Author: Ron Graham

Disciples

A Disciple’s Justice
—Much mercy, no partiality, no hypocrisy.

The Bible promises that "God shows no partiality" (Acts 10:34, 1Peter 1:17, Romans 2:11). He judges everyone fairly whatever one’s station in life.

Any judgments we make must also be fair, guided by the wisdom of God. "The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17).

The last three qualities, "full of mercy, without partiality, and without hypocrisy", are especially applicable to justice:

1 Full of Mercy

As an example of mercy in justice, let's look at how a sinner in the Lord’s congregation should be dealt with by fellow Christians. This process shows great fairness and mercy.

At each of the progressive steps listed below, the aim is the sinner’s repentance and forgiveness, in which case no further steps are taken. These steps proceed only so long as the sinner will not repent...

These steps are designed by the wisdom of God. They are just and full of mercy as you can see.

In all our dealings we should show kindness and mercy. "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Lacking that attitude, justice and discipline would be cold and useless. The disciple’s justice must be warm, full of mercy and good fruits.

2 Without Partiality

James says, "My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ in an attitude of personal favouritism... if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors" (James 2:1,9).

Israel was disciplined by judges right from the start. They were instructed, as were all the Israelites, to act with absolute fairness. "You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbour" (Leviticus 19:15).

Moses commanded the judges, "Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, or the stranger who is with him. You shall not show partiality in judgment. You shall hear the small as well as the great. You shall not fear any man’s presence, for the judgment is God’s." (Deuteronomy 1:16-17).

It is also worth reading the instructions of King Jehoshaphat to his judges. His main point was "You do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you in judgment... with whom there is no partiality, nor taking of bribes" (2Chronicles 19:4-10).

3 Without Hypocrisy

When Jesus was teaching against hypocritical judgment, he said, "Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? ...Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye" (Matthew 7:1-5).

A person who is without hypocrisy has two other “H” qualities instead: humility and honesty. A disciple with those two qualities will practice justice and make judgments pleasing to the Lord.

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