It’s time for this post I think. It’s a long one I won’t apologize for. Purely my thoughts, my opinions and my heart.
In this time of economic woes, job losses, home foreclosures, family breakups, spiritual deception, illnesses and just simply personal burdens; fear and anger has taken root in many hearts. The wrong kind of fear and the wrong kind of anger. Why? We don’t understand the mercy of His eternity.
First I want to clarify something. I don’t really care if you are pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib in your belief. If that is a matter of salvation, then I am in trouble. What I do care about is that you believe in the resurrection power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I care that you trust in His Word and that you believe He is the Word in the flesh. I care that you know John1:1, “In the beginning was the Word”…..
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
I care that you know “In Him was life……” I care that you know He was crucified for you and I. I care that you know the love of Christ is beyond perfection. I care that all of us who claim to be true believers put our hope and our trust where it belongs. In Christ Jesus. I care that you know He is more than just our boyfriend, more than just our friend, more than just the guy in the sky, more than just someone we can talk to. He is our Savior. His Mercy is our Eternity.
Does that mean that we will live perfectly happy lives? NO, it does not. The Word of God tells us we will suffer trials and tribulations. The Word of God tells us we will be persecuted somewhere along the line. The Word of God tells us to beware of false teachers and false prophets for a reason. The Word of God is our lifeline because why?……..Jesus Christ is the Word of God and He is King of Kings.
A few months ago one week of our last Bible Study (Smoke & Mirrors) we studied about mercy. Let’s talk about mercy.
There is no dichotomy between a “God of justice” in the Old Testament and a “God of mercy” in the New. There is no split in God’s character. God has always been a compassionate God, a God of love. Jesus reveals who God is and who God has always been. Justice is about mercy. Justice comes through mercy and always has.
God’s justice is not in conflict with his mercy, they are inseparable. True justice can only come through mercy. The mercy that we are living in and looking forward to is His Eternity.
We are coming into that time that we must recognize that there is a heaven and a hell. We must recognize that the dividing line drawn between good and evil has been put in BOLD.
This is not the time to drown yourself in your sorrow, be angry or afraid. His mercy is our Eternity.
This is not the time to see Him as JUST a “lover of my soul” with all the emotionalism that entails today. He is a sovereign God and His mercy is our Eternity.
This is not the time to be wishy washy about your faith. “Well, I don’t have time to read my Bible, but I believe in God. Baby, you will regret that. You should know him in a personal relationship. His mercy is our Eternity.
This is not the time to bask in the emotional glow and forget the Word. What are you going to stand on in your time of trial? His mercy is our Eternity.
This is a time to pray and shout from the mountaintops who your God is. This is a time to stand firm on the Word of God; a time to start standing on the TRUTH of who He is. His mercy will be our eternity.
This is a time to know that His mercy will be our Eternity, ahh but, His justice will also be our Eternity too. (think about your choice – heaven or hell) Why? Think about what was said earlier. “Justice is about mercy. Justice comes through mercy and always has. God’s justice is not in conflict with his mercy, they are inseparable. True justice can only come through mercy.”
Are we going to stand before Him, and say: “I’m sorry, I was having too much fun seeing you simply as my best friend”: or “I’m sorry, I got carried away with all the emotional stuff because it just felt so good and met MY need”; or how about this one, “I know it all, so why study more?”
Let’s go back to mercy and justice. Shouldn’t we understand the two go hand in hand? Shouldn’t we understand that what is befalling us as a nation, what may be happening to us in our lives is His mercy and justice at work together?
I have been thinking about this a lot lately in light of so much spiritual deception and so much spiritual apathy. So I dug my notes back out on this study. I know this will make it a long post, but oh well, I guess if you care you will read. Here they are:
Psa 103:6 The Lord executes righteousness, And justice for all who are oppressed.
Oppressed Old Websters
OPPRESS’ED, pp. burdened with unreasonable impositions; overpowered; overburdened; depressed. See Gal 6:2 msg Bible (not my preferred version but says it ok)
Gal 6:2 Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law.
H6231 Word Study
‛āšaq: A verb meaning to oppress, to defraud. To oppress another person is to abuse, to revile one’s Creator (Pro_14:31). In its passive usage, it refers to a person who is abused or defrauded in some way (Isa_23:12).
Main Entry: im·po·si·tion – New MW dictionary
IMPOSI’TION, n. s as z. [L. impositio. See Impose.]
1. In a general sense, the act of laying on.
4. That which is imposed; a tax, toll, duty or excise laid by authority. Tyrants oppress their subjects with grievous impositions.
5. Injunction, as of a law or duty.
6. Constraint; oppression; burden.
7. Deception; imposture.
If part of the definition of the word oppressed is deception – what does this verse then also say. Those who are deceived will have justice? Go back to Gal 6:2. Does this not mean we should reach out to those who are deceived along with the overburdened?
Deception (De*cep”tion) (?), n.
[F. déception, L. deceptio, fr. decipere, deceptum. See Deceive.]
3. That which deceives or is intended to deceive; false representation; artifice; cheat; fraud.
Synonyms — Deception, Deceit, Fraud, Imposition. Deception usually refers to the act, and deceit to the habit of the mind; a deception does not always imply aim and intention. It may be undesigned or accidental.
The books of Matthew, Mark, 2 Cor, James, Jude, 2 Peter, 1 John, Gal 2:4, all talk of false prophets, teaching, etc. The book of Jude tells us to contend earnestly for the faith. Does That not also tell us to reach out to those who are deceived?
Back to our verse.
What does execute righteousness mean?
EX’ECUTE, v.t. [L. exequor, for exsequor; ex and sequor, to follow. See Seek.]
1. Literally, to follow out or through. Hence, to perform; to do; to effect; to carry into complete effect; to complete; to finish. We execute a purpose, a plan, design or scheme; we execute a work undertaken, that is, we pursue it to the end.
2. To perform;
Righteousness – to do that which is right
RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. ri’chusness.
1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion.
2. Applied to God, the perfection or holiness of his nature; exact rectitude; faithfulness.
New Merriam Websters
acting in accord with divine or moral law
- Righteousness contains both a permanent and a changing element.
- Permanent – will to do right
- Changing – conception of what may be right at diff times & diff times
- Diff between civil law and biblical justice
- Civil law – the law established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction
- Biblical justice – righteousness
Justice means to make things right.
Justice is an attribute of God – Holy justice is against anything which falls short of His holy standards. In His justice are three branches. Executive branch, judicial branch, legislative branch – just like our government. Don’t you wish He was president?
Righteous laws and principles proceed from God’s holiness to legislate and govern the affairs of men. This is God’s righteousness at work, the legislative branch of His holiness.
But from God’s holiness also comes the penalties and judgments attached to these laws. This is the judicial branch which we call justice.
The executive branch is God executing His justice.
What does God’s justice involve?
Word for just in old testament means “straight” and in New Testament means “equal”. In a moral sense they both mean right. When we say that God is just, we are saying that He always does what is right, what should be done, and that He does it consistently. He’s impartial. The word just and the word righteous are identical in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Sometimes the translators render the original word “just” and other times “righteous” with no apparent reason But whichever word they use, it means essentially the same thing. It has to do with God’s actions. They are always right and fair.
Biblically to “bring justice” does not mean to bring punishment, but to bring healing and reconciliation. Remember, Justice means to make things right. Biblically, justice is God’s saving action at work for all that are oppressed. Jesus passionately defends the voiceless, the weak, the weary, and the hurting ; he shows us that God is not distant and detached – but here – Emanuel – “God with us” = close to the broken hearted and deeply caring about us.
If we want to understand the concept of justice as the writers of the Old Testament did, then we must see it as a “setting things right again”. Thus when Christ comes, the way that he brings about justice is through mercy and compassion.
Mercy biblically is rooted in the idea of compassion and is not about closing your eyes in some form of denial, wishing that there was no conflict, but just the opposite: Compassion means truly seeing through the eyes of another and suffering with them. Jesus had mercy on sinners not because he was denying their sin, but precisely because he did see. Like mercy biblical justice is rooted in compassion and is a desire to see things made right, to see relationships restored, to see broken lives mended, to see hurtful people come to their knees in repentance and be made new.
There is a biblical concept of “judgement” or “wrath”. Jesus warned frequently that the people were calling judgement on themselves and called them to turn (repent) from the course they were on. Judgement or wrath is the consequence of sinful or hurtful action. It follows from sin like falling is the consequence of jumping off a cliff. Paul writes in the Romans that “the wages of sin is death”. The wage, the thing you get as a result, what you Biblical justice is not in conflict with compassion, it is rooted in compassion.
Despite man’s concoctions of what justice “ought to be” the biblical picture of justice is about making things right again, about restoration, about liberation. In the biblical paradigm death is not what “justice requires”, rather death is the enemy that justice conquers through the cross (1 Cor 15:25-26,). How does this happen? THROUGH HIS MERCY.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
God’s righteousness (or justice) is the natural expression of His holiness. If He is infinitely pure, then He has to oppose all sin, and that opposition to sin must be demonstrated in His treatment of His creatures. When we read that God is righteous or just, we are being assured that His actions toward us are in perfect agreement with His holy nature.
Because God is righteous and just, He has established moral government in the world, laid down principles which are holy and good, then added consequences which are just and fair for violating those principles. Furthermore, He is totally impartial in administering His government. He does not condemn innocent people or let guilty people go free. Peter says He is a God “who impartially judges according to each man’s work” (1 Peter 1:17). His treatment is never harsher than the crime demands.
If God is truly just and always acts in harmony with His holy nature, then He must show His displeasure with sin by opposing it and punishing it wherever it exists. He cannot enact a holy law, threaten a penalty, then take no action when His law is broken. Scripture makes that quite clear. God “will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Exodus 34:7). “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). “There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil” (Romans 2:9). Since the violation of God’s infinitely holy nature demands an infinite punishment, eternal condemnation can be the only just penalty for sin. Jesus said, “And these will go away into eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46).
God takes no pleasure in punishing the wicked). But it is the only response which is consistent with His holy nature. However, God loves sinners and since He finds no delight in punishing them, He has devised a plan by which they can be delivered from the just penalty of their sin.
Justice allows for one person to substitute for another, so long as no injustice is done to the rights of any person involved. So God provided a substitute. When His Son voluntarily offered Himself to die in our place, our sin was punished and God’s justice was forever satisfied. The Apostle Paul explained how God publicly displayed Jesus Christ as a propitiation and thus demonstrated His righteousness A propitiation is a sacrifice that satisfies a justly pronounced sentence. Christ’s death on the cross completely satisfied God’s just judgment against our sin. The penalty has been paid. Now God can forgive the sins of those who will accept His payment, and still maintain His own justice. He can at the same time be both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Justice also demands that when the penalty has been paid by one, it never needs to be paid by another who has accepted that payment. There can never be any condemnation for the person who has trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour from sin (Romans 8:1). The death of His sinless Son was sufficient to pay for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Now those who accept His payment can go free. Who then can accuse God of injustice for condemning people to hell? He would be just if He assigned everyone to hell. Yet He satisfied His own justice and provided forgiveness for all. Those who refuse His forgiveness choose His wrath of their own volition. They have expressed their desire to live apart from God and He simply confirms them in their choice. That hardly can be labeled injustice.
Righteousness and justice are synonymous. Righteousness is holiness in action against sin. The holiness of God demands that sin be judged and the sinner punished. Such punishment is the righteousness and justice of God in action. Rom. 2:8-9; 2 Thess. 1:8) Righteousness is a holy God acting in a just and upright manner toward His creatures. The righteousness of God is His
holiness dealing justly with His creatures. This justice is seen in both punishment (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 1:32; 2:8-9) and reward (Rom. 2:7; Heb. 11:26; Deut. 7:9-13; Ps. 58:11; Matt. 25:21)
The scriptures attest to these statements.
d. Righteousness belongs to the Lord (Dan. 9:7, 14)
e. The righteousness of God is revealed in the Gospel. (Rom. 1:17)
f. True and righteous are the judgments of the Lord (Rev. 16:5-7)
g. The Lord is righteous. (Is. 45:21; John 17:25)
h. Justice and judgment are the habitation of God’s throne. (Ps. 89:14)
i. Righteousness and true holiness are the characteristics of the new man being conformed to the image of God in Christ (Eph. 4:24)
Righteousness is that attribute of God which leads Him to always think and do what is right or act in perfect goodness in relation to men and angels.
In righteousness we have the manifestation of God’s love of holiness, of what is right and good. In justice, we have the manifestation of God’s hatred of sin.
The justice that Jesus ushers in, the righteousness he brings, have to do with God pouring his love out on us, with God showing his compassion for the lost and the poor. With God meeting us in our need and liberating us from sin and oppression. With “setting things right” – that is what biblical justice is about.
Again – There is no dichotomy between a “God of justice” in the Old Testament and a “God of mercy” in the New. There is no split in God’s character. God has always been a compassionate God, a God of love. Jesus reveals who God is and who God has always been. Justice is about mercy. Justice comes through mercy and always has.
God’s justice is not in conflict with his mercy, they are inseparable. True justice can only come though mercy.
So which eternity do you seek? Do you seek the Mercy of His Eternity or do you seek hell?