The Righteousness Of God
This doctrine will prove to be eternal condemnation to those who are so vain and presumptuous as to be impenitent believing that God either is not there or doesn't care what they do and so set their hearts to do evil, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil," Eccl. 8:1 1.
God does not sit in the heavens with lightening bolts in His hand to strike down the sinner but waits to the appointed time, for all things are according to His time and His plan.
He holds His peace and because He does they think that He is like themselves, "Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself. but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes," Psalms 50:17-21.
This doctrine will certainly let His people know that He is able to deal with sinners, and further, that His righteousness obliges Him to vindicate Himself. We are told that He will by no means clear the guilty, nor always be silent. Though He may seem slow yet His action will be sure, the judgment will come, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel," Psa. 2:9.
As we have read in Psalm 50 He will arise and reprove or judge the sinner and set their sins before their eyes and reckon with them for all the hard speeches which they have uttered against Him. This sight will strike them with terror, "But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses," Psa. 68:21.
Where will the hope of the lost be when God taketh away his soul? Job gives us our answer in chapter 27:8,9 "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?" We can answer that for our God does not hear the cry of the lost so the lost has no hope when finally he stands before the Almighty and judgment falls.
Another lesson we can learn from this doctrine is that His righteousness justifies His good and holy ways, those that He walks in for us and those that He commands us to walk in for Him, It also justifies all acts of God from all the senseless imputations of harshness, moroseness or any other profaneness or ignorance with which men tax Him and His actions.
For if men but search the scriptures they will find that as it has been said so it has been or will be. The way of wisdom Solomon tells us in Prov. 3 verse 17, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace." These paths are only discernable in the Word of God for only there is the wisdom honestly and truly taught. Any who think otherwise are ignorant of these things and, therefore, are not competent judges.
It is true that those whose hearts are in the Lord often have their steps turned aside and move haltingly down a new path until He can reclaim them but the fault is not in the way but in the men.
When we're saved our hearts are at perfect agreement with Him, the discord comes in by our free-will deviations and our turning our faces from our first love.
So let us not look unhappily at the commandments of God or at the ways of His plan for man but rather justify them and magnify them because we love them and Him.
To do otherwise we would have to be ashamed of ourselves as Paul himself did in Romans 7:12,14, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good." "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."
If God can only do right then let all mankind take heed of sin which the holiness and justice of God is absolutely and inexorably opposed to, He will not pardon without satisfaction.
Beware of little sins and when I use the term little I mean in the view of men or in comparison to other sins. No matter how close you feel to God, you will not be excused, Amos 3:2 reads, "You have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Since God knows all the families of the earth He can say this; of any one of us.
Even Moses, the meekest man who ever lived, Numbers 12:3, "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)", felt His chastisement for not saying what God had told him to say and for doing what God had not told him to do, for this he was not allowed to enter into the promised land. We find this disobedience in Numbers 20 verses 10 through 12, "And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also, And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."
Did you notice that Moses said that he and Aaron would bring forth the water, "must we fetch", and then he struck the rock, and that rock was a symbol of Jesus and a rock had already been struck, for this striking of the rock symbolized the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Here Moses and Aaron had been told in verse 8 to speak to the rock, as we might speak of our needs to God in prayer. "Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth water,..." Moses disobeyed God and had to pay the price.
Later Moses spoke with the God and begged Him to let him enter the promised land in Deut. 3:25 but in verse 26 we hear God's answer, "But the Lord was wrath with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter." God has and always will have the last word. If we sin we pay the price.
My friends let us be careful when we speak of sin, let us not speak lightly or jokingly of sin for to do so is to speak lightly of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that was shed for that sin that we speak of. It makes Christ's blood a common thing and who can tell me the price of blood, particularly His blood.
Sin in one of His must be chastised, sin in an unsaved person must be judged, but sin will not go unpunished. God must discourage sin, for our good and to vindicate the honor of His righteousness.
Another lesson we can learn from studying the righteousness of God is that those of us who profess to be His children, His disciples, should convince the world that we are who we say we are by practicing the principles we preach. We should show ourselves to be His children by our likeness to Him, Micah 6:8 explains how this can be done, "He hath shewed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." And we might add to that from the New Testament in Phil. 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world:...."
None need ask, What will God have me to do? for we have been given explicit instructions on how we are to live holy and spiritual lives bringing honor and glory to His priceless righteousness.
The man or woman who will not recognize the hand of God in every happening and action, in heaven and earth, denies His sovereignty, and any man or woman who denies His righteousness pronounces his personal doom.
In this doctrine we also should begin to understand that even our thoughts concerning our God are important and are known to God. We need to be careful of doubt or suspicion where the acts of God are concerned because these thoughts touch a holy and righteousness God. We may not understand His ways nor His means but He cannot be unjust. He can see through the dark cloud when we cannot. We may not understand these things but we can understand and have faith that what He says in His word He means, Lam. 3:33 says, "For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men."
But if it need be that we suffer, then once again we can turn to His word, 1 Peter 1:3-7, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
In His mercy He has saved us, isn't that enough for us but then He has given us that wonderful living hope of our own resurrection even as He rose from the dead. In His death He has also made us inheritors with Jesus in all things and all of this is eternally secure, so, if need be that we must suffer chastisement for our sins, trials and testing to purify or persecution from the world, then let us rejoice that we have the opportunity to share in His suffering for even a little while, for it will not be long, though you live to be an hundred years old, it will not be long before we will see the glory of the coming of the Lord.
He is coming and it will not be long and when He comes "And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness." Psa. 9:8. Don't let the wicked's prosperity nor your own daily chastenings deter, go to the house of the Lord as He has said we ought, "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." Psa. 73:17. There shall we know their end, our beginning.
The wicked shall be judged for their sins, but the sins of the saved have been paid for by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no judgment. For our sins after our salvation we suffered chastisement, a Father chastises, a Judge judges. It has to do with relationship. When a Father loves His children and knows all there is to know about them He chastises. The judgment of a judge is impersonal. He judges by the accusations proven in the book.
"Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God." Eccl. 8:12,13.
"...for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him." Isa. 30:18c.
We have reached the place where we can say that all the objections that are brought against the doctrine of election as being personal, absolute and eternal; that all the objections to the fact that redemption has characteristics that are exclusively its own, or the objections to the predominating influence of grace in the call to salvation, or the objections to eternal security or the perseverance of the saints in faith and holiness, all of these objections must be cast aside (and the word "must" is a divine imperative) and we must stand and stand firm for what we know to be the truth of His word, namely, - that God has an absolute right of dominion over His creatures to dispose and determine of them as seems good to Him; and that in doing what seems good to Him He can never do a wrong.