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The Court of Common Pleas

The mission of the Court of Common Pleas is to provide a neutral forum for the people and institutions of a county or state. This court seeks to resolve everyday problems, disputes, and more complex legal matters in a fair and unbiased manner. Last week I was introduced to this process, serving as a parent in support of my son.

For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense, Romans 1:18-20.

Three decades ago, I found myself in a similar place, sitting in a courtroom in Ohio following a head on collusion that I was in during college. Prior to my case, there were three DUI’s, driving under the influence. Since my accident took place in an Amish county, all three men were operating a horse and buggy. While this experience was not what I expected, I pleaded no contest, paid my fine and moved on with the rest of my life.

For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations],” Romans 10:10-11.

The apostle Paul indirectly refers to a spiritual Court of Common Pleas. In a letter to the church at Rome, Paul makes an argument that no one is without excuse. What Paul is saying is that every human being possesses the same flaw, born with a sinful nature. This inclination is at war with God’s Spirit sent as a counselor to guide you toward the narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14. Yet, before death, there is only one plea that is acceptable to God, Romans 10:9-10. Like the criminal on the cross who was helpless to save himself, those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Whatever state this blog finds your life in, make sure your spiritual plea is consistent with the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

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