Right now our pastor is leading us through a sermon series entitled, “Not All Roads Lead to Heaven: Sharing an Exclusive Jesus in an Inclusive World.” In a society that places such a high value on God’s love, grace and inclusiveness; the word justice often has harsh connotations. I too rejected the fullness of the Bible’s Good News for a season because I didn’t like and couldn’t wrap my mind around why a loving God would make such an issue of pointing out my depravity and imperfections, nor did I want to take full responsibility that my choices had consequences. Basically, I continually disregarded God’s Word and the commands given in the Bible and yet still expected to experience His blessings of peace, joy and fulfillment in my life.
The meaning and value of justice became much more clear to me after the terrible experience of divorce–an experience filled with much anger and grief. After realizing that the law, regardless of one’s heart, has the power to break, divide and destroy; I understood how crushing God’s statement is in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” God in His authority as Creator of the universe and of me, is fully justified to say that I have made choices that demand compensation of the costliest kind—punishment, destruction, death and the removal of God’s presence (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
Really though, the Good News of the Gospel of Christ is truly only “good” once one realizes that God would be entirely fair to leave us in a state of brokenness, hopelessness and condemnation. Without knowledge of justice, there would be no understanding of grace—God giving us what we don’t deserve.
Our society wants everyone to be able to claim the rights of God’s children. We want everyone to be able to know the Maker of the heavens and earth (Mark 10:24-27). We want everyone to be called completely good and accepted (Colossians 1:21-23). Yet God is very clear on the exclusivity of these rights: it is God’s gracious gift through faith in Jesus Christ alone that secures these amazing privileges in the life of every believer for eternity. And He so longs to give us these priceless gifts!
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
And though we may not be able to fully comprehend how God can extend both an impartial sentence (for those who reject His Son) and grace (freely through faith in Christ), we can trust what He says about Himself in His Word.
“As for the Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are just. He is a reliable God who is never unjust, he is fair and upright.” Deuteronomy 32:4
Unlike the justice of this world, God, in His great love for us, provided a gracious alternative solution for all who would receive it.
“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18a
About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.