Tuesday February 1, 2005
Reconciling God's Love With His Justice
The Bible tells us that God loved us before the foundation of the world. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross demonstrated unreserved divine love for us. As the Father takes care of us each and every day, His Spirit continuously whispers, "God loves you." Yet while lavishing love upon us, God does not in any way compromise His justice.
As holy and righteous, God will not accept sin. In fact, Scripture declares that sinners will be judged and God's wrath will be poured out. But at just the right moment, God implemented His amazing divine plan to carry out judgment of sinners while simultaneously expressing unconditional love. Our sovereign, omnipotent God decided to let someone else - His beloved Son Jesus Christ - stand in our place and receive the penalty we deserved for our sin. God sacrificed the Son He loved for the people He loved. He poured out upon Jesus the full strength of His wrath against the world's sins so that the invitation to become part of His family could be extended to all. (1 Thessalonians 5:9) What a demonstration of both perfect justice and unconditional love.
For believers, justice can also take the form of divine discipline which is motivated by love. Delivered as correction rather than punishment, it has the purpose of moving us back into the center of His will - God uses justice to prevent us or others from experiencing future suffering. We may not like the form the discipline takes, but God's motivation remains the same: love. (Hebrews 12:5-6)
God's character does not change, and it is one of love and justice!
For resources related to this topic and many more, visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. www.intouch.org/exploring
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