Can Justice and Mercy Work Together?
Here’s how God gives justice and mercy for your benefit
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants. Psalm 89:14
The Bible tells us great things about God. It makes us love and worship Him. At other times, God can seem very strict. God is perfect, and we are sinners. Is it possible for God to overlook our imperfections and at the same time remain perfectly just (fair)?
What is God’s justice?
God created people for His glory. (Isaiah 43:7) His Law was meant to set His people apart from everyone else. (Deuteronomy 28:1) Those laws reflected His own nature, and He wants to make people like Him. In the past, those serving Him directly owned no permanent property. Yet all their needs were met. There was enough for the poor and the widows and orphans. Like God’s love, justice was for everyone equally. But people could not resist breaking the Law to gain advantage over one another.
A just judge defends the disadvantaged and punishes the guilty: “the Lord loves justice” (Psalm 37:28). Because the Law shows how God is, sin is a personal offense to God. (Psalm 51:4) He vows not to simply excuse the guilty. (Exodus 34:7) Those who die in their sins will be separated from Him forever. But we have hope...
What is God’s mercy?
God “does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Peter 3:9)! The Law no one could live up to showed people the perfection of God when He became Man: Jesus. The Book of Romans describes God’s mercy: “everyone has sinned ... yet God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe Jesus sacrificed His life” (Romans 3:23, 25). In this way God remains “fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26)
“What should I do?”
Titus 3:5 says, “he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” That means good deeds will not earn God's mercy or favor. Jesus said “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) Justice and mercy come together perfectly in Jesus. God did not excuse sin: he paid for it. When you accept Jesus and follow Him, you will receive God's mercy. Click here to learn how to follow Jesus.
Pray this week:
Lord, thank You for Your justice - for You are righteous. Thank You that, in Your mercy, You have provided a way for me to share in Your righteousness through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Do you have questions about how God is both merciful and just?Ask