THE LOVING, GOOD AND JUST GOD
Scores of people have a very absurd idea of God. The very nature of God is well misunderstood among the people, both those who claim to love God and those who hate God. There are three attributes of God that are not dealt with in most churches and these are the Love of God, the Goodness of God and the Justness of God. The purpose of this post is to discuss the love of God, His goodness as well as His Justice. We will prove the love of God for His people, then show that God is good, and thereafter we will prove that God is just and finally show how these qualities of God meet.
The Love of God
It is well known that God is Love. Many people teach that God is love, even those who do not read the bible know this truth. Almost every religion in this world sing the same anthem of love. There is so much compromise happening amongst the religions and within the societies based on “God is love.”
When we look through the pages of the bible from Genesis to Revelation, we see the love of God. The love which our lowly minds cannot assay to reach or to comprehend. We see many examples of God showing His love to His people at various times in history. He created them, provided for them, fought for them and did many wonders in their favor. Out of all these things, the most imponderable of them all is, recorded in John 3:16,
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
The passage above, shows us the extent of God’s love for the world. God loved the world in such a manner that He gave His only begotten Son to prevent the destruction of those who would believe in Him. All the laws and traditions that are set up in the world could not do anything for the fallen seed of Adam, touching the matters pertaining to salvation. Nothing could be done to save men, but the expression of the love of God made amends in order to save mankind.
Paul writes, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The love of God is not just a talk, he didn’t only tell people that He loved them but He went and expressed His love through His Son Jesus the Christ. God expressed and displayed His love for us, in that, while were wallowing in our sins and misery, while we hated him, while we sought Him not and while we went everyone to his own way, Christ died for us. In his first epistle John shows us that God is love (1Jn 4:8). But he doesn’t stop there, he also shows us that God loved us and that is how he showed it to us. He says “In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 Jn 4:9). God’s love cost Him His Son and therefore it must not be taken lightly. We will see why not at the end of this post.
To learn that God loved us and gave His son while we were yet sinners, show us that there are no conditions that would influence His love for us. He loved us for no reason on our part. He Himself is love and His love for us fails not. He shows that even though we perish due to sin and rebellion against Him, He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. ( Ezekiel 33:11)
Due to such an overwhelming love of God, people tend to think that God is like a “teddy bear.” That is detrimental because God in His love is also jealous. He did show in the pages of the bible that indeed He is a Jealous God and a consuming fire, some of the facts to which many people and preachers tend to turn a blind eye. Bowing to idols and serving false gods, stirs up God’s love into jealousy, thus provoking Him to anger and no man can prevail against Him.
The Goodness of God
There is no doubt of that God is good to almost everyone that profess to know and to serve Him. A lot of people are heard saying “Good is good all the time” and these words are often said when things are going well in the person’s life. My question though is, “Is the goodness of God understood?” Surely, this is a question that should be answered in a way that enlightens those who claim to know and comprehend the goodness of God and those who confess not to know it.
God Is Good
” Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 106:1)
In the book of Psalms and also in other parts of scripture we keep reading that God “…is good and his mercy endureth forever.” One example of this is when the tribe of Judah was attacked by the Moabites and Ammonites, they went to battle singing “Praise the Lord, for He is good, his mercy endureth forever” and the LORD fought for them (2 Chronicles 20:1-25). It appears that God’s goodness is made manifest by his infinite mercy. God, in His goodness relates with sinners through his mercy. If the Lord God of heaven and earth was not merciful, then His goodness alone can prove to be detrimental against the human race.
God the creator of the heavens and the earth is good and he abhors all wickedness. Consider this conversation between God Moses:
“18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:18-23)
Moses, though he had found grace in the sight of the Lord and was able to speak to Him face to face, he did not qualify to see the face of God. Moses was a sinner and an ordinary man. Evidently, he could not enter the promise land due to disobedience (Numbers 20:1-12). Should Moses have seen the face of God in person, he would have been destroyed. The glory and the goodness of God would have been his demise because the glory of God is a “consuming fire” (Hebrew 12:29, Deuteronomy 4:24). The only person who qualifies to see God is the one who have a pure heart (Matthew 5:8).
For us to understand the goodness of God, it maybe expedient to look at his relation with sin. Many times people have confused the phrase “God is good” with “God is nice.” Being nice and being good are two different things. If God were a nice God, he would be “okay” with sin and all the sinfulness of men. He would only count the few good works of rapists and murderers and overlook the bad things they do. He would not have sent his Son to die for sinners because that would not be necessary. As long as the bloody murderer say he is sorry and helps pay taxes or religiously pays church money, he’ll be good to go to heaven. Unfortunately for many, God is good not “nice.”
The goodness of God should be more terrifying to a sinner as much as a criminal is terrified of a good judge. Consider the scene in the mount, where God and Moses met to exchange the law:
“6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. ” Exodus 34: 6-7 KJV
Carefully read the text in bold italics, this is God declaring Himself to Moses. God says that He forgives iniquities, transgressions and sin and at the same time He says, He will by no means clear the guilty and that He visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, to the third and the fourth generation.
Will by no means clear the guilty
Scripture tells us in Isaiah 33:22 that “The LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king, He will save us.” If God is good and is also a judge, it means that He is the “good judge.” The good judge is the judge that upholds and execute justice. He gives everyone according to what they deserve (Jeremiah 25:14, Revelation 20:12-13). It is God through the prophet Ezekiel, who says “… the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). Paul also writes to the Roman church stating that “…the wages of sin is death…” (Roman 6:23). The LORD is our lawgiver and He is our judge. If we keep the law we will have no fear of the Judge but if we break the law, surely we shall seek to take refuge and hide ourselves from the righteous Judge. For if God will by no means clear the guilty, surely sinners will not live to tell the tale of God’s judgment against them. The wages of sin is death, therefore the offender must pay by death.
Forgiving iniquity, trangression and sin
God is a Good, Righteous and Holy Judge and is also the Saviour, for it is written “…he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22). God will not forgive sins unless a fine is paid. Blood must be offered, and the atonement must be made on behalf of the sinner because “without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). People had to offer up the blood of bulls and of goats and ashes of heifers so that they may be purified but that only dealt with the flesh. The conscience was not cleansed. The writer to the Hebrews confirms this when he says
“1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remeberence again made of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:1-4)
The guilty was not cleared, in other words the guilty conscience was not eased, even though the blood of animals was shed for the sins of men. God’s wrath was not satisfied with those offerings yet He forgave them as long as they offered them according to the law. God speaks of himself as merciful, which is why we are not destroyed, His mercy holds His just and holy wrath from making an end of us accordingly as we deserve. Sins can be forgiven but punishment still stands and blood must be shared. So God forgives and punishes sinners, the only thing that keeps us from hell and satisfies God’s wrath against us is the death of His Son on the cross of Calvary. That is the gift of God and that is God’s work. None of us can boast!
So it is imperative for people to comprehend that God is good because He execute justice, He gives sinners what they deserve and gives the righteous according to their works. God is good because He keeps His promises and that he will fulfill everyone of them. As He had promised that the wicked will perish and the righteous will inherit the earth, so shall it be!
The Justness of God
Many people would not understand the phrase “God is Just” due to that many of the younger generations do not make use of the word “just” to its formal context as it was used in the olden days. The meaning which the word “just” carries in this text is, “something which is legally or ethically right.”
God is Just
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
The portion of scripture above, shows us that God does not have double standards. He remains the same and cannot change. Let us make note of the following:
1) He is the Rock
2) His work is Perfect
3) All His ways are judgement
4) A God of truth and without iniquity
5) Just and Right is He
He is the Rock
That “He is the Rock” shows us the immutability, faithfulness and trustworthiness of God. Any rock cannot be moved and any house that is founded upon a rock cannot fall. It is therefore safe to trust in God and to look to him for safety. In that “God is just”, Him being the Rock proves to us that He remain just for ever. James confirms that with God there is no variableness, neither is there a shadow of turning with him(James 1:17b). So, God cannot be changed nor moved! (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)
His work is perfect
Every thing that God have made is perfect, His judgments are perfect, His law is perfect (Psalm 19:7) and His gifts are good and perfect (James 1:17a). The fact that the work of God is perfect gives us an impression that God will never make a mistake. The greatest and most incredible of God’s work is the work of salvation. God, sending His only begotten Son to die in the place of sinners was not a mistake, it didn’t come as a surprise to Him. It was out of His perfect will, to begin the work and perfect it. Another impression that we are getting is that God’s work is finished. It is not to be redone or retried, because that work of salvation was finished, completed, well done and perfected by God, through His Son, Jesus Christ!!!
All His ways are judgment
One of the things that many people need to understand about God is that He is a King and that He presides over His kingdom forever. Every kingdom have laws and standards under which the citizens of that particular kingdom should live. God’s kingdom have a foundation upon which it stands. Every law and standard is based on this foundation. The psalmist reveals that,
“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.” (Psalm 89:14)
Yes, the basis of God’s rule is Justice and judgment. He execute His rule in righteousness, as it is written,
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.” (Psalm 45:6)
Justice is upheld, His mercy multiplied and His truth prevails!!! The ways of God are judgments, His judgments are good (Psalm 119:39), are right (Psalm119:75), and are as a light that shines (Hosea 6:5).
A God of Truth and Without Iniquity
The bible teaches us that God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19) and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5). God does not have double standards. He is the God of truth. He hates iniquity as it is written, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity…” (Hebrew 1:9). Since God is the God of truth and is without iniquity, He will in the end overthrow liars and all workers of iniquity. (Deuteronomy 32:35-39, Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8). At the same time, He will show mercy on those who love him and keep his commands and those who turn away from evil and from lying lips! He is the Holy God.
Just and Right is He
As scripture shows us that Justice, Judgment and Righteousness are important factors of God’s rule, it is therefore necessary to understand that God is just and righteous. To hear that God is just should tell us more about the way God does things. To say God is just, means that He is not corrupt and that He will not justify the wicked person or condemn a righteous person. He executes righteous judgment upon all and respects no persons whatsoever. To put things on a more understandable manner, God does everything legally and He breaks no law even though He is above the law. He gives everyone according to what they deserve, whether it be good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 20:11-15).
How does the Goodness, the Justness and the Love of God affect us?
God is good and we are not good as it is written, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23). God must then get rid of us by casting us into hell fire, due to our sins. His Goodness and Holiness demands that we be removed from His presence and it bars us from entering heaven. His Justness condemns us to Hell. It verifies that we are guilty of transgressing the laws of God and therefore we must be punished. His Love made amends for Justice to take place without our ruin.
When God sent His Son to die for us, it was then that His Justness and Goodness was working for our good and not for our destruction. That which was to be laid upon us was laid upon the Son of God. The Son of God was heard crying out, “Eli Eli lama sabachthani?” That is to say “My God My God why have you forsaken me?” Isaiah said,
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:10-12)
God bruised His Son so that we can be justified through faith in Him. Justified only by faith!!!
It is important for us to know that although God is love, He is also Good and Just. If we sin willingly, He will make an end of us, because God cannot be a friend of sinners and He cannot be a friend of the unjust! That is why He calls us to be holy as He is Holy!! (1 Peter 1:15-16)