The Justice of God

Q: What is God?

A: God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “justice?” I would imagine that many who hear that word think about the highest law court in our land: the Supreme Court of the United States. The members of this court are called “justices.” Maybe when you hear this word “justice” you think of the trials that go on at the courthouse. It is there that “justice” is supposed to be served according to the law of the land. Most of the time, the word “justice” moves our minds to courtrooms, lawyers, law, and judges. And when we think of God’s justice, our minds should be moved towards the same types things.

God is the judge. The psalms are replete with the language of God as the cosmic judge of all the earth (Psalm 9:8; 50:6; 75:7; 82:8; 94:2). Whether it be nations (Psalm 110:6), rulers (Psalm 2), all people (Psalm 98:9), or even His own household (1 Peter 4:17), God will bring all into His courtroom for judgment.

By what standard will He judge the earth? As in human courts, God judges according to the law: His law. Those who know God’s law in Scripture will be judged by the law, but even if someone is ignorant of God’s law as presented in Holy Scripture, He has written His law on that person’s heart (Romans 2:12-16). No man will escape God’s judgment according to God’s law.

As we stand before God and He judges us by His law, no piece of evidence will go unchecked. God, who knows our thoughts, our words, and our deeds, will have everything He needs to make a just verdict. God will see all of our sins (our greed, our lust, our anger, our pride, our ingratitude, our idolatry), and in justice He will say, “Guilty.” If we are to stand before God and have our deeds judged according to His exacting justice, we will be condemned. Even the smallest sin before the just Judge will be liable to the punishment of eternal wrath in Hell. “No one is righteous” the Apostle Paul says, “No, not one” (Romans 3:10). “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquity, O Lord, who would stand” (Psalm 130:3)? The answer is, that no one would stand in God’s courtroom when He judges us according to His law. He is a judge with exacting and perfect justice; condemnation is what we deserve.

Yet, because of the Father’s love and mercy, He provides for His people a lawyer, or, as John calls Him, “an Advocate with the Father.” This defense attorney is none other than God’s own Son, “Jesus Christ, the righteous one” (1 John 2:1). He enters the courtroom of God’s justice to defend us. Yet, He does not plead for us based on our innocence. He pleads for us based upon His sacrifice for us: “He is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). Christ took our guilt, our sin, our shame, our iniquity upon Himself on the Cross so that the justice of God for sinners could be satisfied. As Jesus shed His blood for us, being crushed under the Father’s displeasure, He served our sentence for us. And because God’s justice was meted out on His Son for believers, it would now be unjust for God to condemn anyone who trusts in Christ for salvation. There is no double jeopardy in God’s court. There is absolutely now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). And now our exacting and just God, because of His mercy and grace manifested in Jesus, stands as both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

God is just, my friends. We must not forget that. Either His justice will be executed upon us because of our sins, or it was executed upon Christ who bore our sins on the Cross. Believe in Christ, and find the mercy and grace of the just Judge.

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Kyle Brent

Pastor at New Albany Presbyterian Church
Kyle is a Mississippi native raised in the small village of Beauregard. He graduated with a B. A. in Philosophy from Mississippi State University and went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson. He can almost always be found with his head in a book and a pot of tea close by. He and his wife, Katie, cherish every moment in New Albany, and look forward to many years of serving God and His people here.
Kyle Brent
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