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The Justice of God (Part 1)

by Wayne Hobbs

Transcribed from a Words of Life Radio Message.

When people feel that they have been wronged in some way, it is very common for them to ask for justice meaning that they want restitution or possibly even revenge. It is also common for people who have done wrong to want something less than justice in response to their own guilt.

The word “justice” has a meaning similar to righteousness or rightness. It comes from a Greek word and I don’t speak Greek, but the meaning of that word is of being straight or stiff or unbent in any way.

I think about a measuring stick or a straight edge that can be used in drawing or in building. Any curves or irregularities in that would mean that it is not straight. It is not perfect. It is not just in its correctness. The words “just” or “justice” include impartiality, equality and fairness.

Most of us are familiar with the symbols for justice that include some art form of a balance scale where the wrongful deeds are placed on one side of the scale and to match that justice is on the other side. That could be punishment or it could be required restitution for the wrongs that have been rendered on the first side.

So the scale as a result of this has to be balanced or straight or just.

Looking at this from a spiritual viewpoint we know that the wages of sin is death based upon what it says in Romans 6:23. So death balances with our sin. So the wages of sin is death, we deserve death. If we were to stop this program right here and stop this lesson right here we would be all depressed about being lost in our sin without hope.  But today I am going to be able to look at and share with you how God provided a solution so that we who are unrighteous and we who are unjust before him can be declared right and just in his sight.  And, of course, you already know this is only through Jesus Christ.

Let’s begin by looking at the just attributes of God who sets standards for holiness. God’s standard for justice is himself and his own perfection and no other. God does not simply appear just, but he is just both inside and out in his understanding and in his actions.  The very nature of God himself is justice and the very nature of God is just.

According to Psalms 89:14 righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. His foundation is straight and level. Picture that. The straight, perfect level foundation of justice is who God is.

How many times have you seen unlevel construction and the effects of throwing the entire building off because the foundation isn’t straight? It isn’t level. It isn’t where it is supposed to be. A good foundation is one that is unchanging.  How much more important is it that our God is unwavering and he is perfect in everything and maintains that justice and perfection in all that he is and in all that he does.

We know that the entire universe is moving and all of those parts that are moving—and I am talking about the earth, the sun and the moon and all the other planets—are under the controls of God through the physics that God has developed and God knows.

God perfect understands physics. He understands science and God controls gravity and the laws of motion.  And if all of this were to change even for a short time, the entire solar system would be in chaos. But God is consistent. God is perfect and God is just and he keeps these things moving just as he intended for them to move.

The book of Deuteronomy, chapter 32 verse 34 says that God’s works are perfect and his ways are just.  In the New Testament remember when Jesus was praying in John chapter 17? In speaking to God he says God’s Word is truth. He said, “Father, your Word is truth.” And we know that God is just. He is true and he is right in all that he does. And we know that the perfect Jesus came to earth at the perfect time to uphold the righteousness and justice of God.
The only standard bearer for justice is God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  The only standard bearer ever on earth is Jesus Christ.  He is the only perfect sinless offering for the sinfulness of mankind. And we are going to talk about that today.
The perfect righteous standard of God cannot be maintained by man. We know that this is true. According to David in Psalm 19:7 he says that the law of the Lord is perfect. That means that the law of God is just and the law of God is right. So the law that was given to Moses is a perfect and right law. There is no mistake in it. There is no error in it. It is right. It is just according to what God expected man to do.

Paul in Romans seven brings up the interesting question about God’s law in chapter seven verse 12.  He talks about the commandments of God and he says this.  So then the law is holy. The commandment is holy, righteous and good. The laws of God are holy and righteous and good and perfect.

When unrighteousness of man faces the righteous standards of God, man on his own is guilty. He is the loser. He is the one who is wrong. There are some easy to find examples of this in the Old Testament. First we have to go all the way back to Adam and Eve.  We know that they sinned. We know that they broke that simple, one single rule that they were given regarding eating the fruit from the tree. When that happened their relationship with God was broken and their fellowship with God ceased because of that severing of that relationship and because of their injustice.  The sinfulness of man was monumental in the time of the flood resulting in the death of everyone except for Noah and his family who received God’s favor and received God’s blessing because of God’s righteousness, not because of theirs, but God looked at them. He found favor in God’s sight and, as a result of this, God saved them.  And when man in his pride tried to make a name for himself without God in constructing a very special city and tower, God reacted by separating sinful men and placing them all over the earth with different languages and different geography, by putting them different places.

We remember this as the tower of Babel where they were babbling with their languages to each other because of God’s righteousness and God’s standards that man could not meet.

As you can see, man has no history of living by God’s standards.  Man has a sinful nature and all of us have sinned.

I remember when I was a little kid sitting in class and I remember seeing the old time Puritan horn book. There is a picture of that in the history book. And it said this. “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.” So that nature of sin came to us by Adam. And, as a result of this we have this sin in the world.

I know a Bible teacher who talks about the theology of weasels. Yeah, I said weasels. Adult weasels kill chickens and farmers often killed weasels in order to keep them from killing chickens and when they discovered a den of baby weasels they always got rid of those baby weasels. They killed them or they got rid of them in some way.

Now those weasels hadn’t killed any chickens yet, but because they would grow up and kill chickens because that was the nature a weasel, they got rid of them. The same way with man. We have a sinful nature and God knows this.  Even at our birth we have a sinful nature.

Now I am not saying that infants are responsible for their sin. That is not true at all.  So we have that nature within us because of Adam. The sinful nature that we have is from Adam.

In Ecclesiastes chapter seven verse 20 there is this verse.

“There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”

None of us do what is right. None of us never sin. Getting kind of depressing again, but we won’t be that way when we finish today.

As you can see, with our own unrighteousness and God’s judgment, if we get what we deserve, we would always have to face the consequences of sin.

There are some examples that I would like to share with you from today’s world.

If we are driving down the road and we are actually driving too fast, we deserve a citation or a ticket. Even if we don’t get pulled over, we deserve that ticket because we broke the law and certainly we don’t want that ticket and we don’t want to pay that price, whatever it would be and we don’t want the embarrassment of being pulled over. But, in fact, we are guilty of an infraction of the law.  That is an injustice in our part.

Another example, I once knew a man who went to a store and he purchased a large roast. And this was back before computers priced everything and this really large beef roast was priced incorrectly. There was an error. And the man previously had had some conflicts with the store and he thought, I will get out of here with this cheap roast and that will be a payback and I will get even.

He did get out of the store with it at the cheap price and when his wife cooked the roast she used a pressure cooker. While she was cooking it and the pressure cooker valve release, that little pressure relief valve released and the ensuing mess in the kitchen cost that man’s home a wall papering job. So it really cost him a lot more than the cheap roast that he got to start with.

Later the man admitted that he deserved the justice that was rendered and his vengeance in that effort was wrong.

Part 2 in the December edition of  Work and Work

-Wayne Hobbs is a retired educator who lives in Sellersburg, IN

 

 

 




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33