With the passing of Dr. R.C. Sproul, I have been listening to a fair amount of his podcast sermons. One thing that Dr. Sproul spoke about so eloquently about is devoid of most of these sermons: the justice of God. I know—as Christians—we are being pushed hard by our rebel relativistic culture to be conformed to the moral flavor of today. “Love wins! God is what you make him! You are God! God is love!” But you must ask, who defines this view of God and love? Come to terms with this question and stare right in the face of the nasty monster of relativism and say, “No more!”
Most people who call themselves Christians can’t even begin to sift through these shallow, subjective statements—in love and respect—in order to show these people, who make these statements, that to include the words “Love” and “God”, they have to be grounded in an absolute unchanging creator in order for them to be logically constant. In order for anyone to understand love, they must first come to terms with evil. Hence, in order for someone to call anything evil, they must inherently assume (or presuppose) that good is out there in order to condemn evil acts. This justice is the ultimate, unchanging good ever known to every created being. I am not going to elaborate anymore on good and evil. But I wanted to give it as a reference point to show that we all intuitively demand justice when wronged. I am going to show where this justice comes from. We will discover nothing new, but instead simply uncover a timeless truth found from powerful and ancient pages of Holy Scripture.
Justice and the holiness of God is something that R.C Sproul spent years writing and defending. This is something that my pastor has faithfully given us in his preaching over the last eleven years. We are going to look at different scriptures that will describe the worth, work, and will of God’s justice.
The Worth of God’s justice
“Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 90:2
Before anything was given life and God formed this amazing ball of dirt; God was. One thing that shows His worth is His eternal nature. God has always been and will never cease to be. We are living in a temporal shell, which is all we have ever known—from the time we took our first breathe until we take our last. We wake up and go to bed, and then there is another day to meet us. However, God is not bound by time because He is eternal. So, the worth of what He calls justice has eternal implications that will affect all who transgress against His justice. This great, eternal God is the only one worthy to call something just or unjust.
I am not saying that we can’t say this is right or that is wrong. But, I am saying that the eternal God is where we must start in order for justice to have any true worth at all. Without this eternal God, all you have is a subjective personal preference, which amounts to nothing when trying to make sense of absolute truth we all live by.
“I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God. “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:11–13
Notice this text shows another dimension of the worth of God’s justice is that there is no other savior but God. He declares what happens, and it does. He determined for Israel to be saved from bondage in Egypt, and it happened. He determined to save His elect by the cross, and it happened. As we stare at His justice on the pages of the Holy Bible in dealing with Pharaoh, dealing with Israel, and dealing with you and me, it should bring us humbly to see the worth of His justice.
The worth of His justice keeps us safe, secure, and satisfied with who he is. It keeps us safe because there is no other god that is truly just. It keeps us secure because no other person in the history of existence has truly been like our great God. We find satisfaction in God because He is where justice flows from—like cool water from a mountain stream.
The Work of God’s Justice
And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the Lord is his treasure. Isaiah 33:6
The work of God’s justice comes to us by the common grace He gives to all those who dwell on His earth. I know there are people living in war-torn countries who have lost everything. However, when they come to him, He gives them the stability to rest in letting Him handle the retribution that will come for all the injustice that has happened to them. On the day of judgment, the work of His completed justice gives the stability that cannot be taken away by the next leader who comes to power and perverts justice.
The work of God’s justice is the very thing that demands a sacrifice for sins. Why does a just God bring salvation (deliverance) to Israel time and time again, even after they proved to be faithless to God? One reason: because He chose them as a people to show the world the work of His faithful justice and the ultimate picture of salvation that was coming out of Israel. Jesus! The ultimate work of justice and the ultimate work of salvation was found on the stage of human history at the cross of cavalry.
Justice was satisfied, and salvation came through Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The justice of God demands that the guilty must be punished for the debt of their sin. This was God’s wise plan from eternity past, and this is why He is to be feared and respected. He is the one who demands justice and gained it through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and we, who believe, reap the benefits of the transaction that took place when the work of justice demanded a sacrifice, and it was given in Jesus.
Why is the fear of the Lord a treasure, just as Isaiah 33:6 states? I’ll tell you. Here is a completely just God who could have sent us all to hell, and he would have been completely justified in doing so, but instead He gave us His Son. I respect Him because He did not withhold anything to satisfy His justice, and I treasure Him because he freed me from my bondage by the gift of His Son.
With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? Isaiah 40:14
Notice again—how God has always been just is worth repeating. No one taught Him how to work justice out in real life. He did not consult with the first Supreme Court justices before coming to us with the gift of the cross to save the human race. This verse has two questions that no one can answer. I think this verse is meant for us to shut our mouths and begin worshiping in appreciation of a holy God who works justice out just as a skilled surgeon performs surgery. This allows us to value justice more as we walk with Him in trust and obedience.
The Will of God’s Justice
But I said, “I have toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord, And My reward with My God.” Isaiah 49:4
The will of God’s justice can seem so far away at times that we wonder if it will ever show up on the scene of our life. Isaiah also wrestled with the will of God’s justice. However, he encouraged himself with what he knew about God. Justice is with the Lord, and the reward that we get from following Him is with Him too. Rest in His justice and your reward is coming with Him. I hope this causes you to rejoice today if you are following Jesus.
If you are not following Jesus, let this fact be the point that drives you to fear the Lord by repenting from your sins and placing your faith in His Son Jesus. The foundation of His throne is righteousness and justice. His will is to uphold His justice and righteousness by administering wrath to all those who transgress His righteousness. Don’t be caught under Gods justice. God’s wrath awaits you.
This is like poking a caged lion when the hinges are broken on the cage. It’s like provoking a 4,000 pounds elephant when her offspring are around her. You don’t know when these animals are going to break free and unleash their fury on you. You also don’t know when you are going to enter into the judgment of God as an unbeliever, and you don’t want to. You have no chance of leaving an encounter with a holy God without being eternally condemned. Please repent and place your faith in what Jesus did on the cross today.
I hope this article helped stimulate some of you and be reminded of the will of God’s justice, the work of God’s justice, and the worth of God’s justice. May more write on this topic to remind this subjective culture—like R.C. Sproul did—that there is nothing subjective about the God they are going to face one day. Go proclaim the Gospel to see a life transformed, to rightly fear and respect the eternal, unchanging justice of God.
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