Dec 29, 2019
The attribute of God that answers to our longing for justice is the notion that God is the righteous Judge and that He deals with everyone on the basis of His righteousness. We all have a deep-seated longing that wicked people are punished for their evil deeds and that honorable people are rewarded for their good deeds.
When we speak of God's justice, we are talking about the legal notion of how God deals with humanity. It is the idea that God will see to it that everyone, sooner or later, will get his rightful due. The notion of justice is made up of two concepts: the idea of judgment and the idea of righteousness. Justice is not simply the rendering of a judgment, but the rendering of the right judgment, the proper judgment.
There are at least two propositions to consider in order to understand the concept of God's justice. First, we are presented in the Bible with statements which say that God will judge all people according to their deeds (Psa 62:11,12; Ecc 12:13,14; Isa 3:10,11; Mt 16:27; Rom 2:6-8).
To be clear, our deeds do not merit God's salvation. We will not gain heaven on the basis of our actions or our words. We can be accepted by God on the basis of the work of Christ alone. But in the lives of those who have trusted in Christ there is evidence of their faith. Just as the deeds and words of those who rebel against God reveal their heart, so the deeds and words of those who believe in Jesus give evidence of their faith.
Second, we see in the Bible that God's judgment is according to the truth, not according to appearances (1 Sam 16:7; Rom 2:16; Heb 4:12,13). God sees everything we do, hears everything we say, and knows everything we think. And in all those deeds and words, the evidence of the true nature of our heart is there.
The justice of God is a legal term, referring to God's government in dealing with people, specifically in giving to every person his/her due.
. . . All are judged according to their deeds.
Psa 62:11,12; Ecc 12:13,14; Isa 3:10,11;
Mt 16:27; Rom 2:6-8
. . . God's judgment is according to truth, not
1 Sam 16:7; Rom 2:16; Heb 4:12,13
. . . Unbelievers: separated from believers and
condemned (retributive justice)
Dan 12:2,3; Mt 13:24-43; 25:31-46;
. . . Believers: assessed for rewards
2 Cor 5:10; 1 Cor 3:12-15; 2 Tim 4:7,8