This journal entry was originally submitted as a college course assignment.
How can God, who is moral pure (and exercises justice/judgment) also be loving? There seems to be some ‘tension’ between His moral purity and love…
At first glance, it can seem there is tension between God’s moral purity and His love. But when researching the issue further, we would discover a different outcome. When God spoke to Adam and explained the consequences of eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16-17), He gave one of His first ‘commandments’ on how Adam and Eve were to live. He established a baseline for His moral purity as disobedience to His instruction would bring death (and eternal separation). When Adam disobeyed God and brought death (and sin) to mankind, God drew a line of where His moral purity began (and ended).
Throughout the Scriptures, we gain additional insight to the boundaries of God’s moral purity and the frame of our own before Him. We discover the things He hates (Proverbs 6:16-19) and learn who can stand within His holy place (Psalm 24:3-5). We also learn how righteousness and justice are the habitation of His throne, while mercy, loving-kindness, and truth goes before His face (Psalm 89:14).
How can this be? Even as our iniquities have separated us from Him – like the Israelites (Isaiah 59:2), we experience His mercy, loving-kindness, and truth. We deserve the penalty of death brought through the disobedience of Adam, yet God’s love made a way for us to live in eternal fellowship once again (Romans 6:23).
As a loving parent, God established His moral standard, yet His love abounded. His standard of moral purity has not diminished. The penalty of sin hasn’t changed. The penalty remains for those that choose not place their belief and faith in His Son, Jesus. But it was God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son (John 3:16). It was God who looked upon His creation and provided a way for the penalty to be paid – through His Son.
Throughout the Biblical record, the greatest message is God’s love for the world. In spite of our continued wickedness and sin, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In the midst of our ‘best’ actions which seem as filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6), God’s love abounded.
To those that say there is tension, I would respectfully disagree. There is only tension for those that choose not to believe and accept God’s ability to provide appropriation for our sinful acts. Jesus is the bridge from His moral purity and the extension of His love toward mankind. God’s moral purity and love are capsulated in Jesus Christ. God sent His only Son to be born and die for people that deserved to die. That is a pure and awesome love…how can we fathom its depth and breath?