A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

 

The Justice of God

 "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." As in all of his attributes and characteristics God is perfectly just. God has never acted or done anything that is unjust. His justice is just! According to Gen. 18:25 God is the "judge of all the earth." Isaiah declares in Isa. 33:22, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us."

God as the "judge of all the earth" and the only Creator of all things certainly has the right to establish and set forth any law that pleases him. David said in Psms. 19:7 that "The law of the Lord is perfect..." All laws that God sets forth are perfect as is everything that God does.

In the beginning when God had created all things in this natural universe, he placed Adam in the garden of Eden and gave him one commandment, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thou shalt surely die." Adam was free to eat of every tree of the garden but one. God certainly had the right to place this restriction on Adam, because He created all things and all things belong to him. The penalty for breaking the law was death. The marginal reading for "die" is "dying thou shalt die." This indicates an immediate death followed by another future death. Once this law went forth from the mouth of God and because God is Just, the sentence absolutely had to be carried forth, as God uttered it. As soon as Adam transgressed he died in trespasses and sin, that is, his innocent nature changed into a totally depraved state absent any fellowship with God and separated from all godliness. Furthermore, the motions of sin in his mortal body began the process of bringing the mortal body back to the dust of death. In addition, when Adam transgressed he brought himself under the eternal wrathful judgment of God known as the second death.

According to Rom. 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sins; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned." This teaches us that Adam was the representative of all his posterity and that the consequences of what he did passed upon all men. It also teaches us that the sin nature is hereditary. It passes from father to child. Please note that by one man sin entered into the world. Eve was the first to sin and she fell, but sin did not pass from Eve to the children, it passed from Adam to the children.

As the judge of all the earth God gives us his laws. Sin is defined in 1 John 3:4 "for sin is the transgression of the law." No sin is ever committed, but that God knows it as Heb. 4:12, 13 teaches us: "... God discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart...all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Prov. 24;9 says "The thought of foolishness is sin." Further David said in Ps. 139:2, "thou understandest my thought afar off." God knows our thoughts even before we think them and the thought of foolishness is sin the eyes of God. Thus the idea that someone can hide their sins from God is foolish indeed. Some people think that because they see no immediate consequences to their sins that they have therefore "gotten away with sin." This is faulty thinking as we read in Heb. 2;2 "every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward." Remember God is just and there is no such thing as anyone getting away with any sin that they have ever committed. All sin is brought before the judgment seat of God. Every sin bears the same penalty as stated in Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death..." Since we have all died in Adam and because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, we were all under the same judgment of condemnation before God.

We like to think upon the mercy and grace of God. However, God does not lay aside his justice in order to show mercy and grace. His justice must be executed because He is perfectly just. Since all of us have sinned and come under the condemnatory judgment of God, how can we escape the wrathful execution of that judgment? This we will show but first consider Ps.85:10, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Mercy and truth would seem to be opposing principles. Likewise righteousness and peace with God for a sinner would at first appear to be impossible. However, God has made a way.

Throughout the old testament God has illustrated the principle of substitution through animal sacrifices. The idea was that ceremoniously the sins of the people would be laid upon the sacrifice. However, Heb. 10:3, 4 teaches us, "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." While this teaches us that only a human can be a substitute sacrifice for another human, those sacrifices also taught us of the requirement of perfection. Not just any sacrifice was suitable, but it had to be without spot or blemish. God would/will accept only perfection. Thus I could not be a substitute for you, nor you for me.

For someone to be a substitute in God's execution of justice he had to be perfect (without sin). Furthermore, he could not even possess the sin nature of fallen man. When Jesus was born of the virgin he was born without sin. He was declared to be that Holy thing and In Matt. Jesus said "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, but I have come to fulfill it. One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. According to Heb. 7:26, Jesus was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." Thus Jesus was qualified to be the substitute atoning sacrifice for His people. God made Jesus to be sin for us on the cross in order to satisfy his divine justice. According to II Cor. 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." In the three hours of darkness God meted out on Jesus all that His divine justice required because of all our sins. His justice was perfectly executed and satisfied and it was here at the cross that mercy and truth met together and righteousness and peace kissed each other.

I Tim. 5:24 summarizes and illustrates God's justice, "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment, and some men they follow after." For those for whom Christ died their sins went before to judgment (at the cross). For those who are not redeemed, their sins follow after and judgment will be according to their works and they will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11 15). Thus every sin is brought to judgment for God is Just.
 

Elder Vernon Johnson


Omnipresence of the Lord


The term, "omnipresence," simply means that God is every where present and no where absent. There is no place that God is not present. The following verses teach this principle:
1. Ps. 46:1 "To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

2. Ps. 139:6 "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb."

3. Heb. 13:5 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

4. Prov. 15:3 "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

5. 2 Cor. 2:14 "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."

6. Job 5:19 "He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee."

7. 1 Kings 18:27 "And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked."

8. Ps. 23:4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

9. Ps. 41:1 "To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. 2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness."

10. Ps. 46:1 "To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;"

11. Deu. 4:31 "(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them."
12. Deu. 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
 

Elder Vernon Johnson
 

Primitive Baptist