The Book of Genesis, being the very first book of the Bible, is one of many beginnings. It tells us how and when everything was made, from how the solar system came to be, the earth, the plants, the creatures, and finally, the human beings. All was well until Genesis 3; here, we are introduced to how sin came into the world. Satan, who at this time had already rebelled against God (Revelation 12:7-10), came into the serpent to lure Adam and Eve into sinning against God. Adam and Eve disobeyed, and in came sin. Sin came through Adam and death (the penalty of sin) through sin, so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12-13). Just like David, we are all sinners from the point of our conception (Psalms 51:5).
Now sin is anything that goes against the will of God. Sin is, basically, missing the mark. When an archer shoots, he tries to hit the bullseye. However, if there is a 0.000001 deviation from the target, that shot will have fallen short. So sin is being off target. Our target is Christ (Romans 8:29); if we are not like him, who knew no sin, we are sinners deserving of death (Romans 3:23). God requires 100% perfection, and anything short of that is sin. Without such perfection, we cannot qualify for eternity with God (Hebrews 12:14-15). Now all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. So what should we all receive from God?
God has the moral authority to judge since he cannot be hypocritical. He is not involved in any evil. He has no sin in him. He is Holy (Deuteronomy 32:4). In fact, of all of his attributes, we find his holiness repeated three times, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty” (Revelation 4:8). It is upon the grounds of his holiness that God will stand as judge of all things. We wouldn’t want a judge guilty of murder to give a verdict over a murder case. Justice is served not only based on the law’s integrity but also on the judge’s integrity. God is so holy that no one can see him and live. This is because of the nastiness of our sins (Exodus 33:20).
Justice refers to one receiving what they deserve. For instance, if one works, they earn money. When people go to court, they present their cases for the truth to be established. The accused person will be declared either innocent or guilty based on the evidence collected through witness testimonies. In our case, God is the ultimate judge (Ecclesiastes 12:14) since he is everywhere and he knows everywhere. You cannot hide from him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). He knows everything (Proverbs 15:3). He sees everything that everyone is doing (Job 34:8); hence his judgment is true and just. At the same time, God is sovereign. He has authority over everyone and everything since he created all things.
God can question man, but no man can instruct or question him (Daniel 4:35). In order to dispense justice, one needs to check all the above elements; power, truth, and the law, since God is the lawgiver (James 4:12). To declare one as guilty, a good judge will try to determine the intentions of the accused person. To know someone’s intention, one must be able to read hearts. Unlike human judges who only look for outside indicators of intent, God knows the inclinations of our hearts, for he alone knows the hearts of all men (1 Kings 8:39). God doesn’t just judge the actions and inactions of men; he will also put to trial the intentions of their hearts and minds (Psalm 7:9). These qualities show us that God is a just judge.
We have established that all men are sinners and God is Holy and just. The question is, What should a Holy and Just God do to sinful man? What do you deserve to receive from God? No one could stand if God were to treat us as our sins deserved (Psalms 130:1).
Many might assert that God is loving and forgiving of iniquity, transgression, and sin. In as much as all these things are indeed true, still, by no means does God let go of the guilty (Exodus 34:7). How, then, can man escape his guilt? The answer is grace. In this context, grace refers to unmerited favor. Think of it this way; you have been declared guilty of a crime since all evidence shows you are the offender. Upon sentencing, the judge then goes ahead and goes to jail on your behalf so that you can now walk from the court as a free man, no longer guilty. Now this is grace. The judge was under no obligation to take your place. His work was only to dispense justice and condemn you for your crime. Grace doesn’t work in opposition to justice but rather in tandem with it.
Since no one can fulfill the requirements of God’s law perfectly due to our sinful nature, we cannot, therefore, please God by what we do (Romans 8:7). Because of this, God chose to send his sinless Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering and to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law on our behalf (Romans 8:3-7). Hence, Christ received God’s justice for sin on the cross for all who believe in him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ became our substitute so that he might reconcile us to God.
Salvation is essentially a gift since it is obtained through the gracious work of God. In Christ, justice is done, and grace is dispensed. So, by grace, you have been saved through faith, and this is a gift of God to us (Ephesians 2:8). We cannot claim that we deserve to be saved from sin since we have not done anything to save ourselves. Regarding our sinful nature, we are like leopards with their spots. Until God works to save us, we remain eternally doomed because the inclinations of our hearts are nothing short of evil (Jeremiah 13:23).
Believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour means receiving the gift of grace, salvation. No matter how wicked you were, deserving of death, you can now have eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). “…now is the day of salvation.” Believe in Jesus, and you will receive your gift today. To receive Christ, click here.