First of all, justice is not always a bad thing. I know the context of the statement has to do with trying to earn our salvation. I know that we are all sinners and under the condemnation of God for our sins. I know that we don’t want to get what we deserve. Justice, however, is more than just a statement about salvation. It involves how we live and how we relate to other people. It involves making choices and setting priorities. It is a rich term, not just part of a jingle. We are expected to give justice not just focus on avoiding it.
Grace is also bigger than salvation. It is any kind of favor or extension of God in our lives. There are places where God extends His grace as a reward for something we have done. There are times when His grace answers prayers. Grace has the idea of gift built into the Greek word. I always liked the definition of grace being God’s love in action. We are expected to extend that grace to others.
Mercy may not be deserved but that is just focusing on our inability to save ourselves. God does not extend His mercy to everyone. We are not to extend mercy to everyone. There is a place for the sword that punishes evil. There is a place for expulsion from the church. There is a place for reproof and rebuke. I also understand that sometimes harsh discipline is the best extension of mercy because it brings repentance and revival.
(2Co 7:9 KJV) Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.The mantra is useful. I have quoted it. Don’t stop with the cute. Look deeper and bask in the complex truths of things like justice, grace and mercy.
homo unius libri