Both Mercy and Justice are Fulfilled
Galatians 3:8-11 (ESV)
“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”
This passage gives us the greatest hope for every person. God’s perfect plan has solved the consequence of mankind’s wrong choice. To properly understand the message the apostle Paul is telling the Christians in the church in Galatia, we must grasp the meaning of the word “justify” and “justified” in these two verses. Paul is using legal words to explain what God has done for humanity.
God our Creator is also God our ultimate Judge. Man’s first sin has carried the death sentence for all of us. That death sentence is both a physical death and a spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God.
God is just and therefore justice must be served. God’s mercy cannot override God’s justice. God’s perfect plan has satisfied both His mercy and His justice. The sentence for sin must be death. God’s mercy sent His Son Jesus to carry out the death sentence that all mankind deserve.
Eternal Jesus became man, born without sin, for the sole purpose of “becoming sin” to meet the requirements of God’s justice by taking man’s place. Those who believe and accept God’s gift receives full acquittal. God declares the guilty, “not guilty” because Jesus paid the death penalty. Justice has been served. The case is closed. God’s law has been fulfilled.
This justification is received by faith in Christ. No one is justified by keeping the law because no one can keep the law. No one is acquitted on his or her own merits. All are condemned to die. But because Jesus died for all, then all who believe are released from the death sentence and are no longer guilty. Eternity in heaven is given to us not based on our works, but based on the work of God. This gift is ours if we simply receive by faith.
This week, take some time to think about God’s immeasurable love for us. This love provided a gift we don’t deserve made possible by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.