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God’s Justice and Mercy for Christians June 3, 2005

Posted by mjtilley in Uncategorized.
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Justice, Mercy and Love have obvious implications for salvation. Indeed, those very characteristics of God are what enable salvation.

However, those aspects also have implications for believers. Those implications can be seen by looking back at Jonah and the Old Testament history of the Israeli nation.Jonah’s attitude represented Israel’s feeling of exemption from God’s Justice. Because they were God’s chosen people, they felt they had special rules – all Mercy and no Justice. However, they strongly believed that the “evil” outsiders, such as Nineveh, deserved destruction for their wickedness while expecting only forgiveness for their own sin.

In thinking that way, Jonah and Israel had forgotten the other half of God’s covenant with them (Genesis 17:7-8). Sure, they were special and were intended to show the world the graciousness and goodness of God. However, those blessings came at the price of showing the world how God should be worshipped. And breaching that part of the contract came with the penalty of God’s Wrath.

That same principle, applied to New Testament believers, is discussed in Romans chapter 2, particularly verses 1-16.

The chapter starts out by saying that every indictment we make on the world is also an indictment on us. Everything that we observe as sin in the world is also done by us or, at least, we are capable of doing it.

While that may seem to indicate that we shouldn’t pass judgment on anyone, verses 2 and 3 remind us that we aren’t excused from judging. In fact, we should note that God’s judgment, as revealed in His Word, is final and indiscriminate (matters not who is to be judged).

At this point in the passage, we should be shaken by the fear of God’s promised and coming judgment. We appear to not be safe in our religious thinking or practices at all. But it’s also the point at which God’s Mercy and Love are revealed. Verse 4 reminds us that God loves us like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, it is His Love that provides the way for escape from the judgment His Justice demands.

Lest we end up where we started – feeling superior to the world in some way because God has provided us an escape from the penalty of sin – the remainder of the passage (verses 5-16) reminds us we’re still subject
to the same rules. We’re not better, only blessed. And the sinner – no matter the sin of which they are guilty – are loved by God no more or less than He loved us and God will provide equal access to a relationship with Him.

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