Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for February 15, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 165 Balancing Mercy and Justice

9…I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. 12It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
1 Corinthians 5:9-12

Israel could have been destroyed by God’s wrath.
They were in exile because of God’s judgment of their sin. Israel continued to provoke God’s anger by taking on the ways of bordering nations. They turned to worshiping idols with futile attempts to mix the worship of Baal with the worship of God. They broke their sacred relationship with the one and only Savior who’d rescued them from slavery in Egypt.

The Old Testament our school master
Israel is a type of body of Christ (or Christian) and Egypt is a type of slavery to sin. God sent many prophets to prophesy to Israel and warn them of coming judgment. Israel turned away from a loving God and entered into lustful relationships with other nations. Likewise the Christian who turns away from God to pursue their own selfish agenda, will eventually experience Gods justice. 6So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. 7But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. 8Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!” 9“But I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. And I will make you live in tents again, as you do each year at the Festival of Shelters.10I sent my prophets to warn you with many visions and parables.”
Hosea 12:6-10

Israel lacked balance like many believers do today.
God wanted His people to find balance and live by His principles of love and justice but they abandoned the laws of God to do what they wanted to do. A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. Proverbs 11:1

Some Christians express love without justice and are so kindhearted that they overlook sin and often become enablers. On the other hand there are those who uphold justice without mercy and push people away from God with harsh judgments and criticism. The truth is God wants us to strike a balance between both mercy and justice.

God gives both mercy and justice
We know of God’s judgment of sin, but we also know that His mercy provides a way out through His Son Jesus Christ. As Christians it’s important that we not take advantage of the love and patience of God by pursuing our own way or worshiping idols (things that we build up and allow to take the place of God). It is not easy to find balance between love and mercy and justice and judgment. Only by living a Spirit filled life can we walk this thin line of opposing, yet complimenting principles.  Christians must lift up a standard of righteousness and with our whole heart encourage others to give up their love for the things in the world and serve a righteous God.

Love confronts sin
We cannot ignore sin by putting our heads in the sand as though this is love. In that same sense we cannot demand justice without mercy. If we are around those who consider themselves Christians but are sinning, by continuing to ignore their sin we are doing them a terrible disservice. to deliver up such a one to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:5