Justice or Mercy

We live in a country and society framed by laws. Our rights and privileges are established by the enforcement of these laws and our obedience of them. Let’s compare how justice and mercy work here in the natural to how they work in God’s heaven. Here’s the situation; You had harsh, condemning words with someone you felt really needed to be put in his place. Still seething, you went to bed only to be wakened the next morning by the police. The person you fumed at last night was discovered murdered this morning and you have been identified as the killer. You appear in court. If you cried out for mercy you would be implying your guilt, so you appeal for justice. The law requires evidence to prove your guilt and witnesses to corroborate or contradict the evidence. Slowly the truth becomes known and you are exonerated. Justice has set you at liberty. A short time later, the end of your life has come and you appear in God’s Court. Thinking you lived a good, honest life, and knowing how it worked beforehand, you cry out to God for justice. The first piece of evidence is 1 John 3:15,  “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him”. Well, wait a minute! I didn’t know hate was like murder! I’m a better person than that! I give to charities! “But we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags  (Isa 64:6) But Lord, I’m really a good person. I don’t steal, I hardly ever tell a fib, I say a prayer before every meal. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”. (James 2:10) But can’t you just overlook my bad side and give me some credit for my good?  “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse”. (Job9:20)  “There is none righteous, no, not one”. (Rom. 3:10) By appealing to the justice of God’s Word you are found guilty. But if God is a God of love, how can this be? “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sin. (1 John 4:10) What about those murderous words that condemn me?  “And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous”. (1 John 2:1) How do I avail myself of this advocate? “. . .repent and turn to God and do works befitting repentance”. (Acts 26:20) “I tell ye, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”. (Luke 13:3) Have mercy upon me Lord Jesus! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. (1 John 1:9)      Crying out for mercy still recognizes your guilt, but now the door of true liberty can be opened for “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”. (John 8:36)

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