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Monday, March 29, 2010

Justice

A need for justice is absolutely built into us. It is part of the image of God we are made in. God is just.

The fact that He is judge is a less talked about fact of His identity, than the fact God is love. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary defines justice as, "the virtue which consists in giving to everyone what is his due."

Justice requires that I be held accountable for and answer to a higher authority for every act I have committed. True and complete justice requires that every injustice done - anywhere in time - must be addressed. Noah Webster defines a just man as "...living in exact conformity to the divine will."

But what about our own inequities or departures from integrity? Have you EVER violated someone elses rights, or witheld from someone what was their due? Have you ever done damage to another (even unintentially) that resulted in impairment of soundness or health (mentally, physically or spiritually)? Injury to a man's person, rights, reputation, or goods requires justice.

So, where does that leave us? Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Guilty. All guilty.

How does one make a wrong right? It's true there are things we can do to make amends - which is correcting what can be corrected -, but we are unable to give back the condition of non-injury or to undo all the consequences we set into motion when injury was inflicted.

We can't pay.... We owe more than we can repay. Whether my sins be many or few, I am cast in to the debtors' prison with others who likewise cannot pay.

What is the answer then? How can things be made right, and how do I get a clean slate? This was the dilema God faced on our behalf!

The debt must be paid. Jesus says in Revelation 3:18, "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful naked ness, and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

God in His mercy, has offered to pay our debts. Though His justice demands payment, He offers to pay the price. If I agree with Him that I have sinned, and that I am unable to make up for it in any way on my own, that qualifies me to accept His wonderful gift - forgiveness and a clean new start. The God who demands justice has in His love and mercy also paid the price.

In light of all this I ponder the injustice done to my health with this Parkinson's Disease. Who is responsible?

My disease is one of the consequences of Adam and Eve's fall. Perhaps they will in some measure be judged and have to pay themselves for my illness OR be covered by God's forgiveness.

That day will come in God's perfect time. My disease will disappear and so will all of the injustices done to me and done to you....

I cannot even imagine a world where no "right" is left undone and no wrong is done!

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