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Justice and Morality

“Far be it from you to do such a thing–to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

Image result for justiceGod is just. He constantly acts according to what is morally right or fair, morals being the principles that determine what is good and bad.

God is the moral law. Our Creator is the standard of right and wrong, good and bad. And He is unchanging in His promises [Hebrews 6:18]. He cannot be defined by whim or caprice [Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:21]. Though His judgments are unsearchable by the human mind [Romans 11:33], His justice is as unchanging as His character.

Throughout human history, cultural values and moral judgments have shifted. But with God that which is right today is what has always been and what will always be right. Likewise, that which is wrong today is what has always been and what will always be wrong.

Most people don’t like this attribute, because–having bought into Satan’s lie that they can be their own god–they want to decide for themselves what is good and bad, what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust. So much so, that people will surround themselves with others who say exactly what they want to hear [2 Timothy 4:3] just so they don’t have to deal with God’s truth on the matter.

But God is the judge of the whole earth. Everyone will stand before Him alone one day [Hebrews 9:27]. Everyone will answer for the things done and said in this life [Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12]. Everyone will bow their knee and confess God as God and Jesus Christ, His Son, as Lord of all [Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10].

In that day, God will separate the righteous from the unrighteous [Hebrews 4:12]. The one blessed with eternal life and the other cast into the lake of burning sulfur [Matthew 25:31-46].

The choice is as simple and clear cut as black and white. As God posed the question to Cain, let us also consider, If you do what is right, will you not be accepted [Genesis 4:7]

Who determines what is morally right and good in your life? Which side of eternity will you be on?



Side by Side

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

See the source imageGod is transcendent. He is equally above the highest earthly authority and the basest of criminals. He is equally above the ordinary good guy and the saintliest of saints.

Just as we grade levels of badness, rank acts of evil and sort them from minor wrongdoings, so too we rate our own goodness. How do I measure up when compared to another human being? I’m not as good as Mother Theresa, but I’m not as bad as my drunken neighbor who beats his family.

But that’s all human perception, and actually, human misperception. Sure our faith should spur us on to good works [James 2:17-26], but those good works do not save us [Ephesians 2:8-9]. Rather, by God’s infinite grace, it is our finite faith that saves us. And while we will each have to give an account of ourselves to God [Romans 14:12], it is only the Christ in us that will justify us before our heavenly Father [Romans 5:1-2].

Consider walking across a beach. Each grain of sand is so small underfoot that we don’t register which ones are larger and which ones are smaller. We are equally larger than the minute variations in each of the millions of grains of sand that make up a single beach.

Or consider the stars. The distance to each one from the earth varies considerably. Yet to the naked human eye, the night sky paints them all as if they were hung side by side.

It’s not a perfect analogy–nothing is when we try to fit our infinite God into our finite understanding–but it gives us a very basic idea of all this transcendence business.

When we stand before God, it’s all going to come down to the same thing–faith in Christ. God loves each of us the same. God sees each of our sinful natures the same. And God’s goodness is equally above any and every good work that we find to do. He has no favorites [Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25]!

Do you think of yourself more highly than you ought [Romans 12:3]? Are you resting on your own merit? Or, through faith, are you resting on God’s grace–Christ?


Standing on the Faithful One

“For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.” Psalm 33:4

Image result for standing on a rockIn the beginning, God said, Let there be–and all of Creation sprang forth. The Word of God spoke light and life into existence. More importantly, the Word of God has sustained, does sustain and will sustain all that He made–without question about whether He can or will.

God is faithful.

The work He began, He is and will see to the end, unswervingly [Philippians 1:6]. As the Psalmist says, God’s law is perfect and His statutes are trustworthy, His precepts are right and His decrees are firm [Psalm 19:7-9].

Law–that system of rules and regulations that govern word and deed. The world’s system is imperfect–it is flawed and lacking. But God’s law is flawless and complete. And He carries out His perfect law without fail.

Statutes–God’s laws in writing. Again, the world’s written laws are unreliable, even corrupt. People of prominence or those with connections in authority leverage their position to gain immunity. Lawmakers themselves often violate the very laws they write and expect their constituents to uphold, but find loopholes to escape the consequence. But God’s Word, His written decrees, are trustworthy. We can depend on God to always do what He said He would do–whether it be heavenly blessings for repentance and right-living or whether it be consequences for sin.

Precepts–thought and behavior regulators. The world’s patterns of thought and behavior don’t align with Our Creator’s design and are, therefore, incorrect. But God’s thoughts steadfastly transcend our own [Isaiah 55:8]. And He constantly desires to restore right thought and behavior patterns so that we may have life to the full [John 10:10; Romans 12:2].

Decrees–legal orders. The world’s authoritative orders are inconsistently meted out and enforced. As such, decrees can be whimsically reactive. They also tend to peter out over time. Not so with God. When He commands, the command faithfully stands. He is not wishy-washy that He should change His mind. He does not show favoritism that He should enforce the command with some and not others. He does not forget or lose interest or need to change His commands to accommodate for some new development in world history.

In all His ways and in all His words, God is faithful. He adheres, unwaveringly, to the truth of His nature in all things.

As we are made in His image–while we cannot ourselves make perfect laws, statutes, precepts and decrees–we can faithfully stand on the ones given to us in loving wisdom by our God who is right and true.

Are you faithfully standing on God’s Word?


The Person of Wisdom

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1:18-20

Image result for wisdomWisdom is the ability to apply knowledge [understanding gained from experience] to make good judgments in any given situation. God is wisdom, and He is infinite.

Therefore, God is the ultimate sound judgment applied in any and every situation we face.

He Himself possesses all wisdom because He is the all-knowing [omniscient], sovereign Creator of all. He is the eternal who can see every minutia from the beginning to the end of human history and consider it all at once. He is the infinite, unbound by the limitations that cause us to need the wisdom that He is.

But long ago, Satan, the adversary of God and the antithesis of wisdom, peddled a shrewd lie–you can be your own god. You can decide your own right and wrong. You need only to look inside yourself for all the wisdom you need.

Paul is writing to the Corinthians that Satan’s lie has been exposed! People created so many schools of thought to try to quantify this world we live in, to predict the uncertainties life holds and even to try to come out “on top,” so to speak.

But academics, without God, are just foolishness. Business savvy, with eyes fixed only on the temporal, is futility. People and emotional smarts are only helpful for the here and now. At the end of it all, only what was done for Christ will last [Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:11-13].

All science [knowing] comes from the all-knowing. All philosophy [love of wisdom] belongs to the One who is all love and all wisdom. All true understanding comes from He who was, and is, and is to come [Revelation 1:8]. Earthly wisdom is nothing more than shrewdness, finite judgment, limited in scope and applicability.

Do you need wisdom? Get into God’s Word [Psalm 19 & 121]. Do you need wisdom? Ask God [James 1:5]. Do you need wisdom? Believe on Christ and fear the Lord [Proverbs 9:10; Psalms 111:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30].


With the Omniscient

“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” Romans 2:14-15

Hand In Hand, Holding, Hands, Holding HandsIn a world where conscience has become synonymous with being true to self, which in turn equates to self-as-god, let us return to the root meaning.

Con-with; science-knowing.

And as Christians, we can take this one step closer to the reality of eternity and understand that conscience is living with THE Knowing One.

God is omniscient–all-knowing. The fear of the Him is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom [Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10; Psalm 111:10]. Does that mean that we need to be afraid of God? Actually, the phrase the fear of the Lord refers to our reverence for God. If we respect Him to the fullness that He deserves, then we are on the road to true knowledge and wisdom.

He Himself becomes our wisdom [1 Corinthians 1:30]. Because–while we can never plumb the depths of the mind of God [Isaiah 40:13; Romans 11:34]–we have received the mind of Christ [1 Corinthians 2:16]. Therefore, we can tap into the wisdom from on high in any situation we face.

We have His Holy Spirit to remind us of everything that God, the Father and Creator, has spoken to us [John 14:26]. His Word is alive and active, judging every thought and attitude of our hearts [Hebrews 4:12], shaping us–as we allow Him–into the image of Christ.

When we live conscientiously or with THE Knowing One, then we have direct access to the truth of our situation. We do not live reactively. We do not live in fear. We do not live in slavery to our doubt, anger, sinful desires or anything else.

Our conscience, that is our God With Us, counsels us. It’s how we can rejoice always, even in troubled times [1 Thessalonians 5:16]. It’s how we can pray without ceasing while walking through our everyday life [1 Thessalonians 5:17]. It’s how we can give thanks to God regardless of our circumstance [1 Thessalonians 5:18]. And it is precisely God’s will for us [1 Thessalonians 5:18].

Do you live with The All-Knowing One? Or is your conscience synonymous with self-as-supreme authority? Are you on the path to true knowledge and wisdom?


In Finite Faith

“O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond searching out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?” Romans 11:33-34

Image result for plumb line

God is infinite.

His eternality is only one facet of this truth. It is His infinite nature in regards to the aspect of time.

But everything that God is, He is so infinitely.

No one can calculate the depth of His wisdom, or knowledge, or great love. No one can comprehend the fullness of His truth or the holiness of His justice. No one can give thanks in equal measure to His goodness and mercy. No one can appraise His riches or quantify any aspect of God in anyway. Because–while He Created the order of logic that governs mathematics–He Himself cannot be contained or defined by numbers.

He is God. He is infinite–that is He has no limits, no one and nothing bounds Him in.

We are limited in every way. But in this, and every human weakness, God shows Himself strong in our lives–if we allow Him to [2 Corinthians 12:9-11]. A fact that King Belshazzar was reminded of the hard way.

The hand appeared out of thin air and inscribed on the wall for all to read: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. Mene and Parsin spoke specifically to Belshazzar’s kingdom, but Tekel speaks to us all.

TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting [Daniel 5:27].

To be weighed on a balance scale, there must be something or someone that we are being weighed against–a measure that we need to match. Being perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect [Matthew 5:48]. Being sinless just as Christ was sinless [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Things that we can never attain by our own works [Ephesians 2:8-9]. An infinite plumb line measures our finite existence. Boundless righteousness measures the filthy rags of our most humane works [Isaiah 64:6]. The sinlessly perfect heart of Christ is weighed against our own sinfully rebellious one.

Is there any wonder that we are found wanting?

Only God Himself can meet up to this measure of Godliness. And He gladly did so for our sakes. He lovingly sacrificed His perfect Son Jesus for our sins [1 Corinthians 15:13]. Christ became our righteousness, making peace with God on our behalf [Romans 5:18-21; Ephesians 2:14-18].

Our finite, sinful hearts can never balance in the scales as compared to the infinite, righteous heart of Christ–but it doesn’t have to . By God’s grace, all we need to do to balance the heavenly scales of judgment is accept Christ by faith [John 3:16]. When we do, His heart takes our place. Mercifully, God weighs Jesus’s heart against Jesus in our heart, and the scale balances.

Will you accept God’s infinite love for you? Will you accept His infinite grace in finite faith? Or will you insist on weighing your human effort on the scales and be found wanting?


Chronos and Kairos: The Paternal Twins of Time

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Image result for clock towerSince time only exists for Creation–aka we human beings and our environs–God sees, knows and understands our chronology, but it doesn’t apply to Him. Meaning, if we were to draw a timeline on a piece of paper–as C.S. Lewis explained–God would be like the paper. The timeline of human existence from beginning to end is fully contained in God, but He Himself exists outside of and is wholly unaffected by our linear frame of reference. He can see the beginning and the end, and every moment in between.

In ancient Greek, this kind of time was referred to as chronos [hence words like chronology, chronological and chronicle.] It is sequential. Exact. Measured and quantifiable. However, there was a second term for time as well, kairos.

Kairos time is qualitative–meaning its measure is in quality, value rather than number. Also, used as the word for weather, kairos time referred to an auspicious time for action and decision. The crucial moment when conditions are exactly right to decide and to act for the most effective outcome.

God reaches into our chronological beings, working kairologically. That is, He doesn’t make His decisions based on a clock or a calendar or after a preset passage of time. Rather, He wills and acts when the conditions of hearts and minds, the condition of world history, the condition of sin have come to the most optimum moment.

And being omniscient, that is all-knowing–seeing everything that has happened, is happening and will happen–He is not slow in keeping His promise to send Jesus again to the earth [Matthew 24:6]. On the contrary, in His infinite love and mercy He is patiently waiting for that precise moment of optimum conditions so that as many people as can come to know Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior will do so, thereby receiving eternity.

We must be so careful not to transfer our understanding of chronology onto our kairos God. To judge Him in human terms is to misunderstand Him entirely. And all who bind their understanding of God to human time, struggle to reconcile the two in their mind. Ultimately, many get frustrated in this struggle and lose faith in God. Remember, just because we cannot fully understand, does not in anyway diminish the truth of who God is. Hold tight to your faith [Hebrews 10:23]!

Is your life and faith bound up in this chronos world? Will you let God begin to reveal His everlasting kairos nature to you through His Word?