Check the news on any morning and you’ll see stories of bad things happening to good people — or good things happening to bad people. Life is not fair! The age-old question is, “If God created life and life is unfair, then, is God fair?”
Generations upon generations have struggled with the existence of evil in the world and the question of whether God is just. The world is a mess. Why doesn’t God just fix things? Why doesn’t He stop the pain and sickness and hate and death that ruin people’s lives?
God created humans to be fully free to make choices. We have the freedom to choose to love or to hate. We have the freedom to choose to be greedy or generous. We have the freedom to choose to serve our neighbor or undermine him. We have the freedom to choose to honor God or ignore Him. If He stopped all our bad decisions, then we would stop being human.
Okay, but what about justice? Individually and communally, we make bad choices. We don’t measure up. We are unjust and sinful.
The Bible teaches that justice and righteousness are “the foundation of [God’s] throne” (Psalm 97:2). They’re part of His very nature. He can’t just turn a blind eye. God doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m the God of the universe. I can change the rules. I’m going to ignore sin today!” No. His nature demands that sin be dealt with – that justice be served.
When you’re angered by someone’s unjust action, you’re reflecting that holy nature. You too feel an urge to demand retribution. Multiply that by countless thoughts and words and acts by billions of people over thousands of years. He sees all this chaos and it breaks His heart.
How to set things right? What His justice demanded, His love provided: God’s justice is demonstrated at the cross. He sent His Son to pay the penalty of sin. “The just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18) — the righteous and perfect Jesus, fully God and fully human, giving His life as retribution, so that we might be able to approach God. As Jesus Christ hung on the cross, God the Father poured His holy anger on Jesus — instead of you and me. The injustices, the sin, got paid for. Retribution occurred. Justice was served. And you and I were justified.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
Friends, if you haven’t received the forgiveness of Christ on your behalf, right now is the perfect time to turn to Him, acknowledge your need, invite Him into your life, and accept the gift of eternal life!
To learn more about the justice of God and His other attributes, check out Chip’s series and group study, The Real God.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip