And justice for all

America’s pledge of allegiance ends with the words, and justice for all. I think there is an assumption that America’s justice system will fulfill this expectation, but the part of the pledge that assures justice is, one nation under God. Some people do not believe God is just. They accuse him of allowing sins to go unpunished when the criminal justice system fails them.

The thing that makes God just is not that he punishes the wicked, but that he paid the penalty for every sin. The Hebrew word nacah which is translated as lifted up in Psalm 93, “is used of the undertaking of the responsibilities for sins of others by  substitution or representation” (5375). Jesus died on the cross for every sinner and his blood paid for every sin that has or ever will be committed.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 92:4, “For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the work of thy hands.” Many people equate punishment with justice, but the word for just in Hebrew, yashar means upright or righteous. It is also expressed as right or right in his eyes, in the same way that we think of doing the right thing.

In God’s justice system, doing the right thing meant paying the penalty for our sins himself. He offers each person a full pardon and forgives every sin that we have ever committed. Every person that accepts his forgiveness is a testimony, a believable witness that God is just and holiness or perfection is a fair standard of measurement.

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