“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all his ways are just”
It doesn’t take long for us to see that this world is messed up. Children learn early that life is not fair and throughout history we see the judicial systems fail over and over again. The idea of justice is often only that--an idea without any reality.
This is why it is important to study the justice of God, because in it we see how it is supposed to look since God's justice is without a single flaw.
Justice for the Wicked
For those who do not have faith in Christ’s atoning blood God’s justice can be unsettling or even downright terrifying. Punishment for sin? It can be viewed as arbitrary and mean. But they do not understand the holiness of God or total depravity of man. Justice demands that all sin, all crimes against God and man, be paid. It;'s not that “justice” holds God accountable and forces him to act, but that he is just in himself, and therefore always acts justly. For those who are not reconciled to God, his justice is a cause for great fear.
“In the torments of hell there is something that is good, namely, the execution of divine justice. There is justice to be found in hell...”
Justice for the Redeemed
Jerry Bridges says that God’s justice is inflexible (Hab 1:13), therefore even those who belong to the family of God experience his justice... through a substitute. I may be a child of the most high king but my sins cannot be ignored. This is why the cross is so precious to us. It is where God’s justice against sin, my sin, was poured out in full measure. In this way God remains just and merciful.
God does not exalt His mercy at the expense of His justice. And in order to maintain His justice, all sin without exception must be punished. Contrary to popular opinion, with God there is no such thing as mere forgiveness. There is only justice.
- Jerry Bridges
There will come a day, and I hope it is soon, where Jesus will return and with him will come justice that will do away with all sin and unrighteousness. His goodness will keep him from being too harsh and his holiness will keep him from being too lenient. We will get to see true perfection in action with our own eyes. That will truly be an awesome sight.
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other!"