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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: The Personal Attributes of God

Don Stewart :: In What Specific Ways Does God Deal Righteously with Humanity?

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In What Specific Ways Does God Deal Righteously with Humanity?

The Personal Attributes of God – Question 10

The Bible declares that the God of Scripture is righteous; He always does what is right. In addition, it teaches that He has dealt righteously toward humanity in a number of specific ways. They include the following.

1. He Clears the Innocent and Judges the Guilty

In the Word of God we find that the Lord enacts His justice by clearing those who are innocent and judging the guilty. We read about this in the Book of Isaiah.

But with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked. (Isaiah 11:4 NASB)

The Lord knows those who are innocent and He knows who are the guilty. The guilty will be judged.

2. He Pardons Those Who Confess

God pardons those who confess their sin to Him. In one of the psalms, it records David prayed for personal forgiveness. Among other things he said,

Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. (Psalm 51:14 NIV)

God forgave David for his terrible sins of adultery and murder.

John the Apostle wrote about the need for believers to confess their sin. He said that God will forgive our sins when they are confessed.

If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NRSV)

It is important that believers acknowledge their sin before the Lord. He is certainly aware of it.

3. The Lord Punishes Those Who Sin

The Bible also says that the Lord chastises, or punishes, His people when they sin. The prophet Amos recorded God saying,

“From among all the families on the earth, I chose you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.” (Amos 3:2 NLT)

Sin is punished by God. This includes the sins of those who are His people. Since He has a special love for those who belong to Him, He does not let them get away with sin.

4. God Delivers His People from Trouble

The Bible says that God saves His people from trouble. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah the prophet records the Lord saying that He will put to shame those who are the enemies of His righteousness.

“They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.” (Isaiah 45:24, 25 NIV)

Isaiah also recorded God saying that salvation will be given to His people. It will not be delayed by anything.

I’ll bring my righteousness near; it isn’t far away. My salvation will not be delayed. I’ll provide salvation for Zion and bring my glory to Israel. (Isaiah 46:13 God’s Word)

God has promised that He will deliver His own people from trouble in His perfect timing.

5. God Gives Victory to Those Who Trust Him

The Lord gives His servants victory. After the final victory over evil, God will live with His people in a new heaven and new earth where righteousness dwells. Peter wrote of this coming day. He put it this way.

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13 NKJV)

We can look forward to a world in which righteousness dwells.

6. He Provides Righteousness through Jesus Christ

God not only deals righteously with His people, He requires righteousness from them. The righteousness that God gives believers is through the Person of Jesus Christ, God the Son. Paul wrote,

But people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of their work. (Romans 4:5 NLT)

Those who trust in Christ are declared righteous or made righteous through Him. This is a judicial act on the part of God. It does not mean that we immediately become perfect. Instead, we become righteous in the sight of God because we are credited with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

The righteousness of God, with respect to salvation, is that righteousness that is credited to every believer. Again, Paul wrote to the Romans,

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. (Romans 3:22 NLT)

What a great thought! No matter who we are or what we have done we can be forgiven of our sin by a holy God.

Since Christ Himself is righteous, He makes all those who trust in Him righteous before God. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT)

We are now accepted in God’s presence because of His sacrifice on our behalf.

Finally, we read of Paul saying that the sinless Jesus became an offering for sin so that we could be made right in our relationship with God. He put it this way to the Corinthians.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)

Consequently, all believers have been declared righteous through Jesus Christ.

Therefore, from examining the Scripture, we discover God’s righteousness is displayed in a number of different ways to the human race.

Summary – Question 10
In What Specific Ways Does God Deal Righteously with Humanity?

The God of the Bible is a righteous God. Scripture teaches that God has dealt righteously with humanity in a number of specific ways. They include the following.

For one thing, we are told that the Lord righteously clears the innocent but judges the guilty. The innocent are vindicated and the guilty are exposed.

God pardons those who confess their sins. Indeed, when we admit to Him that we have sinned He has promises to forgive us and restore us.

However, He punishes those who remain in sin. The Scripture is clear on this subject. Those who remain in sin will experience the punishment of God.

We are also told that the Lord delivers His people from trouble. Since all of us have our troubles this promise is especially comforting. When we are in trouble He has promised to help us if we call upon Him for that help.

Ultimately, He gives victory to those who trust Him. His salvation or rescuing of us is always in His timing, never ours.

Finally, He provides His righteousness for those who believe in Jesus Christ. We trade our sin for His perfect righteousness. Since Jesus took the punishment we deserve, we do not have to suffer for our sins. What a fantastic offer this is!

These are some of righteous ways in which a holy God deals with sinful humanity.

Is God Righteous? ← Prior Section
In What Sense Is God Jealous? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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