How can God be the One that kills and the One that gives life?

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God can be the one who kills and makes alive.

“Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there any who can deliver from My hand” (Deuteronomy 32:3).

The word “kill” in this verse refers to the justice of God. Although God is the God of love (1 John 4:8), He is also the God of justice (2 Thessalonians 1:6). God’s justice and mercy are the two attributes that form a unity within His character. “There is no God apart from me, a righteous [just] God and a Savior; there is none but me” (Isaiah 45:21). “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

The Lord is not only the One who will act as arbiter to decide the cases of the righteous and the wicked, but also He is also the One who executes the penalty. It is a judge’s responsibility to see that the law is followed and that justice is provided. A judge who ignores to execute the law is betraying his office.

The cross is the ultimate illustration of God’s love and justice (John 3:16). God’s justice demanded the death of the sinner but God’s love planned a way of redemption by shedding the blood Jesus, God’s Son. Christ paid for every single sin ever committed; thus, God was just in punishing sin, and He can also justify sinners who receive Christ as their personal Savior.

Paul says: “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:24–26).

Thus, God’s perfect mercy was manifested through His perfect justice.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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