my way, He sees the Righteousness — the innocence — of Christ instead of my guilt. This thought just makes me smile.
The Apostle Paul is one who was guilty of persecuting Christians before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. But after that encounter, he became zealous for Christ and understood that it was Christ only who makes us righteous. He wrote to the church at Corinth:
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5.
He knew that he would receive his praise from God because of his faith in Christ, and because of that faith alone. Even though he lived an upright life and his conscience was clear, he knew this was not what made him innocent in the eyes of God. It was because of the brand new life he had found in Jesus that he was set free.