by John Henson
Socrates used to irritate people when he asked the seemingly simple question, “What is good?”
Mankind has stumbled upon the definition of what is good since the beginnings of philosophy to the present day. Lately, they have decided that whatever works is good, as in pragmatism, or they have decided “whatever feels good,” is good.
The truth is, apart from God, man has no idea what good is.
Justice and righteousness are two attributes that demonstrate and define God’s goodness. Indeed, “there is no greater attribute in the society of men than the attribute of justice.”/1
When I say God is just, I mean he is holy and righteous. Every action God has ever taken is righteous. God’s holiness is the standard of good in the world, and even the world gets its ideas of justice from God. In most of the advanced civilizations of the world, the rule of law is maintained.
Because God does no wrong, he judges all men equally without regard to riches or political power. In addition, God’s lovingkindness recognizes good in people and he patiently waits their repentance and obedience (2 Peter 3:9).
That atheists accuse God of behaving wrongly against mankind demonstrates their own failure to understand how God uses justice to instruct and point the way to redemption. It has been said, “justice is a process of soul building, or preparation for an eternal home with God.”/2
The apostle Paul wrote:
“Do you suppose, O man– you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself– that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”(Romans 2:3-4 ESV).
God uses his justice to lead men to change their ways so they may be forgiven.
1/ “Systematic Theology,” by Rex A. Turner, Sr. page 49
2/ Ibid. Page 53