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Divine Justice

Divine Justice and the Doctrine of Election

In spite of the clarity with which Scripture addresses this topic, many professing Christians today struggle with acceptance of God’s sovereignty—especially when it comes to His electing work in salvation. Their most common protest, of course, is that the doctrine of election is unfair. But such an objection stems from a human idea of fairness rather than the objective, divine understanding of true justice. In order to appropriately address the issue of election, we must set aside all human considerations and focus on the nature of God and His righteous standard. Divine justice is where the discussion must begin.
   What is divine justice? Simply stated, it is an essential attribute of God whereby He infinitely, perfectly, and independently does exactly what He wants to do when and how He wants to do it. Because He is the standard of divine justice, by very definition, whatever He does is inherently just. As William Perkins said, many years ago, “We must not think that God doeth a thing because it is good and right, but rather is the thing good and right because God willeth and worketh it.”
   Therefore, God defines for us what justice is, because He is by nature just and righteous, and what He does reflects that nature. His free will—and nothing else—is behind His justice. This means that whatever He wills is just; and it is just, not by any external standard of justice, but simply because He wills it.
   Because the justice of God is an outflow of His character, it is not subject to fallen human assumptions of what justice should be. The Creator owes nothing to the creature, not even what He is graciously pleased to give. God does not act out of obligation or compulsion, but out of his own independent prerogative. That is what it means to be God. And because He is God, His freely determined actions are intrinsically right and perfect.
   To say that election is unfair is not only inaccurate, it fails to recognize the very essence of true fairness. That which is fair, right, and just is that which God wills to do. Thus, if God wills to choose those whom he will save, it is inherently fair for him to do so. We cannot impose our own ideas of fairness onto our understanding of God’s working. Instead, we must go to the Scriptures to see how God Himself, in his perfect righteousness, decides to act.

—John MacArthur, from his forward to Lawson’s Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2007), 8–9.

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#1 || 07·05·23··21:32 || Jonathan Moorhead

and to do otherwise is to make God into our own image - imposing upon Him our flawed understanding of what is right and wrong.

#2 || 08·08·04··11:42 || Victoria Lynch

I am finding some very good stuff thanks to your spam.

My neighbor was here yesterday (youth pastor/ arminian church). He came over to ask me if I am teaching Calvinism.
His wife attends a bible study held in my home for our Church women(our church is blessed to be pastored by a young Master's Seminary graduate).

We had about a 1&1/2 hour discussion about election, and many other Tulip doctrines. I know he was having difficulty breathing because he is so opposed to anything reformed. However he did listen and gave me a chance to show him some things out of scripture. One of the reasons I don't mind being an "older woman" is the very fact that the young will sometimes hear you out respectfully.

Because I have only been coming here for about a month and have not read Steve Lawson's book, I did not know about this wonderful explanation of God's Sovereignty by John MacArthur. This just sums everything up so clearly.

Do you think I can share this with my neighbor?
I don't think it would violate copyright do you?

I was thankful for the spam today.

#3 || 08·08·04··12:51 || David

I’m sure that would be fine, as long as you include the source.

I’m a little confused as to how you found this via spam.

#4 || 08·08·04··16:15 || Victoria Lynch

When I came to your site today and looked at the "recent comments" section the title of this article was listed with a comment from a definite spam site-- something about medicines and some other things. Actually when I went to the article the spam was in there twice. I must say it was gone by the time I posted my request and I assumed you deleted it.

#5 || 08·08·04··16:47 || Victoria Lynch

By the way, this happens fairly frequently. Last week there was a day when their were two spam websites that I saw.
These appear at the top of the "recent comments" area.
It reads like this: spam website address, on, then the name of the article.
I thought this was normal?

#6 || 08·08·04··17:13 || David

OK, that makes sense. I hadn’t thought of that.

I’ve mostly got spam eliminated, but every now and then there’s a streak of it.

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