About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Implementing Love And Justice


In Romans 3:25 and 26 the Apostle Paul told us that the cross of Christ was both a matter of justice and a matter of love.  "God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of His blood - to be received by faith.  He did this to demonstrate His righteousness because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - He did this to demonstrate His righteousness at this present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."  Now there is a theological mouth-full, don't you think?  If you are a serious student of the Bible, which you should be, you must take the time and effort to think such a theological mouth-full through.    


One thing we all seem to know is that the cross of Christ is the most supreme act of love ever demonstrated, but what seems to be less known is that it is just as much a matter of divine justice and judgment as it is a matter of love.    


Jeremiah spoke the mind of God in Jeremiah 17:9 concerning the sinful state of humanity.  "The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?"  We are sinful beyond any reasonable explanation and there is no natural cure. 


In Romans 3:25 and 26 that I quoted above Paul pointed out that the cross of Christ was a demonstration of God's righteousness.  This presupposes that God is righteous, meaning, He is perfectly right, not only in what He does, but who He is.  Being perfectly right in who He is demands a judicial accounting from sinful humanity, something Paul said God had overlooked in times past.  In other words, God must be true to whom He is and implement justice.   


Paul also said that the time had come when God could no longer hide His face from our sinful state.  Divine justice and judgment had to be implemented on sinful humanity.  If it wasn't, God would default on being righteous and just, and that is an impossibility. 


In human terms we might think that God was trapped in a dilemma.  On one hand He loved us, and hated to see us die an eternal death, but on the other hand, He had no choice but to doom us to death.  He must implement the sentence of death pronounced on us in Genesis 2:17 or else He would be defying His own command.  "When you eat from the tree you will certainly die." 


Was God caught in some inescapable trap between love and justice?  Was He so conflicted that He became paralyzed and helpless?  Could not the Creator of humanity find a cure for our sinfulness?  God cannot be trapped. He is never conflicted, and, He had a cure for our sinfulness long before we took our first step into sin.  "He (Jesus) was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20).  "For He (God) chose us in Him (Jesus) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight" (Ephesians 1:4).


God's plan was for Him to become human in Jesus.  He would fall to the judgment of God in our place.  He would take the sentence of death upon Himself.  He would be punished on our behalf, and by so doing, He would demonstrate both love and justice.  His one act of love satisfied His demand for justice.   


One lesson we learn from this is that love apart from Biblical justice is not Biblical love, and, justice apart from love is not Biblical justice.  Biblical justice is always implemented in love, and love is always demonstrated in terms of justice.  The balance between love and justice is difficult for us to implement at times, but it is not difficult for God.  Unlike Him, we often find ourselves out of Biblical balance on this issue. 


In light of what I have just written, Hebrews 10:26 gives us a serious warning about those who reject the cross of Christ.  "There is no other sacrifice, only a fearful expectation of divine judgment and fire that consumes the enemies of God."  For those who reject the universal act of love and justice there is no alternative to escape the penalty of eternal death.  I define eternal death as always being in the process of dying but never being able to die.  God's judgment as seen in the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11 to 14 will be implemented.  You can count on that.    



Home Page