He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time. (Rom. 3:26)

IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND the depravity, hopelessness, and separation produced by sin, one needs to have something to measure it against. In the same way that we wouldn’t know what light is if we didn’t have darkness, or what cold is without heat, or love without hate, we wouldn’t know what sin is if we didn’t have the law. Without justice, or the administration of the law, we wouldn’t know what sin is. Without God’s justice, the law would be, at best, a list of suggestions.

God’s ability to enforce His law is what gives it power. God has the wherewithal to judge each one of us. However, although God has the power to condemn us, He doesn’t want to! Though our punishment is clear, God’s grand plan of salvation is to both save us from that punishment and to restore us to a relationship with Him. He is so willing to and so desirous of entering into a relationship with us that He pronounced that all who faithfully ask, based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, are acquitted of their sin.

According to Paul, we have been given a window of time in which to repent. God has allowed a literal grace period, a time during which his judgment is delayed so we can receive his pardon. What should your response be to this graciousness of God?

Thank God for not giving you what you deserve.

Devon Smith is currently the director of the masters’ program in theology and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He and his wife have pastored for fourteen years.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.