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Existence and Majesty of God, Final Assignment

Existence and Majesty of God, Final Assignment

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Published by Donovan Neufeldt
God's attributes of justice and mercy are explained, their tension acknowledged, and there harmony revealed in the cross of Christ.
God's attributes of justice and mercy are explained, their tension acknowledged, and there harmony revealed in the cross of Christ.

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Published by: Donovan Neufeldt on Dec 18, 2010
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02/11/2013

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Donovan Neufeldt
 
Existence and Majesty of God: Final Assignment
The objective of this paper is to explain the attributes of justice and mercy,and how they are both expressed by God simultaneously in completeness andperfection. The primary point of emphasis is how these attributes relate tosoteriology, so that it answers the questions, how does God express mercy (andgrace) to people deserving of hells eternal torment if He is truly just? and, howcan a merciful and loving God send people to hell?. The answer is summarised inthe assertion that Jesus received our just punishment at the cross, that we mightbe pardoned. This cross is the expression of the wrath and justice of God, as wellas the love and mercy of God.Gods justice is, in essence, His zeal make wrong things right, or one mightsay it is the yes to the question, Shall not the judge of all the earth to right?(Genesis 18:25). It is Heavens proclamation that all Gods works are true andrighteous (Revelation 16:7; 19:2).The justice of God is inextricably linked to hisrighteousness, holiness, love, and wrath, without contradiction. A.W. Tozer evenstates that justice and righteousness are scarcely to be distinguished from eachother.
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 Because of his blazing holiness and righteousness, he cannot allow sin to gounpunished (justice). It is not because God is constrained by an outside force thatHe must enforce or oversee of moral equity that we ascribe the attribute of Justice to Him. Like the other attributes, Gods justice originates within God and isdefined by His very nature. God is just simply because that is how God is, andalthough there is no outside force constraining him to act justly, we can depend
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Tozer, Aiden Wilson.
The Knowledge of the Holy 
. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1961. p. 86.
 
Donovan Neufeldt
 
on His justice because He has revealed that it is His nature and because he doesnot change (Malachi 3:6).The mercy of God is displayed most powerfully in His forgiveness towardthe repentant, but also in the restraint and delay of his judgement. The essence of mercy is not receiving what one deserves, while grace works in a similar yetdifferent fashion by giving one what he or she does not deserve. Every moment of time in ones life is given by the mercy of God. To the unbeliever, every moment isundeserved time to repent; although they deserve to go to the lake of fireimmediately, God patiently withholds judgement to woe and to warn, that thesinner may turn from wickedness and turn to God through the person of Jesus. Anexample is the Jezebel who was in Thyatira, who did not receive the offer Godspatience, mercy, and forgiveness, but received the just due for her wickedness(Revelation 2:20-23).For the believer, the greatest act of mercy and forgiveness has taken placeat the new birth, yet mercy continues to be extended during the process of sanctification via the finished work of Calvary, because believers continue to sin inimmaturity, ignorance, and weakness, they require the continued mercy of Godto preserve them in righteousness before God. God delights to extend mercy tothose who are weak and immature, yet have a heart of obedience and love forGod. The salvation of believers is efficacious by the grace and mercy of Godworking together through the faith of the repentant. Mercy gives room for therelease of power to live in the righteousness of the new life in Christ, and istherefore extended into justification, sanctification, and glorification.The two attributes of justice and mercy do seem to be in tension with oneanother, for with both these attributes in mind the question shifts from the most
 
Donovan Neufeldt
 
common accusation, How could a loving (and merciful) God send people tohell? to How could a just God not send everybody to Hell?. The formerquestion is answered in the light of Gods justice and holiness, as well as our sin,rebellion, and scorn of His love, which reveals that eternal torment is the just duefor all. The latter question is answered in the light of Gods delight in mercy. Evenwith these perspectives, however, the tension has not been entirely resolved,because it would seem that God must suspend his justice in order to exercisemercy, or vice versa. Indeed this would be so if God had chosen to redeemhumanity apart from the cross of Christ.At the outset it must me noted that the author does not believe that thistension can ever be completely resolved or explained in human terms. Fullyexplaining what happened at the cross is as difficult as comprehensivelyexplaining other biblical mysteries such as the trinity, the incarnation, or theunion and inter-indwelling of Christ to His bride (the community of the redeemed)through the Holy Spirit. However, we have been given an invitation to search outthe mysteries of God, so with regard to these attributes of love, wrath, justice,and mercy, one is driven to their ultimate expression at Calvary, which also givesthe greatest explanation of Gods non self-contradiction.His righteous judgements and justice do not in any way contradict otherattributes such as love and mercy of God, but are rather according to them andact to remove all that hinders love. Although there are many facets of this truth todevelop, the primary focus here is the cross, because it is the pinnacle of Godsself-revelation. In the cross, the guilt of sin was placed on Jesus when He [theFather] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to become sin for us, that we mightbecome the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV). Jesus did

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