The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice …. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne …. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory …. For You are the Lord Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods …. Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to His holy name. Psalm 97:1A, 2B, 6, 9, 12
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In our society we have a justice system to handle criminal and civil offenses. Some offenses are tried in both our criminal and civil courts. In such cases, the goal of the criminal court is to determine the level of punishment to be meted out to the guilty person, while the goal of the civil court is to determine the level of restitution required. God has a system of justice as well that takes care of the offenses of mankind against his holiness. God’s holiness requires total punishment and total restitution for the offenses of mankind. “Sin” is the term God uses to refer to our offenses against his holiness. The “justice” God requires in regard to “punishment of sin” can play out in two ways that satisfy his holiness. The “justice” God requires in regard to “restitution of sin” can only play out in one way that satisfies his holiness.
The following Scripture passages show us the two ways “punishment for sin” comes about:
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. Isaiah 53:6
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God. 1 Peter 3:18
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18
To put it simply, the punishment of sin is either on Christ - “The Lord has caused the sin of us all to fall on Him” or it is on us - “He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The following Scripture passage shows us the one way “restitution for sin” comes about:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:18-25
To put it simply, only Christ can bring about “restitution for sin.” Mankind cannot reverse the havoc of sin that we have bought upon ourselves. Restitution is all about restoring everything to the perfect condition God intends. Jesus Christ is at work redeeming and restoring people on an individual basis. While this work of changing the condition of His people has an impact on the condition of the world, complete restitution will not come about until then end. It is then that Christ completes the transformation of his people and it is then that “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. God’s “universal” justice gives us the assurance and comfort that everything will be made right in the end.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that sometimes I slip into feeling at risk regarding punishment of sin and it stresses me out. Thank you for the reassurance and comfort in your reminder that the justice I deserved was taken care of by Jesus Christ, my Savior. Sometimes, the havoc of wrongs I have done, the havoc of wrongs done to me, and the havoc of all the wrongs in the world, really stress me out. Thank you that in the end, all will be made right and that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” I truly give thanks to your Holy Name and in you I rest. Amen!
Posted on Fri, September 2, 2016
by Ken Hart