Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unjustified Love

This topic has been floating around in my mind recently, so I thought I'd put it into words. Really it's a very broad topic because it's about God, and when you think of him you invariably must think about it. It is the topic of the character of God - specifically two characteristics - as revealed in both the Old Testament and in the New. These characteristics are: God is perfectly Just, and God is perfectly Loving.

Sometimes people separate these two, because they see a Just God in the Old Testament and a Loving God in the New and they just cannot reconcile the two in their minds. This irks me greatly because this is a great flaw. By the very nature of these two characteristics you cannot have one without the other, and you cannot diminish one or the other. They must both be equally perfect, equally unfathomable for God to be God. Because it is Just for God's attributes to be unsearchable by us, his creation. For will the pottery call into question the potter? Will the clay formed judge the one who forms it? Isaiah 29:16 Puts this into perspective.

Yet, at the same time, God's perfect Love shines through by the fact that he allows us a great deal more leeway in fathoming his attributes than we should be able. Ephesians 3:16-19 spells this out, saying, "…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

Taking the concept that these two characteristics only work perfectly in tandem a little further, we see that without the support of one another the basis for both fall away. For, perfect, unsearchable Love cannot be perfect and unsearchable without the backdrop of perfect Justice. Because perfect Love must be, by its very nature, unconditional Love, and perfect Justice must be meted out based on a perfect, unchanging set of conditions. If there were no conditions, or if the conditions weren't perfect and unchanging, how then could Love be unconditional? It couldn't be and wouldn't be, making perfect Love completely dependent on perfect Justice.

In turn, perfect Justice is nothing without perfect Love. Oh, yes it can exist; unlike perfect Love without perfect Justice. But what would be the point? Where would the hope be? For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; and without God, without Jesus, without perfect Love nothing you do will come to anything and everything you do will come to not. "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." Ecclesiastes 1:14

One can chose to live a life under prefect Justice alone, but that is not how God will mete it out. For he will divide the wheat from the chaff and the lambs from the goats on the same day, and those who chose not to believe in the perfect Love of God will discover the deepest point of their despair when they find out it was real and within their reach all along.

Romans 3:3-4 "What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.'"

Matthew 12:36-37 "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Romans 10:9-10 "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."

1 John 4:15-17 "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world."


  1. An interesting point. We need to remember that God's perfect Justice was satisfied on our behalf only at a terrible cost to Him - the sacrifice of His own perfect Son.

  2. "But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that i am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!" Jerimiah 9:24