How important is it to know what you believe about God? Some believe that God is an angry God; some believe that because He sent prophets, and we didn’t listen to them, He got mad and then He sent His Son and we killed Him and now He’s really mad and angry at the whole world. But those who think that don’t know Him according to what the Bible says about Him.
God is good, He’s kind, He’s merciful, He’s gracious, and God is just, but even in His justice, He is merciful. God does good because He is good. Psalm 119:68 – You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes. We are not good because we do good, we’re good because a good God made us good. Every other religion in the world tells people that they have to do something to get to their god. Christ makes us righteous and then we can do righteous.
Do you know the attributes of your spouse or your closest friend? An attribute is a tribute when we tell others some of the distinct qualities and characters of a person. There is another root word in attribute, tribe. Tribe: the distinct characteristics of a group of people who have descended from one person. Because of the distinct characteristics of God and because of Jesus Christ, we now have become a part of His tribe. And because God is good, we can be good! Because God is merciful, we can merciful, because God is loving, we can be loving and because God is kind we can be kind.
Exodus 34:6 – …”The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”
1 Timothy 1:7 – Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Because God is immortal, we too one day will be immortal. God is all of these attributes at the same time. God is infinite. Infinite means He has no bounds, no limits, and cannot be measured. God’s goodness has no limits. God’s goodness will never run out. He’s all-powerful so His goodness will never be limited. He’s also omnipresent, and that means His goodness is everywhere.
Mercy and Justice
When we talk about the justice of God, mercy has to be included. Justice and mercy are two attributes of God that many think are contrary to one another. This is because of the summary definition of each: Justice is giving someone what they deserve; mercy is not giving someone what they deserve. So, how can God be fully just and fully merciful at the same time?
Too many times we think God is like our human judges. They want to be merciful, but the law demands justice through the law. We think God’s law demands justice or punishment and it did. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. However, Jesus paid the price of our punishment on the cross, therefore God was just, but gave us mercy because Jesus took our punishment that we deserved.
In Psalm 136 there are 26 verses to this Psalm and everyone says, “For His mercy endures forever at the end. His mercy never runs out! His mercy will never end because God will never end! His mercy is infinite because God is infinite!
In 2 Chronicles, Chapter 5, the glory of the LORD filled the temple when they dedicated it. God’s glory was so strong in the temple that day, that the Bible says the priests couldn’t continue. 2 Chronicles 5:14 – so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. The Psalm that they were singing when God filled the temple with His presence was Psalm 136. They kept singing, “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever.”
God’s not willing that any should perish: Ezekiel 33:11 – “Say to them, ‘As I live says the LORD God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
If we look at the “scales” of justice most people think the prosecutor’s evidence goes on one side and the defense on the other. Not so. All the evidence goes on one side and “justice” is on the other side. The evidence is weighed against “justice.”
Some people think that one day God is going to weigh our good against our bad and hopefully our good will tip the scales and outweigh the bad. That’s not how it works: God puts all our good and bad on one side of the scale and He sits on the other side because “God is justice.” In other words; No matter how many good deeds we do, we can’t outdo God’s goodness. So how in the world could we get those scales up to be equal?
God sits on one side of the scales and we are on the other and can’t do but one thing about it. And that one thing we can do is “Invite Jesus into our lives and let Him wash us in His precious blood and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus sits on that scale with us and balances it and justice says, “Equal!”
Some might ask: How can God give us what we deserve and not give us what we deserve at the same time? Simple: Because God gave Jesus what we deserved and punished Him in our place. When we accept Jesus we are fully justified to go to heaven.
The justice of God could never have been satisfied if Jesus hadn’t died for us. The only way we are justified before God is to put our hand in the Father’s hand and Jesus “Arranged” the rest! He died for us so that we could live and have a loving relationship with the Father.