Thursday, July 16, 2009

Justice and Forgiveness

  • When God forgives, God justifies. We don't earn it. Forgiveness is, by definition, a gift, not something we earn. If we're seeking to evade justice after this life, all we care about is personal forgiveness, our own justification. But even in the Lord's Prayer, Jesus won't let us do that; he makes us link our forgiveness with our pursuit of reconciliation with other - you know, forgive us as we forgive others. If we're seeking justice in this world, a justice that includes reconciliation, then seeking forgiveness is an important first step. If I want God's will, God's justice, to come on earth now, I must admit how often I fail and frustrate that justice. So I need the assurance that God forgives me. That, of course, sets me up to forgive others as I have been forgiven, which leads to reconciliation, which in turn leads to a reduction of injustice by breaking the offense-revenge cycle.

  • Salvation by grace, judgment by works. There's nothing in the Bible clearer than those two realities.

- Brian McLaren, The Last Word and the Word After That