If Jesus Christ is not Your Savior, then He is Your Judge
God the Father has given all authority to judge the world (Ps 9:8; 96:13), over to His Son Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). The reason is that the Lord Jesus perfectly represents God, being the Son of God, faithful and true (Rev 19:11). He is the Son of man, who judges from experience in the world (Jn 5:27).
The advent of the eternal Son of God (Jn 11:27; 1 Jn 4:9) was to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). His death on the cross, to pay for the sins of His beloved bride (Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24), required that He endure the judgment and wrath of God, directed at the elect people of God (Eph 2:3). He propitiated for our sins (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10), the just for the unjust (1 Pet 3:18). The judgment His people deserved, fell on Him, our vicarious substitute (Jn 1:29). He canceled our debt of sin (Col 2:14), so there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).
He saved us (Titus 3:5), by suffering the just punishment in our place. Every sin is atoned for at the cross (Lev 8:34; Ex 30:10; 32:30). The Christian is at peace with God (Rom 5:1). There is no longer fear in death (Heb 2:15), because the believer has the promise that reconciliation with God has been fully achieved (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18–20; Eph 2:16). There is nothing that can separate the child of God, from the love of God, in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35–39).
There is no partiality with God (Rom 2:11). When Jesus judges, He does so with righteousness (Gen 18:25; Jn 5:30; 2 Tim 4:8; Heb 12:23; 1 Pet 2:23). He is the judge of all the earth (Gen 18:25), so all men can expect a fair trial before Him (2 Cor 5:10), who sits on His glorious white throne of judgment (Ps 9:7; Mt 19:28; 25:31; Rev 20:11).
If God is true, and every man is a liar (Rom 3:4), then man is given over to suppress the truth (Rom 1:18). When man judges his neighbor to be guilty of sins, that man who judges, is also guilty…and a hypocrite, for thinking he stands alone in good stead before the omniscient God (Rom 2:3).
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23), and God hates those who do iniquity (Ps 5:5; 11:5). God’s hatred manifests, practically, in His wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Rom 1:18). When a man truly understands his plight before the Almighty Judge, his reasonable plea is, “in wrath remember mercy (Hab 3:2),” and “God, be merciful to me a sinner (Lk 18:13).”
Every person should spend each day of their lives, preparing for the day of the Lord’s judgment. Sinners and saints, alike, must consider how they are living in relationship to the Law of God and the Gospel of God.
The standard of the Law has only been attained once, by one man, Jesus Christ (Mt 5:17, 20). The Law was given to man, to show him his deplorable condition, not as a means of salvation (Rom 7:7). Man is guilty before God. God’s judgment is unfavorable, and justice demands punishment. The offense against God’s infinite majesty invites eternal punishment.
Man must be saved from God, that is, the justice of God, demanding righteous wrath (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7). Somehow man must have a “not guilty” verdict without undermining the righteousness of God. It would not be right for God to ignore even one sin against Him. Thus, we inquire, how does God maintain His righteousness, while forgiving the sins of some people? How is He righteous if He forgives the sins of some people and not others?
The answer to these questions is the cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for the sins of His people. He redeemed and atoned with His precious blood (Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19). God was in Christ reconciling us to Himself. Christ hung in our place of punishment. He endured the wrath, His people deserve, being by nature, children of wrath.
With the debt of sin cancelled (Col 2:14), and with Christ’s death incorporating His chosen ones, it is the Holy Spirit who brings the application of Christ’s benefits (Eph 1:3; 2:6; 1 Cor 12:13). This particular redemption does exclude those who responsibly refuse to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His salvation. Without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), man will die in his trespasses and sins (Jn 8:21, 24). In his sinful flesh, he has no capacity to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (Jn 1:5, 10; Rom 8:7).
In conclusion, Jesus Christ is Judge of all people and the Savior of some. For the saved, there is now no condemnation. All people must prepare for the judgment day, soon coming. Sinners prepare by storing up wrath for themselves, while saints walk by the Spirit, waiting and watching for Christ’s return, a glorious day of rejoicing and exultation.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 29, 2021