Perfect love, perfect justice.
How can God be both just and justifier? How can He justify sin against God and man, without the perpetrator paying the ultimate price, while God remains perfect in His Justice?
Conundrum to be explored. What is not possible with the creature is possible with the Creator. For, “-With God all things are possible.” Matthew19:29
Just and Justifier: To fulfill justice even while setting the guilty prisoner free.
Can you imagine — one of your loved ones being horribly murdered, the killer is apprehended, brought to trial, and found guilty. The judge says, “Guilty, but set free.”
Where is the accountability for the criminal? How has his being forgiven by the judge and set free changed the criminal for the better? Where is the justice for you and your loved one? How has the judge shown compassion for the victim? Guilt demands justice, an accounting, a payment for the heinous deed!
Just so, the evil of sin demands a final payment. Perfect love demands perfect justice…
How can God be both just and justifier. How can he declare us just even as we are guilty? Sin cannot go unanswered if God’s justice is as perfect as His love is perfect. His perfect love cannot be perfect if His justice is not perfect, also. Perfect love requires perfect justice.
Every sin requires an accounting of (payment for) that sin. “The wages of sin is death.” Either by propitiation in the redeeming death, burial, and resurrection of Christ or the death of the sinner. But every sin waged against human by human must bring an accounting of just payment according to God’s law. If this is not so then God is telling the victim he is not loved perfectly enough to require recompense as the victim. And we are all possessors of being victimized by sin, and all are guilty of perpetrating sin against God, others, and ourselves. Sin demands an accounting and God cannot simply ignore it or hide it and “sweep it under the rug.”
That being the case, how can He deliver us from our sin and guilt and at the same time balance a perfect accounting of that sin for love’s sake? There can’t be forgiveness only; that would mean allowing the criminal to go free, unchanged, though proven guilty of the crime. No results have taken place. Forgiveness without justice is an empty void. Forgiveness must be reconciled with perfect justice reconciled with perfect love. A true harmony must be reached and maintained. Remember, this is God’s perfect law. And there is perfect reason behind His perfect law. He brings order and harmony out of chaos. For that reason He will not break any part of His law.
Perfect Justice demands the criminal be accountable for his crime through just punishment. The just punishment is death, by God’s own law, His own decree, and His own nature. [God’s perfect nature is such that an imperfect creature cannot come into the presence of his Glory without being consumed. Much like tissue paper can’t come into the presence of the flames of an industrial blast furnace without being totally consumed. That is the difference between the properties of our natural state and God’s Glorious state. It is sin that renders us so vulnerable to God’s Glory. We need a new nature in order to not only survive, but also thrive in his presence. Forgive my minor digression here.]
How, with perfect harmony, can the Perfect Judge say, “Guilty, but set free?”
It requires a propitiatory substitute, a legal representative to take our place in punishment. But the propitiation must be completely guilt free, perfect, absent any guilt at all. But who?
Searching mankind, God finds nothing but sinful humanity. There is none good enough, perfect enough, to represent humanity and pay the price for mankind. There is only one answer. That answer is for God to come to earth Himself, in the similitude of man in the Person of Jesus Christ. And to offer Himself as propitiatory representative in mankind’s stead. That which was lost is now recovered. Love has found a way![I] [See also 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45]
At the same time it also requires complete turn-around from sin on our part. This can’t be accomplished by one who is sin by very nature.
It takes an act of God to put within us a new nature to begin the process, and to further that process along over a period of time. This is what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “…I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Born of a new nature, a spiritual nature. One capable of receiving instruction and of communication with God in the way needed for regeneration. The Old Testament called it a “new heart.”[II] Now, having a new heart, a response is expected from us. This response, this turn-around from sin, the bible calls “repentance.”
With this present change, and recognizing God’s great love in this act of so great a sacrifice of His own doing to secure our salvation, how can we not respond? It would be an insane person to not respond.
But having a new heart also means being put in our right mind, and our positive response is proof of no longer being of an insane mind, but of a sound mind. The Amazing Grace of Almighty God in Christ! So tremendous amount of work to bring about the salvation of one stubborn soul! And once He captivates our will it doesn’t come much easier. But as was stated earlier, “With God all things are possible.”
“AMAZING Love, How Can It Be, That Thou, My God, Shouldst Die For…me!”
[I] Romans 3:22-26 (NIV)
22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[b] 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— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Ezekial 36:26-27: [See also Isaiah 1:18]
[II] 26“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…”
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8