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Can God Be Absolutely Loving Without Being Righteous?


For centuries, what stunned people, shook their hearts and moved them to tears is the scene of CROSS. The cross has become a sign of God’s ultimate expression of His love. Jesus Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). The memorable John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son….” Also, Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

But why did Jesus have to lay down His life on the cross? Why did God sacrifice His Son for us? Why did Christ die for us, undergoing disgraceful and painful death on the cross? As we know, it is for the forgiveness of our sins. It is written, “For Christ died for sins once for all” (1Pet. 3:18).

But why did He have to do all this to forgive us? Could He not just declare forgiveness without having Christ die on the cross?

The Holy Bible reveals that God is righteous (Ps. 119:137). Can one be righteous without loving purity with perfect love and without hating sin with perfect hatred? Absolutely not! Because God is righteous, He perfectly hates sin, for sin is against His nature and attributes (Pro. 15:9, 26). And it is to meet the righteous requirements of God—Jesus had to die on the cross (Rom. 8:3-4). Everyone who sins shall die, for God is righteous; He hates sin and He ought to punish sin (Eze. 18:20a; Rom. 6:23). But God also loves us, so He poured out His wrath and curse upon Jesus, punishing our sin in Him and having Him suffer and die in our stead (Jn. 3:16; 2Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13).

Remember, without God’s righteousness the cross has no meaning and purpose. And without the righteousness of God, the full extent of His love could never have been manifested to us and comprehended by us. The price for our sin was so expensive—costing the life of Christ—because God’s standard of righteousness is high and perfect. O, the cross was the junction where the righteousness and the love of God fully met and kissed each other!

Here is my question: what really moves us—God simply declaring His forgiveness or the death of Christ on the cross for the atonement of our sins? Obviously, the death of Christ which gave us life! We could never have been amazed at God’s love if forgiveness was just a matter of declaration in words. It is the righteousness of God which showed God’s full extent of His love for us, the sinners. The complete expression of God’s loves was shown on the cross because it is there where God’s righteousness was fully satisfied.

Therefore, I believe, God cannot be absolutely loving without being righteous. How well it is asserted:
• Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? (Ps. 71:19)

• Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. (Mic. 7:18)

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