Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | August 30, 2022

Justice that Justifies

“It was to show His righteousness at the present time, so that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:26

“Justice” is an easily defined word: “the maintenance or administration of what is just, especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments” (Merriam-Webster). However, in our culture today, justice is a convoluted, upside-down, and often hollow concept. Harmful criminals are allowed to run free (wreaking pain and destruction) and harmless citizens are fired, canceled, and locked up for living life according to their Constitutional rights or God’s Word. Plus, there are plenty of “________ justice” terms out there as well. But, whenever you add a modifier to “justice”, it automatically becomes the very definition of “injustice”—let that sink in.

God, however, is always perfectly Just (Deuteronomy 32:4). And, unlike our earthly judges at every level, there is no corruption or skewed morality or political leanings with Him. And because He is also perfectly Righteous and Holy, requiring perfect holiness in His presence, there are no misdemeanors or felonies or plea bargains. Every one of us—no matter how “good” we believe ourselves to be—is guilty (Romans 3:23). And the sentence for us all is the same: death (Romans 6:23). No fines, community service, or jail time.

But God, however, is also Merciful, not wanting anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 2:4). So, here’s where we are: (1) God is perfectly Just—requiring justice, the “merited punishment” for our sin; (2) In His mercy, He doesn’t want anyone’s sentence to be executed; and (3) we’re all guilty and unable to pay the penalty for our sin. At first glance, it seems like a hopeless scenario.

What’s the answer? It’s another form of our word of the day: Justification (the act of proving or showing something to be right or just). And this is one of the most beautiful, amazing, mind-blowing concepts in the Bible.

Imagine you were in a courtroom, standing in front of a judge. You’ve been convicted of a terrible crime, and you are anxiously awaiting your sentencing. But you know you’re guilty and deserve whatever is coming to you. Instead of handing down your punishment, though, the judge stands up to tell you that someone else—your victim, in fact—has chosen to pay the price for your crime. He’s been put to death already, so you’re completely free to walk away—as if you never did anything wrong. Justice has been served, but you are justified.

Can you picture the scene? Friend, this is what Jesus Christ has done for us. He came to earth, fully Man and fully God, to live a perfect, holy life—a life we could never live. And then He hung on a cross, paying the penalty for our sin—a sentence we deserve but could never pay ourselves. Then Jesus rose from the dead, victorious, making the way for us to stand in front of our Holy God in perfect righteousness. Justice has been served, but you and I are justified.

It’s the awesome picture of mercy and grace: Mercy is not getting what we deserve (eternal separation from God—hell), and Grace is getting what we don’t deserve (eternal heaven with God). All we have to do is confess our crime (sin) and accept that Someone else paid our penalty—free of charge (no good works or law-following needed). Friend, will you acknowledge God’s justice and choose today to be justified in Christ?


“Lord, thank You for Your patience and mercy. Thank You that because of Jesus, You look at me “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life

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