Righteousness is the quality of being morally right. So God’s righteousness means that He is right…as in, ALWAYS right. Our culture states what is right through situational ethics and relativism, but God’s rightness always remains the same. It is absolute. What He has said is right. That’s why what we believe about the Bible is so critically important. What God does is right. When determining morality, God is always right. Righteousness and morality are based on what God has declared it to be, based on His character. In other words, God determines what is right based on who He is. His character determines morality and rightness. So, by knowing and applying God’s Word, we can know and live the “right” way.
In the Bible, God’s righteousness and His justice are often used synonymously. They are certainly linked. Because God is always right and He determines what is right, then He can be just in His dealings with mankind. That means He will always act justly.
In order to understand justice, we must first understand sin. We must see sin as any and everything that is opposed to God and His righteousness/rightness. Sin is not right—it’s our rebellion against God Himself and what He has declared to be right. Therefore justice demands that sin be paid for. The penalty for sin is death (Romans 3:23). But God sent His Son, Jesus, to come and pay that penalty for us. So in essence Jesus incurred the penalty for us. Justice was served…through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.
Whatever happens, remember that God is always right, and as a result He is always just in His discipline and punishments. He is always just, even when…
- When the wicked seem to “get away with it” and prosper
When something unfair happens to you or someone you love
When you follow God’s will and commands
When you think you know what is right but it goes against what the Bible says
When there’s an injustice in this world that you want to be made right
When you want justice to be served
As humans we long for moral justice to prevail. We are outraged when injustice is allowed to persist. We seek justice for those who do wrong. We want them to pay for what they’ve done. But please remember that a day is coming when all will be made right. And justice will be served (See 2 Peter 3). God will judge people justly out of His perfect rightness. God will see to it!
But also remember that it was by God’s mercy and grace that He incurred the punishment and penalty of YOUR sin upon the sinless Jesus. Jesus Himself met God’s perfect demand that sin must be punished. Justice was served on our behalf!