Another way of saying "God of justice" is "God of judgment." The two phrases are used interchangeably in the Old Testament. Both justice and judgment mean to put things right, to render a verdict, or to pronounce a sentence. God is the ultimate Judge who will always administer justice according to His nature. Because He is a God of holiness and righteousness, His justice is always holy and righteous.
Understanding God's justice begins with an understanding of sin. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and iniquity (Daniel 9:4–5; Micah 2:1; James 3:6). It sets itself in opposition to God's holiness, as expressed in His law. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and God's holiness requires the death penalty against all sin. To do otherwise would be to deny His holy and righteous nature. But God's justice is mitigated by His love and mercy for His own. Therefore, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to satisfy God's justice and remain consistent with His holiness. Through the death of Christ on the cross, God made salvation available to all who believe in Him (John 1:12; 3:15–17).
Not only is God's righteousness and justice satisfied at the cross; He actually gives the gift of that same righteousness to sinners who are made holy at the cross. In this way, His justice is satisfied, and He is glorified in the exhibition of His mercy and grace. Jesus delivered us from God's just wrath by becoming our substitute upon the cross, thus demonstrating that His justice was not violated, but instead completely satisfied (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9).
Job's friends understood God's justice and righteousness, which is why they chastised Job when he lamented at what he saw as God's unjust punishment of him. They assured him that God's punishment must be just because He is a God of justice. "Far be it from God to do wickedness, And from the Almighty to do wrong … Surely, God will not act wickedly, And the Almighty will not pervert justice " (Job 34:10, 12 NASB). A God of justice cannot also be a God of wickedness or iniquity (sin).
In the future, God's justice will be revealed in all its glory. At that time, God's perfect justice will be shown, His name will be glorified, and His saints will rejoice to see it (Revelation 15:3–4 ).
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