Thinking with grace rather than justice; John 15:18;

Class Outline:

Title: Thinking with grace rather than justice; John 15:18;


John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.


Justice: reward or penalty as deserved; the use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just, or lawful. [Webster’s]


The administration of justice is done by a judge. Never does a judge condemn someone else for another person whose crimes are proven, is found guilty, and is in custody.  


Grace: all that God is free to do for man on the basis of the cross. It allows imperfect creatures to execute a perfect plan.


Our God is a God of justice and operates in grace so how can the words come to mean something so opposite? Actually, the key to that question is who the judge is.


Every time you pass a judgment on someone, gossip or slander someone, play favoritism, compare yourself with others, compete with others, attempt to control others, have self-pity, bitterness, hatred, revenge motivation, guilt, think too highly or lowly of yourself or another then you are operating under justice.


COL 4:6

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.


All justice was completed at the cross and the Justice of God was satisfied (propitiated).


Justice is needed in the secular world under the laws of divine establishment, established by the government which carries out the eye for an eye procedures that provides control over the nation’s criminals who wish to violate privacy and property.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,


Securing these rights is necessary in the world filled with fallen creatures. But who is to run the government? Is it not the same people who need to be governed; people who can be corrupted by power and wealth? Since this is true there will never be a perfect government nor will there ever be a perfect justice system, i.e. legal system.


Thomas Paine writes in Common Sense:

“Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.


Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers [enclosure] of paradise.”


So in a government, justice is necessary but evil. We furnish government to protect against evil people and it in turn inflicts punishment and evil on everyone. “We furnish the means by which we suffer.”


If men adhered to the laws of the nation and didn’t corrupt them, our Lord would not have been condemned to crucifixion.


Yet this cannot and must not be carried over into Christianity. Man has an easy time understanding the eye for an eye principle even if he hates it, especially the criminal who is paying for his crimes. He may hate it but he understands it.


The world understands this and so Christianity is not understood by them. When a person becomes a believer they take their understanding of justice into the plan of God and attempt to live by the law again, judging, maligning, gossiping, condemning, evaluating based on works or morality, since without doctrine, and a lot of it, no believer will understand grace.


The world cannot understand grace without regeneration that comes from faith in Christ and the believer cannot understand grace without a maximum amount of doctrine.


So the world hates you. It hates you because it hated Christ first who came with grace and truth. If the believer neglects grace and truth then he will think and live like the world, and then the world would love him.


John 15:19

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.


It takes years of doctrine to grasp what grace is and it takes decades to understand it to the point of application to yourself and to others.


EPH 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 


EPH 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you;


EPH 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,


In a world that must be controlled by secular justice, grace seems completely unfair, and a veil will always be over their eyes when grace is presented to them. Only in Christ can the veil be lifted.


2 Cor 3:16

 but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.


If a murderer is found guilty but is then acquitted there would be an uproar - think of the indignant victims of his crime. But that my friends is what grace is. It is completely unnatural and unfair!


In justice a person gets what they deserve. Grace is completely unfair! The world and its ruler hate grace.


Unfortunately so do many Christians…


Before the fall our contact with God was based on love that had the foundation of perfection. After the fall our relationship with God changed from love to justice. Justice now became our contact with God.


In the NASB justice is mentioned 129 times in the OT and 9 times in the NT. Of the other cognates such as judgment, etc. most of the NT references by far refer to the GWTJ.


This does not mean that grace wasn’t shown or given by God in the OT. Grace was revealed through promises that could not be given until justice was fulfilled at the cross, therefore the unconditional covenants cannot be fulfilled until after the cross. Postponed still by the rejection of the Messiah which rejection interrupted the 70th week of Daniel in order to intercalate the Church, and delayed further still by the 70th week or Tribulation that fulfills the sin of Israel for not obeying the Sabbaths of their history. We would say that the Tribulation is an extension of unfinished justice.


Five covenants were given to Israel.


The four unconditional covenants could not be fulfilled until after the cross - all were future from the time they were promised.


The one conditional covenant was the Mosaic Law which they were asked to obey during their history as a client nation. The Law is full of justice.


Why was the Law full of justice? The cross had not yet occurred historically and so God put a justice system upon His people; a system that none of them could bear, since a fallen criminal cannot make his own justice.


God’s justice requires perfect righteousness and fallen man has no hope of attaining it and the Law cannot give it.