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Knowing and Serving God

August 16

GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 3:36

Another moral attribute of God that the Bible emphasizes is the righteousness or the justice of God. Now this follows, of course, inescapably, from the holiness of God. What is righteousness? Well, it is holiness manifested in God's dealings with us. I think that is as good a definition as you can get. Or you can look at it like this: It is that quality in God that always reveals God as doing that which is right. It is that in God which makes Him incapable of doing anything that is wrong.

Righteousness and justice are the carrying out of God's holiness and the expression of it in the government of the world. A further definition still is that the righteousness of God is God's love of holiness, and the justice of God is God's abomination of sin. And I think that is the definition that most commends itself. Now the righteousness and the justice of God, of course, are revealed almost everywhere in the Scriptures. The wrath of God is taught in both the Old and New Testaments. Our Lord Himself taught it; one of the cardinal doctrines of the whole Bible is that God has a hatred of sin, which He expresses in His wrath. If anyone does not believe, says John, then "the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). We are all by nature, says Paul, "the children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3).

But God's righteousness and justice are not only manifested in His wrath. He reveals the same qualities in forgiving our sins. Having prepared the way of forgiveness, if we conform to it, the justice of God comes in, and by His justice God forgives us. And God prepared the way of forgiveness by providing propitiation for our sins--and this is the most remarkable thing of all.

A Thought to Ponder
Righteousness is holiness manifested in God"s dealings with us.

From God the Father, God the Son, pp. 72-73.






Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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