April 17: “Declare Me Innocent, God!”

6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Leviticus 21
Psalms 26-27
Ecclesiastes 4
1 Timothy 6

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Vindicate me, LORD, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Test me, LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind. For your faithful love guides me, and I live by your truth.”
Psalm 26:1-3 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The words of Psalm 26:1 are powerful. When the Psalmist says, “Vindicate me,” he’s saying, “God, declare me innocent!”

For the Christian, that points to two activities in our life. Theologians call them justification and sanctification.

Justification is a one-time event that happens the moment you are saved. You are forgiven and declared to have the righteous of Jesus. Positionally, you are not simply innocent – you are fully righteous before God.

Sanctification is a life-long event that begins the moment you are saved and isn’t completed until you arrive in Heaven. It isn’t a positional righteousness. It is practical righteousness that you attain as you kill sin in your life and cultivate holiness.

Justification is what God does. Sanctification is what you do in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

So, let’s go back to Psalm 26:1-3. Is the Psalmist talking about justification or sanctification?

Psalm 26:1-3 (CSB): “Vindicate me, LORD, because I have lived with integrity and have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Test me, LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind. For your faithful love guides me, and I live by your truth.”

The Psalmist is clearly talking about sanctification. While he would not be so presumptuous as to believe that he had arrived at perfection, he felt that he had made major strides in his pursuit of holiness.

But, I also believe that the Psalmist had such a wonderful relationship with his Lord that I believe this is essentially what he was saying:

“Lord, at the Judge of all Creation, declare me innocent of wrongdoing even though there plenty of other folks who do nothing but condemn me. I have given every ounce of my energy to live a life of integrity and to trust in You fully. So, test me, Lord, and see if there is anything sinful in me that I don’t know about. Examine my heart and mind. Even if you come up with something, I trust in Your love that will point out that error and graciously, lovingly work with me to eradicate that sin. I live by and love Your truth so help me to abide by it.”

Friend, are you taking santification seriously? Are you content that you are saved or do you also have a desire to pursue holiness because you are saved?

Hebrews 12:14 (CSB): “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.”

Did you notice that? Pursue peace AND holiness! How serious is it that we pursue holiness? Well, you won’t see Jesus if you don’t.

Justification saves us and equips us for Heaven. But, santification shows that we have truly been justified.

So there … that’s your theology lesson for today.

* * * * * * * * * *

Jesus, thank You so much that You have justified me. When I placed my trust in You, You forgave me and declared me to be fully righteous. But I’m not content to rest on a past decision. I want to demonstrate that I’ve truly been saved by chasing after the One who saved me. Because You died for me, I want to live for You. In so doing, I pray that I will eventually get to a place where I can call upon You to examine me, to find that I’m much more like You than when I first believed. Amen.

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Photo by Aj Alao on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

2 thoughts on “April 17: “Declare Me Innocent, God!”

  1. I have been reading Leviticus in your Musings. I don’t understand the purpose of God’s instructions for the sacrifices & the clothing they were required to wear except maybe it was for their discipline. If that is the reason then why aren’t they being followed today? Were these considered minor commandments? We strive to obey Christ’s instructions in Mark 12:30 which I understand encompasses all the 10 Commandments. Thanks for your Musings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul, the Old Testament laws can essential be divided into three categories: moral, levitical, dietary. The dietary laws aren’t binding to us now (see passages like Acts 10:9-16). The levitical law is not binding now because it was essentially to set the Israelites apart from everyone else. The moral law still applies … but it’s work is essentially to drive us to the cross (see passages like Romans 7; Galatians 3:24-25)

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