Acts 13:38-41, ““Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. 40“Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
41‘BEHOLD, YOU SCOFFERS, AND MARVEL, AND PERISH;
FOR I AM ACCOMPLISHING A WORK IN YOUR DAYS,
A WORK WHICH YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE,
THOUGH SOMEONE SHOULD DESCRIBE IT TO YOU.’”
The justice of God is the functioning half of the integrity of God. Perfect righteousness is the principle half of the integrity of God. You must have the principle from which there is function. So, Righteousness and Justice go hand-in-hand.
What the righteous of God demands (principle), the Justice of God satisfies (function).
Justification is related to the principle of God’s grace. Rom 3:21-26; Tit 3:4-7.
Rom 3:21-26, “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
The Justice of God guards the perfect righteousness of God by judging sin, so that there is no compromise in God’s essence in His dealings with mankind.
Rom 4:25, “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
The integrity of God is never free to bless man if there is compromise of God’s essence (perfection).
The cross was the place Christ was delivered over for judgment. Justice judged sin. As a result, the judgment of sin frees the justice of God for the blessing of justification.
The total word for our relationship with God is justification, because justification reveals and describes the source of salvation.
1) God the Father did the judging.
2) God the Son received the judgment.
3) God the Holy Spirit reveals the judgment.
Included in salvation are redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation, which are partial words summarizing the full words justification and blood of Christ.
- “Blood” is the word that emphasizes the total work of Christ.
- “Blood” refers to redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation as parts of salvation.
By judging sin, the justice of God is free to bless man with salvation.
Salvation in the Bible means justification, because it reveals the source, the mechanics and grace.
God did all the work for the imputation of perfect righteousness to us.
Christ was “raised up from the dead because of our justification.” Rom 4:25
There was no resurrection until God had done everything necessary to provide justification.
Christ first died spiritually for us. Rom 5:1-11
Paul’s basic thesis is that the justice of God had to judge our sins on the cross before the justice of God was free to bless us with salvation, signified in victory through resurrection.
The mechanics of Justification involves:
1) On the part of man a non‑meritorious function, believing.
2) On the part of God,
- The total work of Christ on the cross, bearing sin, and
- God the Father judging those sins.
Gen 15:6; Rom 3:22
Gen 15:6, “Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
When we believe, God must perform the added work of the imputation of perfect righteousness, so that by recognizing His perfect righteousness in us, He justifies us.
Justification of man is not related to human works.
Rom 3:20, 28; Gal 2:16-21
The person who works for salvation receives nothing from God, because the justice of God is not free from grace to give him anything. Instead, their works are credited to them as debt.
Rom 4:4‑5, “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,”
Rom 9:30‑32, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,”
Imputed perfect righteousness comes through grace, not human merit.
God the Father always loved His Son in hypostatic union. Yet, even though His love for the Son was total and maximum, there was something more important than love: The Justice of God.
Why? Because justice is the operational part of Divine integrity. Therefore, Divine love was His motivation but not His function.