Essentials of Salvation–Justice


Isaiah 42:4 “He will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

Isaiah speaks of salvation in the context of justice. In order for God to forgive sin, there must be a just basis for that forgiveness.

When another person wrongs us, we may choose to forgive his error and release him from the debt he owes us.

In order for God to have a just reason to forgive, a penalty must be paid by the person who committed the wrong. According to the law of God: Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).

Jurisprudence requires that a penalty be paid when a crime has been committed. To enact laws without the enforcement of those laws would be injustice. God has said, The soul that sins will die; therefore, when we sin, the law requires that we must die.

“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.” –Ezekiel 18:4

Imagine that God would declare laws by His wisdom and then fail to enforce them by His power. We might consider that either He was unwilling or unable if He did nothing when wrongs had been committed. What kind of nation would the United States be, if the laws instituted by the executive and legislative branches of our government were not enforced by the judicial branch, with penalties exacted against those who violated these laws? This land would be unsafe and unfit for any decent person to live in.

If God cannot be trusted to do what He has said, both positively and negatively, then He cannot be trusted at all. What makes God trustworthy is that He always does what He says He will do. More importantly, since God has promised to punish sin, we can understand that there are moral absolutes in the world. We are not left to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. All of the laws of civilized societies have, as their origin, the laws of God, as defined in the Old Testament. Each one of us understands that if we break human laws, we will suffer the penalties for our errors. In the same way, this 204th prophecy of Isaiah 42:4 defines the future ruler of this world as being righteous in all of His judgements.

Part of the justice of God is to forever deal with the curse of sin and death. God did not create us to suffer the horrible effects of sin, sickness, and death. He made us perfect, morally upright, and eternal. The condition of the word today is due to sin. If anyone should deny that sin is a reality, they would have to be completely blind to all of the unjust actions of human beings that occur every day on the earth. Rich and prosperous people do not sin more than the poor. I have traveled a good part of the earth and the universal truth that I have discovered about people is that they are the same everywhere you go. There is selfishness, evil, corruption, and violence in every corner of this planet. One of the stunning proofs for the validity of the Bible, as being the word of the Living God, is the manner in which He describes our true nature.

Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (ESV)

The purpose and plan of God is to end all sin and the horrific effects that it causes. We have been robbed of the infinite blessings that God so earnestly wants to give us. Sin has ruined our lives and our planet and deprived us all of the beauty that life was meant to contain. Soon, the Lord will restore the earth to His original purpose and make all human life full of joy and perfect forevermore.

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

First, God must deal with our sins; then He can restore us. The method by which The Lord has dealt with all of our sins is by the death of Jesus, the Messiah. He took our place and paid the penalty that was due for the sins of the whole world.

As much as God loves us, He cannot break His own law: The soul that sins must die.

Under the law of God, there is a provision in His justice system for a substitute to be offered. An innocent can take the place of the guilty at the execution of the penalty and allow the sinner to go free. As long as the one who is to take the place of the guilty is himself perfect, he can offer his life in exchange for those who have committed sins.

The animal sacrifices described in the Old Testament did not remove the sins of the guilty person; they only served to cover them temporarily. The Old Testament sacrifices were meant to be an interim solution to a serious problem. The many Old Testament sacrifices were to last only until God’s promise of a Messiah arrived, who would make His life one permanent sacrifice for all sins, forever.

Hebrews 10:12 But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…

The Bible describes forgiveness as the remission of sin. The basic meaning of forgiveness in this context is to send away our sins.

Another way of thinking of forgiveness or remission is that when God forgives our sins, He separates us from them so that they no longer exist.

When Jesus died on the cross, God had a just basis to forgive us, providing that we stood under the protection of Jesus’ offering for those sins. Without us personally appropriating to our own account what Jesus has done for us, we remain guilty, with no hope of salvation by any other means.

Romans 5:18-19 Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act (Jesus) the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

At the moment that we ask God to place into our account the righteous sacrifice Jesus made in taking the penalty for all of our sins, then His righteousness is transferred to our account. Our many sins are then removed from our record as if they never existed.

God now has a righteous and just basis to forgive us and grant us eternal life.

This is why it is not enough to simply know who Jesus is. We must have entered into a personal relationship with Him, whereby we have asked Him to appropriate His offering for our sins to our account. He will not forgive us on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice until we ask Him. To force us to take Jesus’ sacrifice without our permission would be a violation of our freedom of choice.

As much as God loves us, He will not force anyone to be saved. He provided a just basis for our sins to be permanently removed, then made available this forgiveness to every person. For this reason, if we fail to seize this one-time offer of a full pardon for all of ours sins, those sins will once and for all and forever remain on our account.

For the person who has believed that Jesus has died for his sins and has asked Him for forgiveness based on Jesus sacrifice, that person immediately has the removal of all their sins. At death and into the life to come, there awaits no future judgment by God. Jesus took the penalty for our sins and He was judged in our place, so that no judgement awaits anyone who has received Jesus Christ as their Savior.

For the person who will not believe and ask God for a pardon for his sins based on Jesus’ sacrifice, those sins remain forever on his account. At a day future, all those who have a record of sin remaining on their account after their death will stand before God and pay for those sins themselves.

When Isaiah writes that the Messiah will not fail nor be discouraged, Till He has established justice in the earth, He is describing what the Messiah will accomplish—nearly 700 years before Jesus is born and makes His life our sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of such great worth that God has a just basis to forgive all those who come to Him on the merits of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

Salvation is for every person. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not just the good or a select few. In fact, it was for the very worst whom Jesus gave His life. There is no sin which Jesus cannot forgive. There is no guilty stain upon a man’s life that Jesus cannot wash it, white as snow. There is no sinner who is so lost that Jesus cannot find him and bring him home to heaven.

You may think of yourself as the greatest sinner the world has ever known. Perhaps you have committed murder, adultery, or any other sin that you know in your heart today was wrong. Jesus will forgive you of any sin you have committed and expunge them from your record at the moment you call on Him in repentance and receive Him as you Savior.

Isaiah’s picture of the Messiah is that He will not fail in delivering salvation to all people. Though the task is great, He shall accomplish the purpose for which He came to the earth. All those who believe in Jesus can find the forgiveness of their sins now and eternal life as a present and future reality.

The skeptic and the atheist may scoff at the claim that there is a God who made all things and cares for the plight of man. The fact that no one can dispute is that millions and millions of lives over the course of the past 2,000 years have been incredibly changed by coming into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no argument against the reality that following Jesus will change a person’s life. There is no program of man nor diligent work which can be done by any human institution, which has the lasting and profound effect that just surrendering a life to Jesus, can equal.

Though God may not be seen, His power to change a human life is visible and unmistakable.

These many Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah testify of the eternal desire of God to make Himself known to us and provide a way for every person to experience the forgiveness of their sins and find eternal life.

See “The Essentials of Salvation–Atonement.”

Categories: Justice, Salvation through Jesus

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