Justice Judgment Grace Mercy
How Are Justice, Judgment, Grace and Mercy Related?
The Love of God
That part of His nature that gives itself away without regard to the worth or the response of the recipient of that love.
The Mercy of God
That part of His love that withholds from man, the judgment he deserves
The Grace of God
That part of His love that gives to man the blessings that he does not deserve
Justice is What a Holy Loving God Must Provide
Judgment for the guilty and relief for the afflicted
Biblical justice involves making individuals, communities, and the cosmos whole, by upholding both goodness and impartiality. It stands at the center of true religion, according to James, who says that the kind of "religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27). Earlier Scripture says, "The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern" (Prov. 29:7).
Paul Louis Metzger, "What is Biblical Justice?", http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2010/summer/biblicaljustice.html
Judgment is What We All Deserve
By the righteous requirements of a holy God our sins must be paid for (Rom 6:23)
Mercy is Not Receiving Something We Do Deserve.
Grace is Receiving Something Good Which We Do Not Deserve.
Eternal Life in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:23)
God's Grace Allows Us to Receive Mercy and Find Grace
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)
Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13 ESV)
The Mercy of Forgiveness is Key to Judgment and Justice
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19 ESV)
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 4:32 ESV)
Forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our concept of justice. We want revenge for offenses suffered. But we are told never to take our own revenge (Romans 12:19). "Why should I let them off the hook?" we protest. You let them off your hook, but they are never off God's hook. He will deal with them fairly--something we cannot do.
Why then do we forgive? Because Christ forgave us. God the Father "made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Where is the justice? The cross makes forgiveness legally and morally right: "For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all" (Romans 6:10).
Forgiveness does not demand revenge or repayment for offenses suffered. "You mean I'm just supposed to let them off the hook?" you may argue. Yes, you let them off your hook, realizing that they are not off God's hook. You may feel like exacting justice, but you are not an impartial judge. God is the just Judge who will make everything right (Romans 12:19). Your job is to extend the mercy of forgiveness and leave judgment up to God.
Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), April 29, April 30, October 28. [emphasis added by webmaster]