Governments exist to establish justice. This involves two important and related tasks: creating just laws and executing those laws justly. In every healthy system of law, this means that the government punishes the lawbreakers and allows the innocent to flourish. Paul explains that this is why Christians are supposed to submit to government authority: “Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad” (Romans 13:3).
This Christian understanding of law underscores the importance of Conviction Review Units (CRUs), which have begun catching on throughout the country. These are specially designed legal bodies that function under the authority of district attorneys. The CRUs review dubious convictions and look for discrepancies or errors. The Economist reports that in 2018 alone, CRUs exonerated 58 wrongly convicted persons in the US.
Because of the Fall, we know that every man-made justice system will be imperfect and liable to error. But CRUs are an important step in ensuring that no innocent person languishes in prison from crimes he or she did not commit. We fulfill God’s purpose for government when the truly guilty are punished and the truly innocent remain free.
God, we ask that you would give the men and women who serve our country as police officers, attorneys, judges, and mayors wisdom as they seek to protect us from criminals while also keeping the innocent free. May they judge with integrity and have the endurance to continue to do their difficult and largely thankless task. May we all continue to do everything possible to work towards a just governing system that fulfills its God-given purpose.
About First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “Choosing the Extraordinary Life,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.