Monthly Archives: April 2015

MayNewsletter2015

Drexel Heights Church
Newsletter
May 2015

~pastor’s pen

I have known both men and women who have been incarcerated for crimes they have committed. They were guilty, as they admitted to their guilt. Caught by authorities and arrested for taking advantage of others’ generosity, goodness, and kindness. They knew what they had done and most were sorry for getting caught, not necessarily for the folly of their offense. Each of the men and women are called to a human jail and a human courtroom where they will be issued penalties for their crime(s). Often, I’m still reminded that I’m no better than my criminal acquaintances. According to the Bible, apart from Christ, I’m a criminal. I knew a couple of individuals who have had their files sealed. That means that it would take a court order to open and read/see the history of their crimes. Most criminals want to be justified and would hope that someone could take their place, to declare themselves innocent. I have been told more than once, “I wish all my crimes would be erased!” Imagine the main actor in the film “Dead Man Walking”, who we see as a bad criminal/sinner that is about to die for the consequences of the heinous evil that he has done, being declared innocent of his crimes! The image of a judge in the courtroom helps us to visualize this concept. Your Bible and mine speaks loud and clear of the justification of a Christ Follower. The Christ follower is being justified and this speaks to us that we are justified immediately! Dr. Gerry Williams is the Director of the John Owen Center at London Theological seminary and a visiting professor of Historical at Westminster Theological Seminary, said: “Before we come to the day of judgment and the courtroom where Christ sits as judge, our justification has been accomplished.” How do I get right with God? Remember the scripture in Romans 8:1? “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” No condemnation for those who are in Jesus? God is the only one who can justify, Romans 8:33-34 reveals. You and I have read about people who have turned from God and wanted nothing to do with Him or His people. They have committed evil. Believe it or not, they have been acquitted. That is every criminal’s dream! They have been declared innocent in the court of the Holy God, even before they get to the throne. Only God can do that! This is what it means to be justified by faith. Do you know the God who justifies? Do you trust in Him alone? Is your faith in Him? Dr. Gerry Williams further states, “Faith therefore is like a bridge, a bridge which my sin crosses to Christ and across which His righteousness comes to me.” The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, said, “We are united to Christ in His life, death, and resurrection, and clothed in Him, we become what He is- the son of God and through Him we become sons of God in Him. Faith unites us to Christ so that all that He is becomes ours, and all that we are becomes His. Reformers call it, “The Great Exchange.” Christ the judge can declare guilty sinners righteous. Only God can do that, as we touch lives and build meaningful relationships, to the Glory of God.
Dan Gutierrez,
pastor-teacher
2802 West Mossman Road Tucson , AZ 85746
www.dhbctucson.org