Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
Last Sunday we examined the justice and mercy of God – two wonderful attributes of God, although to see and experience their true wonder they must be held together.
Justice has to do with treating people fairly by giving them what they deserve, be that good or bad. Mercy is about giving people something better than they deserve. For instance, if a driver gets pulled over by a police officer for speeding and the officer issues that person a ticket for which a fine must be paid, that is just. That is treating the driver in the way they deserve. But if the officer lets the driver off with just a warning, the officer has shown mercy by treating the driver better than they deserve.
God is just, which means He treats us fairly. That is a good thing, except for the fact that we are all sinners. We have all rebelled against God. Justice would require that we are judged for our sin, even eternally. As Rom. 6:23 states, “The wages of sin is death.” Yet through the cross of Christ, God has shown us mercy. We do not get what we deserve, but rather God forgives us.
But that doesn’t mean God ceased being just. That would violate the character of God. Rather Jesus, the sinless Son of God, bore our judgment on the cross. Therefore, we can now experience God’s mercy – the forgiveness of our sin and the gift of eternal life. As II Cor. 5:21 reminds us, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
By God’s mercy we can be accepted fully and eternally by God. He receives us as His children. And the reason we can trust in the mercy of God is that God is just. The price for our sin having been paid in full at the cross of Jesus, it would not be just or fair of God to require anything more.
So, there is no separation, no dichotomy between the justice and mercy of God. They work together in perfect harmony. Justice was carried out at the cross, and now the cross has become a fount of mercy.
Thanks and praise be to our amazing God!
Grace and peace,