Justice and Mercy
Dr. Charles Stanley
The sinful condition of mankind presents us with a dilemma: How can a holy, righteous God forgive our sins? If He deals with us only on the basis of His justice, every human being would suffer the eternal punishment of His wrath, which their sins deserve. But if He extends mercy instead of justice, no one would pay the penalty for sin, and God would then cease to be just.
There was only one way the Lord could stay true to His nature and at the same time forgive our sins. The solution was to satisfy His justice by pouring out His wrath on a substitute. Then the penalty for sin would be paid, and He would be free to extend mercy to sinners. This is the only plan that accommodates both aspects of His divine nature. So Christ came as our substitute; He took the punishment for our sin, enabling us to experience the Father’s mercy. Now, by placing faith in Jesus, anyone can be justified—that is, declared legally righteous.
God’s plan of salvation is simple enough for a child to understand. Yet at the same time, the complexities of the transaction that occurred at Calvary are far beyond human comprehension. Although we may not fully grasp what transpired there, we can know that the cross is the greatest possible display of the Lord’s love for us.
Can you even imagine the cost of your salvation? The magnificent plan of the Father and the willing cooperation of the Son prove your tremendous value in God’s eyes. From His perspective, you are worth all the pain and suffering that was necessary to secure your eternal presence with Him in heaven.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org/.
By Dr. Paul Henebury
The apostle Paul, now a prisoner in Rome, addresses the assembly of Christians at Ephesus, whom he had last seen about six years previously...