Something good this way comes.
Can it be a good thing to live the way we desire while we carry an ever-growing weight embedded in our conscience throughout our earthly existence? What shall we do with the sin we know is within? To deny it’s existence only causes the weight to grow heavier.
God’s grace is not the best answer. It is the only answer.
However, God’s grace requires a price be paid.
God’s grace requires His being justifier of the guilty as He sets them free from guilt before His court of law.
Just and Justifier: To fulfill justice with justification for setting the guilty free.
Can you imagine a loved one has been horribly murdered, the killer being apprehended, brought to trial, and found guilty. The judge says, “Guilty, but set free.” 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 requires a final payment. Perfect love demands perfect righteousness.
So, how can God be both just and the justifier? How can he declare us justified 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 complete if His truth isn’t absolute also. Perfect love requires sound judgment. Every sin requires an accounting of (payment for) that sin. “The wages of sin is death.” Either by the redeeming death, burial, and resurrection of Christ or the end of the sinner.
But every sin waged against mankind by man must bring an accounting of just payment according to God’s law. If this isn’t so, then God is telling the victim he isn’t 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 crime against God, others, and ourselves. Sin demands an accounting, and God can’t simply ignore it or hide it and “sweep it under the rug.”
So how can He deliver us from our sin and guilt and, at the same time, weigh out complete accounting of that sin for love’s sake? There can’t be forgiveness only; that would mean allowing the criminal to go free though proven guilty of the crime. Justice demands the criminal be accountable for his sin through just punishment. The only penalty is death by God’s own law, His own decree, and His own nature.
(God’s perfect being is such that an imperfect creature cannot come into the presence of His Glory without being consumed. Much like a tissue paper can’t go into the presence of the flames of an industrial blast furnace without being totally destroyed. That is the difference between the properties of our natural state and God’s Glorious existence. It is our sin that renders us so vulnerable to God’s Glory. We need a new nature to not only survive but also thrive in his presence.)
So how 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 people. There is none good enough, perfect enough to represent man and pay the price for mankind. There is only one answer. That answer is for God to come to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ and offer Himself as a propitiatory representative in man’s stead. All is not lost. Love has found the way![[I]]
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 nature. It takes an act of God to put within us a new life to begin the process and to further that process over some 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 life. 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]] Having a new heart, a response is expected from us. This response, this turn-around from sin, the bible calls “repentance.”
Now recognizing God’s great love, how can we not respond? It would take an insane person to not respond. Ah! But having a new heart also means being put in our now right mind, and our response is proof of no longer being insane. The Amazing Grace of Almighty God in Christ!
[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.
[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.…
[Romans 5:9 also stood out to me: “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him”
This verse teaches that we are justified before God because of Christ’s death which offered His blood as sacrifice. Justified means God declaring believers Legally righteous in God’s eyes. This is not done because we are deserving but because God is gracious. Christ’s substitutionary death in our place on the cross is what justifies us.]