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Saturday, November 29, 2014

God Is the Only Truly Just Person

I believe that most people long for justice. It is part of our creation. We were made in the image of God. God desires justice. He will bring it about some day. We want justice too. The problem is that we mix the desire for justice with the worldly definition of justice and get something that doesn't resemble justice at all.

Therefore, we don't know how to measure justice because we don't know what is right and wrong. We say that a man who hits his wife should never be allowed to work in his profession again and pardon the murderer. Justice is just when the punishment equals the crime. That is why the Bible told us an eye for an eye. It wasn't about gouging out eyes. It was about having the punishment limited to the level of the crime.

Many people think that this sort of justice is a requirement. A life for a life for example means that everyone who takes a life should pay for it with his own life.  A strict adherence to that rule means that God is not just. He did not require Cain's life after he killed Abel. He did not require David's life after he had Uriah killed. In other words, a life for a life definition of justice means that God is unjust since He didn't follow the definition of justice.

It appears that justice cannot be defined by the maximum penalty. Justice must take in more factors than the crime alone.Maybe we should be seeking the minimum penalty to bring about real justice.That's where mercy comes in.

Mercy is having the ability to do something painful but choosing not to do so. It is looking deeper into the individual and determining what really should be done to correct the flaw. It is believing that the guilty can be redeemed. Our justice system has abandoned this idea.

District Attorneys are charged to convict people who have committed crimes. Juries and judges determine who is guilty. The responsibility for punishment resides with judges.No judge has the time to do any measure of research to adequately decide who is redeemable and what it would take to redeem them. Thus, some get probation who should go to jail and some go to jail who should get probation. This is the inherent problem in our justice system. Humanity cannot really be just because we aren't capable.

However, that is not true with God. He knows exactly what we need. He knows exactly what it takes to redeem us. We fell short of His glory and were worthy of death. Jesus paid the price for our sins. We identify with Jesus in order to be "crucified with Christ." God knows us thoroughly. He knows what it takes for us to identify with Christ. He knows that some will never do so.

My system of justice thinks that an eternity in hell is much too harsh a penalty for sin. It would be if that was all there was to it. Hell is for those who refuse to come to God even though He is beckoning them. They have snubbed their noses at God. Jesus paid much too high a price for people to ignore Him.

I have had people ask me, "What about the people who have never heard about Jesus?" The answer is: I don't really know. I know that God is just. I know that I am charged to tell people about God's love, urge them to identify with Jesus and warn them of the consequences. Yet, I don't know about those who have never heard and could not have heard about Jesus. So, I say again, "God is just."

The real question, though, is what are you going to do since you know about Jesus? Remember, God is just. You know that you need to trust in Jesus and you refuse. Thus, you are without excuse. God's mercy has been upon you until now. You have been allowed to hear the gospel and believe in it if you choose. Making that commitment determines your redemption.

I know a man who told me he is just going to take his chances that God will not condemn him for refusing to identify with Jesus. That makes no sense to me. God is just. He never promised He would take every life that took a life. He did say that all who trust in Jesus have eternal life. This isn't taking a chance. This is committing eternal suicide. It is a more permanent decision than any other that we can make. We are judged by what we have done while in our bodies. No chance remains after we have ejected.

God is the only truly just person. He knows exactly what justice is.

Romans 6:23 (ESV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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