Tony Evans - The Verdict of Calvary
Many of us need a verdict for us to relieve us from the guilt of the accusations against us. Many of you know what it is to need a not guilty verdict, to need mercy in the court. To release you because what happens with the verdict affects your destiny. What happens with the verdict in the courtroom is not just for that moment, it's for your future. As we have seen and as we will see, I believe once more next week there is a verdict that Satan has placed against you with cause. But Jesus Christ stands as your defense attorney if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, in order to represent you in the courtroom of heaven. We have tried to explain that you must look at your life on earth as being lived out predicated on the legislation in heaven.
I have shown you throughout the Bible where the Bible renders our lives commensurate with a court scene where there is legislation occurring, that's why the Bible is full of laws, and statutes, and judges, and judgements, and all of the legalese that has been adopted in human existence because it was drawn from heavenly reality. When a football team fumbles the football and the other team recovers, a major shift has occurred. Major shift has occurred because the team that was on offense is now on defense. The team that was on defense is now on offense because there has been a fumbling of the ball. God put Adam in the offensive position to rule the earth, but he fumbled the ball. Satan and the demonic realm picked up the fumble and changed the trajectory of history.
1 John 5:19 says, "The whole world lies in the hands of the evil one". So while God is the Creator of the world, man has handed it over to the demonic realm because man has fumbled the ball, and the reality is, most of us fumble it again, and again, and again, and again, which gives the devil legal rights to your life. He has legislative rights to your life because of our sinfulness. But we still desperately want a verdict on our behalf in spite of what has happened in our spiritual reality of sinfulness. So I want to help you, me, us, get a favorable verdict in the courtroom of heaven so we can be set free in the realities of earth.
In Colossians chapter 1 verse 13, "For he rescued us," referring to believers, "From the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son". There has been a spiritual transfer to another realm. When you accepted Christ, and I trust you all have accepted Christ, when you've accepted Christ, you were transferred to another realm, another kingdom. That's why you hear the word kingdom so much around here, the rule of God. You are now existing while on earth in a new spiritual reality, the kingdom of his dear Son. Kingdom means rule, kingdom means authority, kingdom means you are under the rulership and authority of his dear Son, of Jesus Christ. You'll see why that's important in a moment.
Now, in order for Satan to rule you, since you don't live with him anymore, 'cause you've been transferred out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son, he's gotta get you outta that house 'cause he has no authority in that house. So he's gotta, even though you are a Christian, get you to move out, back to his kingdom of darkness. So he says in verse 8 of chapter 2, "See to it," okay, see to it is strong. "Make sure that no one takes you captive through philosophy, empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ".
He says, stop being duped, tricked, because the reason Satan wants to dupe you, is to remove you from the new kingdom in which you have been placed, so he can control the agenda of your life. He says, "Stop being duped 'cause once Satan dupes you, you're on his turf now, you're playing on his field and he controls the agenda". He says, "See to it that you stop being tricked with deception that has no juice in it, that's empty". And how do you know? Because it's man's thinking that disagrees with Christ. That's what he says, "The tradition of men," and he calls this elementary principles. He says, "Don't be taken captive, don't be tricked by a system that is against God and now it is publicly against God".
And people are being duped day in and day out because they fail to judge things, what he says in verse 8, "According to Christ". Having established that the world's system, the world's thinking, the world's philosophy, the world's education, the world's media, the world's politics, the world's social structure, all of that is to be made subject to this new kingdom, the kingdom of his dear Son, which is controlled and ruled by Jesus Christ. He says, "For in him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form". Did you see that? In him, in Christ. Everything that makes God, God is in Jesus 'cause he's the Son of God, he bears all the attributes of deity.
In fact, back over to chapter 1, and he tells you a little bit more about Jesus. He says in verse 15, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. By him all things were created, both the heavens and in the earth, visible and invisible, thrones, dominion, rulers, authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. He is the head of the body, the church, the beginning, the firstborn of the dead so that he himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all fullness to dwell in him". The reason why you listen to Jesus is 'cause he knows more than everybody else 'cause he made everything.
When the Bible says, "In the beginning God created," and then it says, "And God said," God created but Jesus talked 'cause he's the Word of God. All the fullness of deity, all that makes God, God is resident in Jesus Christ. So he says, Jesus is to have first place in everything. There is no subject, there is no system, there is no circumstance where Jesus is not to be the decision maker. In fact, your first question on every subject should be, what does Jesus think about this? That should be your perspective on every subject matter. According to Hebrews chapter 2 verses 7 and 8, "Everything has been placed under Jesus's feet".
What he is telling you now, is you are to be identified in and with him as your new point of reference for life. Your new point of reference is in him and with him. You are to be connected in every area of life with him. Let me show you something from that before, "Beloved," okay Christians. "Do not believe every spirit". Okay, don't just believe it 'cause it sound good, it feels good, they're talking right, don't believe every spirit, "But test the spirits". So you gotta give the information you getting a test, all right. And see whether they are from God. Okay, did this come from God, did this come from the devil? 'Cause the devil can sometimes sound like God. "By this you know the Spirit of God".
Now he gonna tell you how to test it. "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, this is the spirit of the antichrist of which you have heard that it is coming and now is already in the world. You are from God, little children and have overcome them because greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world. They are from the world therefore, they speak from the", oh oh, oh, oh, that hurt. Oh, oh, oh. "They are from the world so they speak from the world and the world listens to them. We are from God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not from God does not listen to us. By this, we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error".
You don't know it's legit 'cause it sound good. You could be listening and saying, "Amen" to the antichrist. He says, "The way you know it's legit is that it confesses," watch this now, stay with me, "That Jesus has come in the flesh". Watch this now. To believe that Jesus spiritually came is one thing, but to believe in the humanity, in the flesh, of Jesus is another thing. Why? Because to believe that Jesus has also come in the flesh means that he has something to say about my human existence. Because he's not only God up there, he's man down here. Either they are antichrist or a carnal Christian. Because he says, "If you know Christ, you confess Christ and the people you're talking to will accept what you're saying". But if they reject it, it's 'cause they're antichrist.
Notice, notice, he uses the word, "Confess Christ". Confess Christ. See, to confess is to publicly acknowledge. See, publicly acknowledge. If Jesus is not on your lips, if Jesus's perspective is not what you're communicating, if Jesus's worldview is not what you're talking about, you are hanging out with the antichrist. All the fullness dwells in Jesus Christ. So don't you be ashamed to confess Christ. So now we're in court, we're in court beginning in verse 14, we're in court. Verse 14, "Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us". All of this is legal language. The decrees are legal accusations, that's what the word means. It means legal accusations. Satan has legal accusations against you.
You thought this, you did that, you acted this way, you talked like that. He can legally say, he can't take you outta heaven if you're a Christian but he will say "You can't deliver him outta that, you can't help her through that, you can't provide for them in this, you can't do that for them 'cause look at what they did. And you're a perfect God, you can't have fellowship with that. And since I know that you can't have fellowship with that, you can't answer their prayers, you can't give 'em a breakthrough, you can't give 'em peace, you can't provide joy, and sometimes we wonder why the world does not work because of the decrees against us". So the court, the court has heard the decrees, but the first verse says, "Having canceled," "Having canceled the certificate of debt".
Okay, the certificate is an official record, okay. It's been recorded, it's been certified as valid. Let me ask you this, anybody in here have debts you can't pay? Everybody, okay. He says, "There is a debt that sinful men owe a perfect God". But he goes on to say that the debt was canceled. How was it canceled? Which was hostile to us. It was against us 'cause God can't change his standards. He either has to condemn us, compromise his character, or come up with a plan to make us righteous. It says, "Which were hostile," they were against us. God, you can't do that for Evans, you can't do that for John, and Jill, and Butch, and Betty. You can't because your standards won't allow it. And God will never dumb down his standards. He has taken it out of the way having nailed it to the cross. He has taken it out of the way having nailed it to the cross.
In John chapter 19 verse 30, you have the greatest legal transaction in history when Jesus on the cross utters the Greek word, "Tetelestai". The Greek word, "Tetelestai" is translated in your English Bible, "It is finished". "It is finished" meant, paid in full. On the cross, your sins, my sins was paid for by a substitute. It was paid for by the perfect Son of God who provided substitutionary atonement for our sins to pay the penalty that we owe to a holy God who cannot dumb down his standard. It was a price we could not pay so we needed a substitute who had a perfect credit score. On the cross of Christ, "The perfect Son of God who knew no sin," 2 Corinthians 5:21, "Became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him".
It's called the substitutionary atonement where he took what you owed God, picked up the tab himself, but that's only half the story, the other half of the story is, he gave you his credit score, and we become the righteousness of God in him. So the great legal transaction with God is that while you and I had a debt we could not pay, we had somebody with enough credit who said, "Well I'll pick up that tab, and I will pay it for them with my own blood". On the cross of Jesus Christ when Jesus said, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me"?
He endured eternal judgment on your behalf and my behalf and you tell me you're ashamed to confess Jesus? And you tell me you're ashamed to bring Jesus's perspective into the conversation? One day in heaven, you gonna see nailed print hands, you gonna see nailed print feet, you gonna see a scar on his side, and you're gonna praise him that he covered you from the wrath of God. But don't wait till you get to heaven to praise him, praise him now.
Now watch this, watch this I ain't finished. He took them out of the way, okay. He did something else. "When he had disarmed the rulers," verse 15, "And authorities". Oh okay. He paid for your sins in verse 14, but he did something else. "He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them having triumphed over them through him". What he did in forgiving your sins is he rose from the dead, stepped on a cloud, went through the spiritual realm to be seated on the right hand of the Father so that that satanic realm no longer has the last word over your life.
Now picture it. You in courtroom of heaven and Satan is your prosecuting attorney. And he says, "Your Honor, this is what I know, this is what they did, and this is what your judgment ought to be". And you sitting on the stand and the judge says, "Who you think you're talking to? Who you talking to? You can't bring that up in here 'cause you see that defense attorney over there, he's already taken care of what you talking about so what you talking about? You ain't doing that in my court, not against him, him, him, him and her 'cause that's already been covered by the defense attorney. What else you got? Yeah, that's covered too. How long you wanna go through this 'cause all of the debts were covered by my Son, all of them".
So you can trump the devil on every subject that he raises against you as long as he does not get you on his field. Oh, see that's the deal. If he can pull you with philosophy, worldly thinking, secularism, political ideologies, if he can trip you and trap you, and get you feeling some kinda way and thinking some kinda way, then he has now got you on his turf.
Here it is, what God made legal in the death of Christ, you must make literal with your confession of Christ. Let me say that again. The legal has been achieved, the literal must be accessed. God has done it up there, but only your confession of Christ brings it down here. So if you are ashamed of Christ, if philosophy of this world can overrule Christ, then you do not have help in heaven's courtroom 'cause you've joined the prosecution. You've joined their worldview and their perspective. So there's a verdict on your behalf that can be rendered by the cross, and God wants to render it.
In closing, in the Civil War there was a guy named Pratt, true story. And in the Civil War, in the Union Army, you could pay somebody to go to war for you and be your substitute. So Mr. Pratt found a man named Mr. White, and Pratt paid White to go to war for him. Pratt now had a substitute for him in the Union War, in the Civil War, because White agreed to be his substitute. White was killed in the war. The draft board redrafted Pratt 'cause Pratt, you still alive. Pratt took the draft board to court and Pratt said, "You can't draft me 'cause I died in White".
You can't redraft me because my substitute has paid the price so even though I'm still alive, I am also dead because I'm dead in White. And the court ruled that you can't redraft Pratt 'cause Pratt is already dead when his substitute died for him. I think you called something like that in courtroom double jeopardy. You can't try me for the same thing once I've been found innocent, and now that Jesus Christ has declared you innocent, the devil can't do double jeopardy on you. You have been covered by the cross of Jesus Christ just don't buy the philosophy of this world order so that "He who the Son sets free is free at last," and you can hear the verdict of Calvary, "Not guilty. Not guilty".