‘A righteous God and a Saviour’ (Isaiah 45:21)
God cannot part with His justice even to gratify His love; and His justice shines equally with His grace in the present and eternal salvation of our souls. He gave His Son for a Substitute; He appointed Him to be our Surety, and punished Him in our place.
God justly condemned His Son to die, though guiltless, because our sins were imputed to Him; and He justly raised Christ from the dead, because our sins had been expiated by Him. His work was perfect, therefore His deliverance was just. He is a just God, and therefore never will exact the same debt of the sinner, which was paid by His surety; nor condemn Him for that for which His Substitute atoned.
His justice will shine in our eternal acquittal, and be eternally honoured in our endless salvation. He drew the plan of salvation, sent His Son to execute it, gives His Spirit to put us in possession of the blessing, and at last receives us to Himself, of purest grace.
“He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” [2 Timothy 1:9].
Mystery of redemption this –
All my sins on Christ were laid.
Mine offence was reckoned His,
He the great atonement made.
Here His justice He displays,
While He saves my soul by grace.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘FEB. 1848. I have been unwell, but am now better. I am still working for the Lord, both with tongue and pen. One work is just published, another is in the press, and a third is half written. I have one or two more in my mind, if the Lord will spare me, and allow me to bring them out.
My brother William has lately been taken home. I saw him a short time before he died, and perceiving that he could not be long with us, I said, “Have you any doubts or fears?” He said, “No”. “Have you any fear of death?” Again he said, “No”. I added, “What a mercy it is to have a good hope now”. He replied, “Indeed it is”. I believe he is gone safe to a better world. May I, and all mine, follow him hither’.