Question 4h The Justice of God

These notes were used in the doctrine class held on Sunday the 28th May 2012.

Q4: What is God? Answer: God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

1.    Introducing ‘Justice’

Indignant Justice stood in view, To Sinai’s firey mount I flew, But Justice cried with frowning face, “This mountain is no hiding place!” (Jehoiada Brewer)

Essential to God’s Character and even his creation: ‘moral universe’


2Cor5:11 ‘knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men’

Heb12: 29 ‘For our God is a consuming fire. ‘

Mat25:41 ‘Depart from me’

Bound up with God’s Name.

Ex 34:6  And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 8And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

I would that we came to the place where we could give thanks at the remembrance of his justice (as we did for His ‘holiness’ before).

Justice is essential to the operation of the cosmos

Who makes the laws? Who decides what is right? Without God, all is up for grabs! Relativistic chaos.

The word “justice” itself is based on the latin word “jus,” which means “law.” Therefore, justice would seem to mean “carrying out of the law.” And, if law is the will of God expressed as a “rule of action,” then to do justice is to carry out the will of God when expressed as a legal rule.    Studies in the Laws of Nature’s God by Gerald R. Thompson (link)

Law making and Law enforcing

Equity – where there is a shortfall in ‘law’, equity is called upon to see that the right outcome prevails

Related Attributes?

Holiness of God, How is holiness different?

Righteousness? Tozer says its the same.

Justice relies on Omniscience of God, Wisdom of God: Solomon’s wisdom was arguably most highly manifested in his equitable judgements

Inscrutability of God

Tozer: God is never at cross-purposes with himself!

Is55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Ex33:19 I ‘will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Ex33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

2.    Justice of God in the Scriptures

Activity: Pick a passage – do you see God’s justice there?

Judges 11:27 “the Lord the Judge” : Jephthah’s speech to ‘the children of Ammon’: Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

Gen18:25 ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’

Psalm 2

1Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,  3Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  4He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.  5Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.  6Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.  7I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  8Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.  9Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  10Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

2 Chron Josiah commended but still the judgement would come

2 Pet 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Judgement seat of Christ and the ‘Day of Judgement’ itself.

Rev 15:1-4

1And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.  2And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.  3And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.  4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Prov11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

Heb10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

3.    Greatest display of Justice of God

How is the judgement/justice of God glorified in the gospel?

Sinners own his sentence and marvel at their redemption, unrepentants are damned and punished and continuously prove they are worthy of their deserts.

Luke5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

‘Emmot’s testimony from John Ashworth’s Amazing Conversions (Tentmaker Publications)

At the cross – the nature of  judgement is most glorious since the sentence was passed even upon the Son. God is ‘no respecter of persons’. Acts 10:34

And can we imagine ‘it’ll be alright’?!? That is the sinner’s recourse, ‘I’ll swing it’, banking on their personality. Even traffic wardens get familiar and lenient and have to be changed, but God is no repecter of persons and will reward the works of all.

Is28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:  16Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.  17Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.  18And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

God’s Justice ‘Guarantees the final safety of all who put their trust in Him’ Tozer p114 because payment was made in full at the cross and cannot be demanded twice.

4.    Applications

Love for and vindication of fatherless and widows, James re. Rich men.

Jas1:27 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

cf. Divinity of Christ Acts10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

‘If God should delay judgement of UK he’s going to owe Sodom an apology’ non-sense. They have a point but thinking that ‘Justice’ requires God to do x, y or z, is silly.  ‘All God’s reasons come from within His uncreated being’ Tozer p116

Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. If the sovereignty of God blunts your evangelism, meditate on the justice of God and the gospel,

Golden rule of equity: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Lecture by Samuel Davies (link)

‘vengeance is mine’ Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

‘The Day shall reveal it’ Whitfield