It was a dangerous business, speaking one’s truth in Paul’s time. Speaking truth that upset the status quo could result in arrest, imprisonment, even death. Paul knew that, even in this reality, human beings and their judgments didn’t have the last word. Only God had the authority to condemn; instead God chose to love.
I saw a commercial on the TV the other day for a new TLC show called, “I Am Jazz,” about a teenage girl that identifies as transgender. During the 30 second clip Jazz’s parents were listening to a voicemail message from a stranger. It said, “There’s no such thing as transgender… That girl’s gonna wind up dead.”
Just. No. – Tears. Sadness. Disappointment. Disgust. Have we grown so little in 2000 years? Must we still live in a world where one’s truth can result in a death sentence? Who are we to condemn? Whether we agree with Jazz’s truth or not, we have no business becoming executioners. None. Only God has the authority to condemn; instead God chooses to love. Can we?
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.