The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Just and the Justifier"
Part 2 - Doctrine 101
God loves to forgive, to the degree He "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). However, His holiness requires that He remain true to His perfectly righteous being and nature - "the just Lord is in the midst thereof. He will not do iniquity" (Zephaniah 3:5). Our Heavenly Father must therefore bestow mercy in accordance with His justice. His justice also requires that pardon be made available to repentant and trusting hearts.
"Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne; mercy and truth shall go before Thy face" (Psalm 89:14).
This seems to imply an insoluble dilemma for God and for ourselves. He cannot simply forgive as a matter of willingness and inclination. Nor can He leave sinners without hope. Both justice and mercy must be fulfilled in accordance with our Lord's perfect character. Here, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ enters the picture. Only the God who became man and the man who remains God can serve both Heaven and earth by fulfilling the requirements of the Divine and the human. Our Savior literally became sin on the cross of Calvary, making possible the judgment fires of Divine justice to burn against His spirit, soul, and body (II Corinthians 5:21). Subsequently, His resurrection and ascension into Heaven as our intercessor allows God to bestow free and abundant pardon to the spirits, souls, and bodies of sinners. "God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32). Thus, the Apostle John declared that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
This is written today to simply reiterate yesterday's theme. The truth we consider belongs in every believer's "Doctrine 101" file. We cannot intelligently share the Gospel with unbelievers if we do not know and grow in the truth of justice and mercy uniting in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. God can forgive no sin apart from His Son's sacrificial work of atonement. If He ever did, He would violate His moral perfection and could never again be trusted. Nor can God fail to offer forgiveness to those in need thereof. His merciful nature requires a path of pardon to be paved. This He accomplished in the Lord Jesus. We must know, appreciate, and communicate both aspects of God's sublime nature in order to know and worship Him rightly. Thus, we look to the Christ who serves as the perfect and only fulfillment of the Old Testament's promised synthesis of justice and mercy...
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
Weekly Memory Verse
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.