1 Corinthians 6:11
The word of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus for sinners, is alive. It is active. I want you to consider it in terms of a scene from old westerns. One that’s common is at the Hangman’s gallows where there are some convicts waiting on the gallows to pay for their unlawful actions. They’re often given opportunity to say a few last words before they die.
The idea is that the one about to die might have some passing words to leave behind maybe with loved ones. But what if someone from the crowd gathered there at the gallows. What if that person spoke up and shouted out. “I’ve got some last words! I will take their place in the gallows and they will take my place free.”
What a strange thing that might be. What if the hangman agreed to it? He saw that justice was still going to be paid and meted out so he agrees and he removes the noose from the convicts neck and places it instead around the willing substitute and then announces, announces to the convict “you are free to go.”
The Gospel of Jesus for sinners speaks like this. Saint Paul writes:
You were justified in the name of Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
You are justified. The Gospel is active in justifying you and me. It is active in justifying sinners speaking us out of our own gallows, our rightful deaths because of our sins, and declaring us innocent and free on account of our willing substitute: Jesus, God’s own Son our Savior. Declaring us, like that convict, free to go because of the work of one in our place. The Gospel is alive and active justifying you. Believe it for Jesus sake, amen.