Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Unconditional Love, Justice and Mercy

Unless we understand the
unconditional love of God,
we understand neither the
justice nor mercy of God,
for God is One.

God is Love. (1 John 4:8)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Let us first understand this: God is love. Love is not merely something God does; love is what God is. God loves because it is God’s nature to love. For God to ever do otherwise would be to cease to be God.

We must also understand that God is not a being of parts, each of which must be balanced out by the others. No, God is one. God’s attributes are one, not many. They are not held in tension, in competition with each other. With God, love, justice and mercy are not three different things but three different ways of speaking of the same thing. If we do not understand the divine simplicity, the oneness of God, we will fail to properly understand the divine love, justice and mercy.

God is love, so the justice of God is not retributive, because love is not retributive. Rather, the justice of God is redemptive, restorative. It is not opposite to mercy but is the very manifestation of mercy, and mercy is the manifestation of justice. The divine justice puts things right, which is exactly what love does. The Love/Justice/Mercy of God releases what has been bound, redeems what has been lost, restores what has been broken, heals what has been wounded.

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