Part 4: Justice
God is always just because the Persons of God are always just, and not unjust, to one another. God always acts to fulfill fair-togetherness (which is a word in the Bible we usually translate ‘righteousness’ or ‘justice’) between persons. When persons act toward fulfilling non-fair-togetherness between persons, we call that un-righteousness or in-justice. And that’s sin.
When we’re good, God acts justly toward us because He loves us; and when we’re evil, God acts justly toward us because He loves us. What God ultimately is, in His own self-existence, makes a big difference in how God chooses to act toward us, because He will not act toward us in a way that also acts against His own self-existence: the way we act against God, our Creator and Sustainer, when we sin!
So when we sin, what can we expect God to do toward us? We can expect God to keep on acting toward fulfilling fair-togetherness with us as persons–which is what we didn’t do when we sinned. We were unjust instead.
But God will be just toward us. How?
By choosing to let us stop existing? That would permanently prevent God from even trying to fulfill fair-togetherness with us as persons.
So God keeps us in existence as persons. Without acting to lead us to stop sinning? Then God would also not be even trying to fulfill fair-togetherness with us as persons.
So God acts in such a way so that we will stop sinning. By treating us a puppets or giving us a reboot or in some way just flatly making us behave in a ‘good’ way? Then God would not even be trying to fulfill fair-togetherness with us as persons.
By teaching us in various ways about righteousness? Yes. But what if we refuse to listen and learn and repent?
Then God may have to teach us in other ways. Even a light action of this sort, like a stern talking-to, would be at least a little ‘uncomfortable’ to us. It would still be a punishment. And if we keep on refusing to learn and repent, then God may see that He has to make it hotter for us.
Will God refuse to even give us the ability, much moreso the knowledge, to repent of our sin and be good children? Then God would not even be trying to fulfill fair-togetherness with us as persons.
Will God ever stop trying to lead us to repent of our sin and be good children? Then God would stop even trying to fulfill fair-togetherness with us as persons.
That means as long as we refuse to repent, God will keep on punishing us. It might even go on for ever and ever. But not because God has stopped acting to save us from our sins; and not because God never acted to save us from our sins.
Should we bet on the sinner to always be stalemating God, though? Or should we bet on God to eventually win?
God is omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent, and those are all reasons to bet on God, not the sinner.
And if God specially reveals He will one day be totally victorious in leading all sinners back to righteousness with Him, then that’s a reason to bet on God, not the sinner, too.
But even if He didn’t reveal that, or even if He revealed that despite having all power and all wisdom He will never succeed in saving some sinners from sin, we can still trust God to keep at it forever.
Because love and positive justice is Who God essentially always is.
If the Trinity is true.
(And that’s the double-length grand finale. Except that I haven’t talked about how we can expect God to go about leading us into righteousness and to trust Him for our salvation and what God may be expected to do to pay for allowing us to sin, so as to fulfill all righteousness. That would involve a chosen people and the Incarnation and the Passion and the Resurrection and the Second Coming etc.)