The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Just and the Justifier"
Justice must exist in the universe if it is to have any hope of survival. Mercy must also exist if we are to have hope for our own excape from the administration of justice. Thankfully, our Creator established and maintains creation as a place wherein good is ultimately rewarded, evil is repudiated, and pardon is available to human hearts.
"Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:7).
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy" (Psalm103:8).
Note first that God zealously executes justice. How grateful we should be that this is so! Again, a creation without reward for good and repudiation of evil would spell doom for the domain and its denizens. This constitutes a great problem for the human race, however: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We all rightly deserve God's judgment for our wayward ways. If He fails to execute wrath against even one sinful human being, the universe would ultimately perish. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). Moreover, God's own character and nature rests upon His justly rewarding good and condemning evil. Even more than fallen humanity, a God who compromised His character by failing to judge and preserve His creation would be the most fearful reality imaginable.
How then do we have hope? The Apostle Paul provides the answer:
"Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:25-26).
The "Just One," the Lord Jesus Christ, made it possible for a just God to remain righteous while forgiving and receiving unjust sinners. Our Savior bore our sins on the cross of Calvary, and was even "made to be sin for us" (I Peter 2:24; II Corinthians 5:21). God executed His wrath against His beloved Son, thereby remaining righteous by repudiating and judging sin, and thereby freely justifying all who believe in the Lord Jesus. No description in Scripture more speaks to our God's vital nature of righteousness, as manifested in both necessary justice and sublime mercy: "Just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Indeed, through Christ, creation remains safe because God remains righteous, and sinners can be saved because God justifiably pardons and receives them if they receive His gift. Wondrous!
We either avail ourselves of Christ's bearing of our sins, or we bear them ourselves. This is the good news of God's Gospel, and this is His warning to all. He will "save to the uttermost them come unto God by Christ" (Hebrews 7:25). But He will not and cannot save those who reject the way He has made through His Son's death and resurrection. "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). If our Lord acted otherwise, He would violate Himself and doom His creation. This, He will not do. This, He cannot do. In much joy and much solemn realization, therefore, let us give thanks for the way - the way of His beloved Son - where He maintains His integrity and saves us from His judgment against sin. Yes, Just and the justifier.
"He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
Weekly Memory Verse
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.