Right and Just


There are two words I want to look at today, righteousness and justice. They sound like the same idea, right? I think for the most part, they are the same idea, but they differ in application. Justice can be best understood as the “eye for an eye” kind of return on evil committed. If you hurt me, then I am just by hurting you back in equal measure. If we sin against God by breaking one of His laws, He would be just in meting out punishment for that sin. The Bible calls this God’s wrath. By rights, God has the authority to deal out judgment against sins committed because He is the Owner. He is the One who made everything, and so He has the authority over everything.

But righteousness is a little different. Righteousness is the quality of God that we ascribe His sense of right and good. God is always right, 100% right, thoroughly right in all he says and does. That’s why when He deals justice against wrongdoers, He is completely right to do it. But may I add that there are times that God allows injustice to occur to accomplish a right thing.

Case in point: Was it just for Jesus to be condemned to die on a cross? Did Jesus deserve to die as a convicted capital criminal? Was He more deserving of death than Barabbas? I think the answer here is NO. There was no more unjust conviction of anyone in history than of Jesus Christ. He Who knew no sin, had never succumbed to temptation, and was never at fault ever in anything, should never have been convicted of anything, let alone a capital crime worthy of death. And yet, As unjust as the crucifixion of Christ was, it was the right thing to do. How? Because God willed that one innocent Son of God should suffer for the sins of the world. Because God willed it, it was right. Because God knew that death would not hold Him, that His Son would overcome the grave as a result, would lead many in salvation through His Name, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, though unjust, was right.

I believe that as far as we are concerned, we ought to stick with what is both just and right, since I doubt any of us has insight enough to discern the difference for ourselves. But I might say that we suffer this same injustice every day, and it is right for us to suffer in this way, because our Lord suffered no less.

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.
(1Pe 3:17-18)

Let us do good, and and act justly, and walk humbly before our God. God bless you today!

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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