When we hear about God’s justice, we think of God “righting wrongs” and people “getting what they deserve.” They may be true statements pertaining to His justice, but there is one subject related to God’s justice that normally goes unnoticed—that is His forgiveness. For this Watson Wednesday, Thomas Watson observes that the truly repent can actually find comfort and not fear in God’s justice.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Comfort to the true penitent. As God is a just God, he will pardon him. Homo agnoscit, Deus ignoscit. “If we confess our sins (i.e. confess and forsake), he is just to forgive us our sins.” 1 John i. 9. Not only merciful but just. Why just? Because he has promised to forgive such. Prov. Xxviii. 13. If thy heart has been broken for and from sin, thou mayest not only plead God’s mercy, but his justice for the pardoning of thy sin. Show him his hand and seal, and he cannot deny himself.
(A Body of Divinity, p. 65)