The Fear and Comfort of Justice

May 17, 2012

Churchsalt original

For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God!  The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.   Deuteronomy 32:3-4

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.   Proverbs 17:15

As the two passages above clearly state, the Lord is a Just God.  Justice is one of His unchanging attributes, and quite likely the one that is least discussed.  Why is that?  I speculate that it is because when people began to ponder the justice of God, they start to become afraid.  And they should!  Think of justice and how it relates to God’s law.  You, dear reader, have broken God’s law more times than either one of us can count (so have I by the way).  We have lied, lusted, stolen, cheated, worshiped ourselves instead of the Holy God and much, much more.  When it is time to stand before the great throne of judgment, what do you expect to happen?  To simply say, “God will forgive me because God is love” is naive and foolish!  God is just, and will not pardon those who have broken His law.  God is indeed love, but He is also just, and He will not compromise any of His attributes. What this means is that the justice of God is one of His most fearsome attributes, and we as guilty law-breakers would do well to be alarmed!

But please do not abandon all hope!  There is a way that a just God can forgive guilty men.  When Jesus Christ was tortured, murdered and forsaken by God on the Cross, He was paying for the crimes of His people!  Through His death, punishment was handed down by the court (so justice was maintained) and so also was forgiveness made available to the ones who are guilty (you and I).  This shedding of blood by Christ as He paid for our crimes is called the atonement, and it is the marvelous way that our loving Lord can rescue His people while remaining just.  The punishment was paid, but it was paid by Him!

And now the thought of justice, which rightly filled us with terror, should be a comfort to us.  When we lay our heads on our pillows tonight the justice of God should be one of the thoughts that cause deep and peaceful rest.  Why?  Because our sin has been atoned!  Our crimes have been paid in full!  Will a just judge punish a criminal twice for the same crimes?  Of course not!  We are in right standing with our Lord and His justice is now a friend to all the redeemed.

I find it sad that the justice of God is avoided in modern preaching.  It is one of the primary attributes we must explain while witnessing to the lost because most folks out there have just simply never heard of it nor given it any thought.  If you have not yet repented of your sins (recognized they are crimes and made the decision to turn from indulging in them further) and put all your hope of salvation in Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross, then the thought of Holy justice should fill you with dread.  I hope it robs you of your sleep and drives you to the foot of the Cross.  But if you are one of His children, rest well knowing His Holy justice has been satisfied, and you are in right-standing with the Heavenly Court.  Sweet dreams!

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