Genesis 18:16-25; Romans 3:20-26
When we consider the concept of justice we are discussing the aspect of fairness, rightness, or the element of conformity to truth, fact, or adequate reason. One key element in having a scriptural understanding of God lies at the very heart of redemption from sin. Unless and until one understands what it really means to recognize the justice of God, it will be difficult to understand the aspect of Biblical redemption from sin, i.e., Salvation that is found in Christ.
In consideration of the justice of God, such is essentially connected to that of God's holiness. By the term holiness we refer to the fact that God is absolutely separate and exalted above all His creatures, and that He is equally separate from all moral evil and sin. In consideration of the holiness of God we shall see demonstrated from His word that He upholds His divine standard as well as judges individuals impartially in accordance to their response to it (Romans 2:1-11).
In noting the context of Romans 2:11, we discover that the Jew condemned the Gentile because of the sinfully reprobate life style in which they lived. Such judgment on the part of the Jew was correct. However, such was hypocritical in that they (the Jews) were guilty of practicing the same sinful lifestyles.
In noting further Romans 2 we find that the Jew despised the riches of God's goodness as well as His forbearance and longsuffering; not realizing that God had been very patient and longsuffering with them. In reality while indeed God is a holy God hating the sins of humanity, He is also longsuffering in His essence, having a strong desire to see sinners repent and return to Him; accepting the overtures of His mercy and obeying the conditions of forgiveness.
The reality of God's holiness rests upon His very essence or attributes. God is holy because it is His essence to be that way. It is impossible for God to act in an unholy way. If He so acted He would not be God. The totality of the Mosaic law was a divine revelation from God that demonstrate that because God in His nature could not sin, He would not and could not tolerate sin in any responsible being (Romans 7:7-25). Were God to compromise His attribute of holiness and tolerate sin in any way, He would not only destroy His own essence of Holiness , He would also be untrue to Himself and compromise the attribute of Justice in His own essence or nature. In other words, God would cease being just and would therefore cease to be God. However, it is impossible for God to cease to be God. Therefore it is impossible for God to cease being holy and impossible for God to cease being just. Such underscores the reality of the fact that God is unchangeable and never acts contrary or in contradiction to His own attributes.
The impartiality of God's divine justice. Whether in the relative or absolute context, the essence of God's justice is always the same. This means that He always applies the standard or covenant to which individuals are amenable impartially, in accord with their own righteousness or wickedness. In making this application He must act as Judge. He will judge in fairness, holiness and righteousness at the final Judgment (Psalm 9:8; 96:13; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12).
Because many individuals are not without impartiality they are not just or equitable in their actions or relationship with humanity. This is even the case with some within the Lord's church. The question has often been raised as to whether or not God will change His mind and make exceptions for certain individuals at the Judgment that did not make adequate preparation to be with Him in eternity. We must remember that we are not authorized to speak on God's behalf separate and apart from His divine revelation. As we give careful consideration to the word of God, He has already spoken regarding this specific subject matter (Matthew 25:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Peter 2:20-22). This issue does not deal with the concept exceptions. The concept deals with the exceptions that God has already clearly affirmed in His plenary and verbally inspired word. We do not have the right to deny Salvation to any that God has indicated that He will save in eternity and neither do we have the right to extend a false hope to those to whom God has promised eternal condemnation in Hell. Such justice belongs exclusively to God.
The scope of God's divine justice. All of can be assured that God will act justly, fairly, and equitably in relationship to both Eternal Condemnation as well as Eternal Salvation at the bar of divine Judgment for all of accountable humanity. We should never concern ourselves as to whether God through His Son will act correctly at the Judgment. Because of His holiness, righteousness, and justice, He cannot make a mistake, or draw a wrong conclusion regarding our eternal destiny. Consider these important facts:
God leaves the ultimate choice as to whether one will be eternally lost or eternally saved to us: Such is our own personal choice (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 2:9; Revelation 22:17).
It is our own personal responsibility to search for truth as well as to accept and obey God's divine truth during the time of our lives on earth (Matthew 7:7; John 5:39; Hebrews 5:8-9).
Of all of the attributes of God His attribute of Divine Justice is most crucial. Because God is just He, in His mercy and grace has provided for us the scheme of Redemption that we, within this life, can as accountable individuals, be redeemed from our sins and by faithful living have Heaven as our eternal home.
Such is contingent upon the sacrifice of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-23).
By Kent Bailey
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