The Sinner’s Relief and Liberty in Jesus Christ
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down” ~ Revelation 12:10
All men have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Our sins awaken conscience: small sins, past sins, hidden sins. Sinners spend their lives trying to live down their sins, make up for their sins, or forget them. But, conscience haunts. Conscience can be offended, lose convictions once firmly held, become hardened, and even seared or calloused by perpetual sinning (1 Tim. 4:2), but conscience cannot be eradicated. A guilty conscience enslaves men to the fear of death (Heb. 2:14). All sinners know a reckoning approaches (Rom. 1:32).
Revelation 12:10 is the sinner’s relief. Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer of God’s elect because he is the only one who has cast down the accuser of God’s elect, the “brethren.” Not that the filthy, pretentious dragon was ever allowed to stand in the presence of the holy, holy, holy God or that men are accountable to the devil. But he constantly hurled accusations against God’s people in God’s face and did all he could to harass and overcome them.
Jesus Christ defeated Satan’s tyrannous regime over sinners. He did so at the cross: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be judged.” (John 12:29-31). His victory was declared at his ascension: “And having spoiled principalities, and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them” (Col. 3:15). Jesus Christ is the enthroned King of kings; Satan false reign of lies is ended. This is the present historical reality. “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ have come” (Rev. 12:10).
What shall we do with such a great salvation! First, we must live free. “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free” (Gal. 5:1). He has freed us from guilt by his precious blood. Our Father has given us his Son, and nothing more insults him than to doubt his goodness and grace. Do we doubt? Look to the Lamb of God lifted up, heaven’s gracious ransom provided, God’s worthy Son made flesh, the Lord of glory crucified for sinners. The Father will be trusted and loved as the generous, merciful, and forgiving God. No longer are we are to think of ourselves as filthy, enslaved sinners but washed, free saints and adopted children. This is God’s glorious work. It has nothing to do with our works but Christ’s. In him, there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). God has justified us in his Son; Jesus Christ is raised and interceding for us (Rom. 8:33-34). God has freed us! Rejoice! Believe! Worship!
Now that God’s kingdom has come, we must live as citizens of God’s kingdom. His kingdom is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). His kingdom is sealed to us and grows in us because of the work of the Holy Spirit. We are now children of light. Do we desire this dark world to be enlightened? We must have no fellowship with the “unfruitful deeds of darkness” (Eph. 5:8). Christ has come. He is the light of the world, and his light scatters the darkness. God’s kingdom of light and power will prevail over the city of man, Satan’s kingdom of darkness, even the present secular statism. We, Christ’s freedmen and freedwomen, must show the world the reality of his liberating power by walking the path of obedience to his word – in love and in joy.
We can be and do these things because the power of Christ has come. He dwells with us by his Spirit. Never is the loneliest, most persecuted, and most impoverished saint alone, without hope, resources, and strength. But we must live in dependence upon Jesus Christ. We must learn to trust his grace and power by committing all we do to him by prayer and living in his fellowship through the word. Have you lost patience with a stubborn child? Hope in your marriage? For the future? We must commit ourselves to the power of Jesus Christ. We live in his reign. “Your people will be willing in the day of your power” (Ps. 110:3). The personal power of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to secure and help us through every fiery trial. Commit yourself to him. Bring all your troubles to him. We will always find his grace strong enough, if we will live in his fellowship.
Thus, believers in Jesus Christ possess invincible hope, even joy. We are to give everyone who asks a reason for this hope (1 Pet. 3:15). Why do we have hope in this present darkness? It is not our darkness. There is light in Goshen when Egypt is dark by God’s plagues. We must be more in the fellowship of Christ our light and sit less at the feverish fire of the world’s dark forebodings. Of course there is no hope in the city of man – only a fool’s hope. The dark dwellers look for a way forward without coming to the Light. There is no way forward. A prisoner can bang his head against his cell door, but it will not open. Only Jesus Christ has the key. When you hear Christ’s enemies plotting prosperity, remember this. They are hopeless. Their joys are the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” Our joy is Christ himself, the One who has overcome, the One who sits enthroned, being worshipped by adoring armies of angels and the rejoicing saints already in heaven. This joy rains down on us as we set our affections upon the glories of Jesus Christ, not vain imaginations but the solid promises and living Savior who intercedes for us from the right hand of the majesty in the heavens.
But do not think that his kingdom and power means an easy road, quick victory over temptation, a convenient faith. The way of his kingdom is the way of the cross. This is very different from being happy and prosperous all the time, always feeling good, having everything we want. This is bad for us. It will keep Jesus Christ far away from us, for we will not feel our need of him as we should.