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  • Writer's pictureTrey Talley

The Justice of God

Updated: Mar 25

Civil justice is sometimes served in this life, but sometimes it is not. However, no matter how much perceived justice a person receives in this life for their sins or crimes, God’s justice can never be satisfied by such measures.

For example, a man commits murder and gets a punishment of 60 years in prison, serves his time, and eventually is set free. At the end of the 60 years is he now right with God because civil justice has been served? He might have served the amount of time demanded by a court or judge to supposedly pay the price for his crime, but did the 60 years of time in prison do anything to satisfy Divine justice? Did it somehow erase his sin before God?

Of course not.

No amount of prison time or punitive punishment can ever pay for even one single sin. Truly, sixty years of prison time could not even pay for one single “little white lie.”

Mankind is helpless when it comes to satisfying God’s judgment and subsequent punishment for our sinfulness.

Let’s consider another situation. What about guilty criminals who escape justice completely? Many people get away with horrible heinous crimes. Even murders sometimes go unsolved. Does this mean that someone has escaped justice?

What if a person committed horrible crimes and went on to live a life of health, wealth, and apparent happiness then died. Did he escape justice?

No. It is impossible to escape justice. Though a person might appear to have escaped punishment, ultimately, he will not.

A civil government can punish evil doers, however neither prison nor the death penalty should sinners fear the most.

Unrepentant sinners should fear the One they will encounter after death. It is then that they will stand before the Supreme Judge and face perfect justice.

4This is what Jesus is talking about when He said, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5)

Fear God? Why should someone fear God?

Because God is the absolute perfect judge who is holy, righteous, just, omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful).

Those who think this life is all there is greatly mistaken. Those who think they can escape justice by avoiding it in this life make a horrific assumption of what happens at death. They have not escaped justice. They have entered the courtroom of God and will face Him with every single sin that they have ever committed.

As the Apostle Paul says,

3Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:3-5)

People wrongly assume that just because they are not immediately receiving punishment for their sin that they are escaping justice. Paul says that God’s slowness to punish does not prove that they someone has escaped justice but that it is meant to lead them to repent of their sin. However, instead of repenting, many people continue to store up their sins and by doing so, they are storing up the wrath that they will receive from God’s righteous judgment. Not one single sin will escape God’s perfect judgment because He is perfectly just.

For unrepentant sinners, death is not an escape of from punishment but the beginning of eternal punishment. Death does not free them. Rather, their death seals them in their state of sinfulness, guilt, punishment with no chance of repentance, and no possibility of paying off their sin.

We also must be careful to assume that God only punishes certain sins like kidnapping or murder. It is very easy to think of certain horrible sins as deserving of justice but think that God should not punish all sinners.

Who is not a sinner? The Apostle Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Every single sin from all of humanity must and will be punished because God is perfectly just.

Knowing that we are guilty of sin, that we will face God, and that justice will be served, is there any hope?

How can a man get rid of his own sin, make himself sinless in the eyes of God, or pay the price for even one of his sins?

He can’t. That’s why the solution must come from outside of ourselves. We need a righteousness that is humanly impossible for us to acquire. That is why we need a Savior from God. We find this Savior in the person and work of Jesus.

15Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15)

Dr. Trey Talley, Lead Pastor and Elder

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