Isaiah 45:21 - Homilies By R. Tuck
Just and saving.
The idea is that God is strictly faithful to his covenant, and therefore he must be a saving God. Saving is implied and involved in the covenant. There is the further assertion that God stands alone as a Saviour; there is no God who can save besides him. The point which may be unfolded and illustrated is that there is here declared the union of two attributes in God which, in human actions, are often thought to be incompatible. The just man is thought of as likely to punish. The just God is sure to save.
I. MAN 'S IDEA IS — JUST AND PUNISHING . Our minds are mostly occupied with the work of justice in finding and punishing evil-doers. Consequently, a very limited forensic idea of justice has come to possess men's minds; and this limited and unworthy notion of justice we too readily apply to God; and according to it settle God's relations with men. But justice is properly "doing right by men" and "setting men right," and mere punishment is only an accident of the true work of justice; or, we may say, one of its agencies in doing its higher work. Justice is as truly delivering men out of the hands of the wicked, as it is punishing the evil-doer. This position should be fully illustrated, and it will prepare the way for the consideration of the next division.
II. GOD 'S IDEA IS — JUST AND SAVING . With God the "just" means the "right," and that always includes the "kind." This may be opened in several ways.
1 . God is just in saving his people from disasters which others have brought on them.
2 . God is just in saving them from the consequences of their own infirmities and follies.
3 . God is just in saving men from their sins by punishing them for their sins.
4 . God is just in saving them from punishment, when the ends of punishment have been secured.
5 . God is just in finding a way by which, through the voluntary sacrifice of his Son, his honour can be maintained while his mercy is extended to guilty and helpless sinners. His saving, in Christ Jesus, is the expression of his justice. He is the "Justifier of him who believeth in Jesus."—R.T.
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