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Choose Your Own Topic / What does it mean that God is a "just" God?
« on: April 25, 2016, 12:08:48 am »
Of all the natures of God, I feel that the adjective "just" is the most difficult to understand. How ought we understand the Justice of God?

To me, it seems that "justice" means a strict adherence to a specific code of conduct or judgement, either legal or moral. A "just" judge is one who sentences according to the law, or the spirit of the law.

But to God, it seems that the only code of conduct or judgement sufficiently credibly for Him to follow is His own personal nature, such as loving, merciful, faithful, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and sovereign. In this case, would not calling God "just" or "holy" or "good" be circular reasoning, since as the supreme sovereign being from which all existence flows, God is necessarily bound only by His own attributes and nothing else?

Following this train of thought, where does the concept of "punishment for sins" comes from? That God is a "just" God? Yet if the "justice" of God only describes His own faithfulness to His own nature, what other attribute of God could this concept come from? The Bible certainly does not say "God is a retributive God, and He assigns x amount of pain for x amount of sin".

I suppose an unintended implication would be that hell is not so much a punishment as God's "justice" and "holiness" not permitting Him to come into contact with anything tainted by sin and thus subjecting sinners to an eternal separation from God. But in His love and mercy, He uses the sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse the sins of sinners, and He uses pain in this life as a way of leading sinners to repentance. I wonder if this view has any Biblical basis?

What do you guys think? Have I just managed to confuse myself on a play of words here, or am I actually missing some significant theological knowledge?

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