Judgment and justice take hold on thee. Because there is wrath, beware.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): You have, many of you, lax enough ideas of the justice of the Divine Being; but not so the sinner who is labouring under a knowledge of sin…When God has once convinced him of his sin, he sees God as a great God, a God of great justice, and of great power. Whosoever can misunderstand God’s great justice or God’s great power, a convinced sinner never will. Ask him what he thinks of God’s justice; and he will tell you it is like the great mountains.
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): God has an infinite sense of justice.
EDWARD PAYSON (1783-1827): The convinced sinner looks at the greatness of God, and says, How can He stoop to notice a being so insignificant as myself? He looks at His holiness, and says, God cannot but hate me as a vile, polluted sinner. He looks at His justice, and says, God must condemn me, for I have broken His righteous law. He looks at His truth, and cries, God is not a man that He should lie; He must execute His threatenings and destroy me.
C. H. SPURGEON: The trembling sinner feels that every attribute of God is against him as a sinner. “Oh!” he will say, “I look to God, and I can see nothing in Him but a consuming fire. I look to His justice, and I see it, with sword unsheathed, ready to smite me low. I look to His power, and I behold it, like a mighty mountain, tottering to its fall, to crush me. I look to His immutability, and methinks I see stern justice written on its brow, and I hear it cry, ‘Sinner, I will not save, I will condemn thee.’”
RALPH ERSKINE (1685-1752): Have you seen sometime or other the sword of justice awakening against your own souls, the avenger of blood pursuing you? Have you heard such a knell as that in your heart; Awake, O sword; awake O law; awake, O vengeance; curses, and threatenings against a man for his sins? Have you been so filled with the fear of hell and wrath, as you have been put to cry, Men and brethren, what shall I do to be saved? Or have you been put to more concern about salvation than ever you was about anything else in the world?
C. H. SPURGEON: It is all vain for you to tell such a one that God is little in his justice…He has not that strange idea of God’s justice that some of you have. You think sin is a trifle! You suppose that one brief prayer will wipe it all away…You suppose that God, for some reason or other, will very easily forgive your sin. But you have no right idea of God’s justice. You have not learned that God never does forgive until He has first punished, and that if He does forgive any one, it is because He has punished Christ first instead of that person.
JAMES DURHAM (1622-1658): There are two things of great concernment for men to know…The one is: How the justice of God that is provoked may be satisfied? And the other is: What the way is, how we come to get that satisfaction applied to us?
A. P. GIBBS (1890-1967): One statement of Scripture comes to mind: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin, I John 1:7. By this is meant that the sacrifice of Christ is the perpetual and all sufficient answer to all our sin.
JAMES DURHAM: The curse is executed on the Mediator, whereby God shows Himself to be a hater of sin and an avenger of the wrong done to His justice; and the elect sinner is pardoned, whereby God manifests the freedom of His grace and His wonderful condescending love.
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE: Now, when He sees the blood of His Son sprinkled on any soul, He sees that justice has had its full satisfaction in that soul; that that man’s sins have been more fully punished than if he had borne them himself eternally.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Sin-avenging justice has no further demands.
RALPH ERSKINE: Now, if you have been thus pursued by justice―Have you seen the sword of justice quenching its thirst in the blood of the Lamb?
C. H. SPURGEON: Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, “My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Savour as my Substitute, and I laid my hand on Him―Oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon Him.”
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): My conscience was full of trouble and anguish. I could not bear the words, the “Justice of God.” I loved not the just and holy God who punishes sinners. I was filled with secret rage against Him and hated Him, because, not satisfied with terrifying us, His miserable creatures, already lost by original sin, with His law and the miseries of life, He still further increased our torment by the gospel. But when by the Spirit of God, I comprehended these words―[The just shall live by faith]―when I learned how the sinner’s justification proceeds from the pure mercy of the Lord by means of faith, then I felt myself revive like a new man, and entered at open doors into the very paradise of God.
From that time, also, I beheld the precious sacred volume with new eyes. I went over all the Bible, and collected a great number of passages which taught me what the work of God was. And as I had previously, with all my heart, hated the words, “Justice of God,” so from that time I began to esteem and love them, as words most sweet and most consoling.
DANIEL ROWLAND (1711-1790): Their eyes spiritually enlightened, [believers] understand what a full and complete satisfaction the Son of God hath made to divine justice for all who believe.
JAMES HERVEY (1713-1758): The salvation of sinners does not interfere with the justice of the supreme Legislator. On the contrary, it becomes a faithful and just procedure of the Most High, to justify him that believeth on Jesus.
JAMES DURHAM: One of these two must be resolved on: either come to this reckoning with justice yourselves, or aim to endeavour the removal of wrath by the satisfaction of Christ…And if this be not your aim and endeavour, God will not have the glory of His grace in you, [but] He shall have the glory of His justice in punishing you eternally in hell…When wrath was so horrible to innocent Jesus Christ, who had no sin, no challenge, no doubt of an interest in God; what will it be to you? Certainly the day is coming when many of you will think you have greatly beguiled and cheated yourselves, in thinking that justice would be so easily satisfied as you did. O then you will be made to know to your cost the nature of wrath and justice, and the nature of sin―But this we would have you to do, even to make faith in Christ sure by fleeing to Him, and casting your burden on Him, by cordial receiving of Him, and acquiescing in Him—The committing of yourselves to Him, to be saved by His price paid to divine justice, and resting on Him as He is held out in the gospel, is the way to read your interest in His redemption.