W. Austin Gardner
God sees us as holy, unblamble, and unreprovable!
In the sight of a God, that is, who sees everything, misses nothing, and remembers it all. What a miracle of grace!
Let us picture a scene. Yonder in heaven sits an omniscient God, and here we are on earth, sinners saved by grace. Satan appears in heaven, as he did from time to time in the days of Job. He comes in the same character as “the accuser of [the] brethren” (Rev. 12:10). His purpose in coming to God is to discredit us before all heaven. Moreover, he does not come to tell lies about us. He is too clever to do a thing like that. He knows perfectly well that no lie would live for an instant in the presence of He who is the truth. Besides, he does not need to tell lies about us. All he needs to do, sad to say, is tell the truth about us.
He approaches the throne and says, “Look at that man. Look at his filthiness. You know as well as I do the kind of thoughts he entertains in his mind, the kind of pictures his imagination paints. Why, only the other day he was in a hotel room alone. He turned on the television. A dirty movie caught his eye—one of my cleverest little pieces of smutty sex. Did he turn it off? No. He persuaded himself he needed to watch it to see how far the movie channel would go in portraying pornography, to see, if you please, just exactly what people are watching these days. It was pretty raw stuff. Now he can’t get it out of his mind.”
God answers, “All I can see is the precious blood of Christ. So far as I can see, he is holy. That sin is under the blood.”
Satan tries again. “Then look at his faults,” he says. “He’s full of them. He is totally inconsistent. He is full of flaws and blemishes. He is always stumbling and falling. Now he’s in Doubting Castle under the thumb of good old Giant Despair. Now he’s in the Slough of Despond. Next he goes in mortal terror of my friend Apollyon. And all the time he says that he trusts You!”
God says, “I see no faults. Sure, he fell into the Slough of Despond, but he scrambled out on the side farthest from the City of Destruction, the side closest to the narrow gate and Calvary’s hill. I see no flaws. He is ‘in Christ.’ He is unblamable, wholly without blemish. When I look at him, I see Jesus, and that’s good enough for Me. One of these days, he will indeed be like Jesus for he will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). Meanwhile, I see Christ when I see him. He is unblamable. He doesn’t have his resurrection body yet.”
Satan, ever persistent, tries again. “Look at the facts,” he says. “Why, I could recount to you a thousand instances where this person has broken Your laws, grieved Your Spirit, acted in the flesh, made a worldly decision, or erred from the truth. Where shall I begin? Shall I begin with that nasty little quarrel he had with his wife—all because she had moved his cufflinks?”
God says, “There are no such facts. This man is unreprovable. Here, look in the books. See, his name has been blotted out of the book of the lost. It has been written instead in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The kind of ‘facts’ you mention have all been blotted out. I have chosen to remember them no more (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; 10:17). I control all of the factors of time, matter, and space. The moment that sinner became a saved sinner, I willed his sins—past, present, and future—out of existence. He is unreprovable from where I sit in Glory. ‘Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?’ (Rom. 8:33). Calvary covers it all. That man has been justified. That is the all-important fact. You have no case.”
Such is the redeeming, justifying, reconciling grace of God. That is the meaning of our reconciliation! God sees us as holy, unblamble, and unreprovable! If that’s how God sees us, surely that is how we ought to see each other.
John Phillips, Exploring Colossians & Philemon: An Expository Commentary, The John Phillips Commentary Series (Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp., 2009), Col 1:22.