Charles Stanley (November-19-2020) Daily Devotion: Justice and Mercy.
Romans 3:21-26 - 21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The sinful condition of mankind presents us with a dilemma: How can a holy, righteous God forgive us? If He acts justly, every human being would suffer the eternal punishment of His wrath, which their sins deserve. But if He extends mercy instead, no one would pay the penalty, and God would cease to be just.
There was only one way the Lord could stay true to His nature and still forgive our sins. The solution was to pour out His wrath on a substitute. That way, the penalty for sin would be paid, and He could extend mercy to sinners—which accommodates both aspects of His divine nature. Thus, Christ came as our substitute: He took the punishment for our sin, enabling us to receive the Father’s mercy. Now, by placing faith in Jesus, anyone can be justified—that is, declared righteous. This is the greatest display of the Lord’s love for us.
Can you imagine the cost of your salvation? The Father’s plan and His Son’s willing cooperation prove your tremendous value in God’s eyes. From the Lord’s perspective, you are worth all the pain and suffering that was necessary to secure your eternal presence with Him in heaven.