Is This Just?

And Elihu answered and said: Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’ that you ask, ‘What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
Job 35:1–3
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Is This Just?
We frequently ponder the question of justice in our world.  Are our laws just, are our actions just? And though we try and live our lives in a just and honorable way we continually fail to live up to the ideas of justice. We do not treat other the way we would like to be treated, or more accurately, the way God would have us treat them. Our laws often go against that which is just and right, as they discriminate against others, especially those most vulnerable, the preborn. Yet the idea of justice and acting in a just manner is most acutely brought into focus when we feel we are not being treated in a just manner.  This is the accusation Elihu has against Job. He asks him how he can think that it evidently makes no difference to God whether someone sins or not. Elihu argues that Job is speaking in a contradictory manner when he expects justification because of innocence yet at the same time asserts that God does not care how a person acts. “I might as well live a life I want because God does not seem to care.” Or so Elihu accuses Job of speaking. The truth is, that our human actions do not in fact put us in God’s good graces. The idea that if we can somehow stack up enough good deeds God would be compelled to act favorably towards us is simply a lie.  We are saved not by works but by grace. God gives salvation to us through the merits of His Son Jesus Christ.  And we should not expect the blessings of the cross won by Christ without the painful experience of the cross in our own lives. The faith we are given to believe and know Christ saves not because of our believing but because that faith receives Christ and His saving benefits. Because of Christ and Him crucified our lives are justified.
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