This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Have you ever gone through something difficult and felt like God wasn’t being fair? Do you consider yourself to be completely fair?
If we are honest, even at our best, our ability to be fair is conditional and persuadable. Our decisions in relation to others are affected by how long we’ve known the person, their relationship to us, and what we are going to get out of the decision. To be fair means to be unbiased, and fairness requires consistency. What you give or do for one person you must also give and do for everyone else, regardless of your relationship to them.
We often hear people say God isn’t fair as they consider hard circumstances and life difficulties. I would agree that God isn’t fair. However, I don’t recall anywhere in Scripture Him saying He is. He did say in several places that He is just, but He doesn’t say fair. Being just is different than being fair.
I once heard a great analogy about the sometimes-misguided principle of being fair versus being just. Let’s say a mother has four kids ranging from ages 22, 16, 10, and 4 and she decides to give them cookies. If she were being fair, she would give each of them the same number of cookies, regardless of age, sugar tolerance, and diabetic conditions. If she didn’t give them all the same number, the kids who got less would claim she wasn’t being fair.
So what if I told you the 10-year-old has diabetes? Should he get the same number of cookies as the 22-year-old? No! On the surface, this isn’t fair, but the actions of the mother do make her just.
In order to see the love, peace, patience and kindness of God, we must look at His ability to be just. Because He sets the standard for being just, it is only He who then has the ability to be our justifier! This is great news to those who have put their faith and trust in Christ.
Go back and read through today’s verse again. He who is just can make you justified. Only the blood of Jesus Christ!
By Pastor Leroy Childress, Bible League International partner, Illinois, U.S.