Previous · Home · Next

Divine Justice


img

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.

—from John MacArthur’s forward to Steve Lawson’s Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 8–9.



TrackBack URL: http://www.thirstytheologian.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/400
Share this post: Twitter Buffer Facebook Email Print
Posted  in: Foundations of Grace · John MacArthur · Steve Lawson · William Perkins
Link · 0 Comments · 0 TrackBacks
← Previous · Home · Next →




RSS Twitter Facebook Kindle

img


Feedback



Post a comment

Comments are being held for moderation. Please be patient, and your comment will be published as expeditiously as possible.