Edward O’HaraWed 1/8/2020 6:02 PM
In Passover messages, I read I saw God’s justice referred to like this. “God is good and because God is good—he must punish sinners for their guilt. This is demanded by the justice of God” This is an actual quote from one of them. Well, all I have to say about that is that they did not get that from the Bible. But, from man. And if you have believed that God’s justice is you getting what you deserve as punishment for what you have done as these have, then this message is for you.
Did you know that God has a very different view from this of what justice is? Let me show you what God says about His kind of justice. He says, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, He will show judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.”Mt.12:18-21 and Isaiah42:1-3.
In Judges2 we see God giving His definition of what justice is. He says speaking of Israel because of her idolatry,
“Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.
And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.”
Can you see here that even though they went after other gods, and God showed His wrath toward them by giving them over to their enemies, they were not forsaken? But, to the contrary God who is rich in mercy raised up judges for them when they would cry out to Him for deliverance from their enemies. And to what end? Not to punish them even more. But, to deliver them from those who spoiled them. This then is the work of a judge God sets up. To dispense the justice of God. This same deliverance is the reason why the Gentiles trust in Jesus. If justice was getting what we deserve why wouldn’t Gentiles continue in fear of their own false gods? Because they already received such treatment from them. But, because Paul says the Gentiles see the goodness of God that leads to repentance(Rom.2:4) they are drawn to repentance from serving their false gods to serve the true God.
It’s a very legalistic understanding of God’s covenants and His dealings with men that encourages such wrong interpretations that are inconsistent with what the scripture plainly says. This understanding starts for them with the very first verse in the Bible and goes all the way through to the end. The Biblical concept of justice, and the negative connotation the church has interpreted it to mean because they teach it from an unrenewed mind, is just one example of this.
Jesus is a judge. And so were those men like Samson that God set up over Israel. It is these that are tasked with judging. Their function was, and Jesus’ is, to meet out God’s justice by delivering all men who will trust in Him from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from wrath to peace. John tells us that Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved(delivered) through Him.
In Judges2:18 and Psalm57:7 the scriptures explain for us that the duty of a judge is to DELIVER God’s people from their enemies. So Biblical justice is deliverance. And because Paul says that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, he makes it clear that this ultimate deliverance is not from other people like us. But, is deliverance from the enemy of all mankind. Death and satan. And since Jesus is the final, once for all time judge for mankind. He has executed this deliverance(justice) once for all time through His death and resurrection so He might deliver them from their enemy death who oppresses them(Heb.2:14-18). By conquering man’s death by the resurrection. To eternal life for all who place their trust in Him.
When the scripture says God is a just God it is saying he is a God who delivers/does justice. But, what those who think God’s justice is Him giving us what we deserve are referring to when they speak of God’s justice, is the wrath/condemnation of God. Not His justice. Jesus spoke of God’s wrath like this;
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” Rom.1:18
These are examples of wrath and not justice because justice is deliverance from death. While these are examples of the wrath of God, which is the no side of God’s love expressed against idolatry. So God’s wrath is expressed here in His not forcing His gift on man. Because when a man chooses his own free will to worship false gods He allows man to go with that false god. And in choosing to worship a god that has already been condemned (John16:10), they subject themselves to the wrath God executed upon the false god they chose.
This is why God told Israel, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” And why Joshua told them, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And why Paul told us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”
So will you believe as these wrote we need to? And receive the justice of God for your deliverance from death to life?
If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life. John17:3. So if you do not know Him please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. In doing this, and really mean it, you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you trusted in idols that end with death reigning for all eternity, and now trust in Jesus who Himself is eternally the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE
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