What is the…
Justice of God

that perfection of His nature, whereby He is infinitely righteous in Himself and in all He does, and that righteousness of His divine nature is exercised in His moral governing of Heaven and Earth

God imposes righteous laws on His creatures and executes His laws righteously.

Part of God’s nature

Justice is not an optional product of His will, but an unchangeable principle of His very nature.

  1. His legislative justice is His requiring of His rational creatures conformity in all respects to the moral law.

  2. His distributive justice as governor of men—justly distributing REWARDS and PUNISHMENTS to every one according to their merits or demerits, as accountable creatures made in the image of God and under the law.

    Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
    steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” —Psalm 89:14 ESV

  3. His remunerative justice

    God generously distributes rich rewards to those who serve Him, as goodness, humble, righteousness, faithful and loving servants.

    Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” —James 1:12 ESV

    “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” —2 Timothy 4:8 ESV

  4. In vindictive or punitive justice, he inflicts punishment on account of transgression (2 Thess. 1:6).

He cannot, as being infinitely righteous, do otherwise than regard and hate sin as intrinsically hateful and deserving of punishment. “He cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). His essential and eternal righteousness immutably determines him to visit every sin as such with merited punishment.

“I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted
And justice for the poor.
Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name;
The upright will dwell in Your presence.” —Psalm 140:12-13 NASB

God’s warning

God has strongly warned of his wrath toward those who are unjust and subvert justice.

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel,

“Seek the Lord that you may live,
Or He will break forth like a fire…
And it will consume with none to quench it…
For those who turn justice into wormwood
And cast righteousness down to the earth.

He who made the Pleiades and Orion
And changes deep darkness into morning,
Who also darkens day into night,
Who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The Lord is His name.
It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong,
So that destruction comes upon the fortress.

They hate him who reproves in the gate,
And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.

Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor
And exact a tribute of grain from them,
Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone,
Yet you will not live in them;
You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.

For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,
You who distress the righteous and accept bribes
And turn aside the poor in the gate.

…Seek good and not evil, that you may live;
And thus may the Lord God of hosts be with you,
Just as you have said!
Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the gate!

…I hate, I reject your festivals,
Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
Take away from Me the noise of your songs;
I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

But let justice roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream

—excerpts from Amos 5:6-24 NASB

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Article Version: May 10, 2019