These acts are meant by the following words of the Lord: "It is fitting for me to fulfill all the justice of God" (Matthew 3:15); also by these words in the Old Testament:
Behold, the days are coming when I will raise up for David a righteous offshoot who will reign as king and execute justice on earth. And this is his name: Jehovah is our Justice. (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16)
I speak with justice; I am great in order to save. (Isaiah 63:1)
He will sit on the throne of David to establish it with judgment and justice. (Isaiah 9:7)
Zion will be redeemed with justice. (Isaiah 1:27)
Our contemporaries who hold high offices in the church describe the Lord's justice in a completely different way. In fact, they say that what renders the faith capable of saving is that the Lord's justice is written into us.252 The truth is this: because of its nature and origin, and because in and of itself it is purely divine, the Lord's justice could not become part of anyone or produce any salvation any more than the divine life could, which is divine love and divine wisdom. The Lord does come into every one of us bringing his love and wisdom; but unless we are following the divine design in our lives, that life, although it may indeed be in us, makes no contribution whatever to our salvation. It gives us only the ability to understand what is true and do what is good.
Following the divine design in the way we live is following God's commandments. When we live and function in this way, then we acquire justice for ourselves; but we do not gain the justice of the Lord's redemption, we gain the Lord himself as justice. This is what the following passages mean: "Unless your justice is more abundant than that of the scribes and Pharisees,253 you will not enter the kingdom of the heavens" (Matthew 5:20). "Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens" (Matthew 5:10). "At the close of the age angels will go out and separate the evil from among the just" (Matthew 13:49), and elsewhere. Because the divine design is justice, "the just" in the Word means those who have followed the divine design in their lives.
The justice itself that the Lord became through acts of redemption cannot be ascribed to us, written into us, fitted into or united with us any
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