Today's Foundations Devotional: The Father – The Son – The Word
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9)
We’ve seen how reluctant God is to exert judgement. The New Testament revelation takes us still further along this line of truth. The reluctance of God to administer judgement finds expression also in the way in which God’s judgement will ultimately be carried out.
In the first instance and by sovereign eternal right, judgement belongs to God the Father. The apostle Peter speaks of “the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work” (1 Pet. 1:17).
Here judgement of all men is declared to be the office of God the Father. However, in John 5 Christ reveals that the Father has chosen in His sovereign wisdom to commit all judgement to the Son.
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son, that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him (John 5:22-23).
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgement also, because He is the Son of Man (John 5:26-27).
Here it is explicitly stated that the office of judgement has been trans- ferred from the Father to the Son. Two reasons are given for this:
1) because with the office of judge goes also the honour due to the judge, and in this way all men will be obliged to show the same honour toward God the Son as they would toward God the Father
2) because Christ is also the Son of man as well as the Son of God.
That is, He partakes of the human as well as of the divine nature, and thus in His judgement He is able to make allowance, from His own experience, for all the infirmities and temptations of human flesh.
So gracious and merciful, however, is the divine nature in the Son, as in the Father, that Christ, too, is unwilling to administer judgement. For this reason He has, in His own turn, transferred the final authority of judgement from His own Person to the Word of God. Jesus says:
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day (John 12:47-48).
The final authority of all judgement is vested in the Word of God. This is the impartial, unchanging standard to which all men must one day answer.
The same revelation concerning God’s Word is given in the Old Testament, for David says to God:
The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgements endures forever (Ps. 119:160).
This is to say, all the standards and principles of God’s judgement are contained within His Word; like that very Word, of which they are part, these standards and principles of judgement endure unchanged forever.
Lord Jesus, how wonderful it is to see that both the Father and Yourself
would rather not judge, but that You let Your Word take over that
necessary task ... Thank You for Your eternal Word, which is strictly
just and absolutely pure. Help me to live according to Your Word,
because therein lies glory. Amen.