Transcribed from a Words of Life radio message.

Even with man’s unrighteousness and nature to sin, God used men way back in the Old Testament days and even today to guide and help others. And God does provide some justice. God provides some guidance for people who help us in learning about justice. And it is clear that God gave some leaders in Israel the power to render justice as he does today with some church officers.

Two men quickly come to mind and I am sure you will remember both of them. Remember when Moses and the children of Israel were out of Egypt and Moses’ father-in-law Jethro came to see them And in Exodus 13:18 we find that Moses was serving as a judge and every time somebody had a dispute or a concern, Moses was judging this and he was rendering justice.

You might also remember that Jethro reminded Moses that he was working too hard and he probably ought to just take the more difficult cases for himself and let others share some of that justice.

Solomon was a man of wisdom from God and he made righteous judgments as well. And, of course, the one that we remember so much is when two women disputed over the baby that they both claimed to be theirs and we know how Solomon solved this by saying, “Cut the baby in half.” And, of course, the real mother had no part of this and justice was rendered.

Today in our churches our elders are trusting God and looking to God in order to make right decisions and right judgments. So Moses and Solomon and the elders of today are depending on God to render that justice, but the justice of God is a special opportunity that is offered for sinful man in order for us to appear perfect in the sight of God and sinless before him.

Let me say that again. The justice of God is a special opportunity that is offered to sinful men in order for us to appear perfect and straight and sinless before God. The blessings from God are found only through Jesus Christ.

This comes only through Jesus. So we have to consider two very important five syllable words, big words.

In Romans chapter five verse one it speaks of being justified through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So that process is called justification. To be justified is to be made just because of what Jesus did with the expectation to truly believe in Jesus and to follow the ways of Jesus in faith and in our lives.

So we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus can only make this possible for us to be justified through Jesus. When we are justified, God fixes it just as if we hadn’t sinned and that is the way I think about that word, just as if, justified, through Jesus and not through ourselves.

Not by law of obedience, but by faith. For none is justified by the law according to Romans chapter three verse 20. And it says this very plainly.

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law. Rather, through the law, we become conscious of sin.”

We are taught what sin is. We understand what sin is because of what God did by giving the law and helping us understand it. But we are not justified by it.

God did not step away from that perfect law, but he satisfied that perfect law through Jesus Christ. Jesus died in our place so that the law is satisfied and Jesus took that price.

This brings us to the second of those two five syllable words. That word is propitiation. The offering of Jesus on the cross for us is the satisfying of God’s wrath against sin.

God is amazing. He could have just declared each one of us to be unforgiven. He could have just declared us all to be unrighteous and that ended it. But he didn’t. The perfect Jesus carrying our sins in the cross, on his own body willingly hung there to appease the divine wrath of God and take away our sins.

This is powerful love. This is amazing love. This is so unthinkable except by the justice of God and the blessings that we have through him. God remains just and he allows us to be justified because of what Jesus did as that great propitiation for our sins.

Many people will change the rules when it comes to their family or their loved ones by not maintaining the perfect standard or make exceptions for their family. But that is not true of God. God didn’t make an exception. He is just and in his justice, he let Jesus carry that price for us.

Little kids will often ask why. You have been through that with younger children in your household. They ask why about everything. When something happens they say, “Why?” Sometimes they really want to know why and sometimes they are just talking. But in each case, why did this happen? The Bible gives the answers so we don’t have to wonder about it. It is simply the love of God.

And John 3:16, and you are familiar with this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

So why did God do that? Love. It is hard to comprehend that much love. It is hard to comprehend that God made us, we sinned and he still loved us and he loved us so much that his Son would die for us.

God loves justice and he loves us and so with Jesus being the propitiation for our sins, we receive justification. God’s just standard remains in tact because of what he did and because of who God is. Remember, the justice standard is God himself.

One of the definitions of justify is to give good reason for. And sometimes we try to give good reasons for what we do. As we stand before God, the blood of Jesus Christ takes away our sins and justifies us and gives us good reason for the forgiven state that we are in. The good reason for our forgiveness is the blood of Jesus Christ.

This process is free. But it isn’t cheap. It cost more than anything else that has ever been spent on record, the life of the Son of God.

In Isaiah 42 it says this.

“Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight. I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.”

Now Isaiah wrote that, but he is talking about Jesus, that servant, Jesus the servant, the justifier. But we have to put our trust in Jesus. We have to believe in Jesus Christ.

Remember how we said that justice relates to straightness and to be just is to be straight in the sight of God.

In Proverbs it says this and you are familiar with this probably.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

The first step is to believe in Jesus Christ and come to him with repentance. Next we must act in faith, confessing Jesus Christ, confessing your own sinful conditions and the need for Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. And the fact that we believe in Jesus Christ and that conviction that we have and this is followed by water baptism.

So we find that Jesus makes our path straight because we trust in him. What a blessing that is.

If you are already a Christian and you have wandered away, it may be that you need to come back to him and allow Jesus to straighten up your life and to serve him more closely. If you are not a Christian, please make that important step today to accept the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God provides these opportunities because of his justice.

-Wayne Hobbs lives in Sellersburg, IN. He is a retired educator and worships with the  Sellersburg Church of Christ.