Is God fair?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
In many people's minds, fairness is everyone receiving exactly what he or she deserves. If God were completely "fair," by this definition, we would all spend eternity in hell paying for our sin, wh...

July 01 2013 17 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
In English, fairness is defined as, "Free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice", or proper conduct according to the rules". To this definition, God is definitely fair. He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, Deut 1:17, Deut 10:17, Prov 28:21, Job 34:16-20), is a God of truth who will not tolerate false witness (Deut 32:4, Is 65:16, Ps 31:5, Col 1:6, Ex 20:16), and always upholds His own law.

It is because of God's justice and fairness that in order to show mercy to us sinners, He had to send His own son to die in our place. This satisfied both God's justice and His mercy. Justice and compassion go hand-in-hand to God (Zech 7:8-10, Micah 6:8, Mic 7:18)

Yet people often have differing views about what is 'fair'. For purposes of daily living, the term 'fair' is used in some often contradictory ways. One way that children will often use it is to mean 'everyone gets the same amount', or 'everyone is treated equally' - the same treatment regardless of merit, crime, age, need, capability, etc. This can become compassion without justice.

'The Little Red Hen' is a classic children's tale that plays up this common misconception and then upends it. In it a hen finds a piece of grain, then plants it, waters it, harvests it, and finally uses it to bake bread. At each step she asks other barnyard animals for help, but they all refuse: Yet when it comes time to eat the bread, everyone wants a slice. She tells them that all those who helped her bake the bread (none of them) can help eat the bread. 'Fair' treatment in this case is not everyone getting a slice of bread, but that everyone who helped make the bread gets bread. This practical moral of daily living, that those who are unwilling to work (but capable) should not eat, has biblical support in II Thess 3:10. For daily matters of justice, fairness should be 'proportional' (Col 4:1, I Tim 5:18)

'Fair' is often used by adults in the opposite extreme: That everyone receives something (punishment, merit, goods, etc) exactly according to their actions, that "everyone gets what they deserve". This, in the extreme, can become justice without mercy.

The Classic tale 'Les Miserables' explores this misconception as it follows the life of a Jean Valjean, sentenced to five years hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread, and who later breaks his parole. Inspector Javert, devoted to returning the convict to prison, realizes by watching the man's life of philanthropy and mercy that perhaps there is more to justice than applying a set of rules blindly.

These differing views of fairness affect political views, relationships, and work ethic.

Yet the fairness/justice of God is far deeper than how we understand fairness in our daily lives. He not only shows us more mercy than we deserve, but He does so according to the righteousness of His own character; by the strict rules of perfection that man could never attain to.

His plan of salvation seems 'hardly fair' by the common use. To those who hold the belief that fairness is utterly equal result, salvation excludes all those who do not believe (John 3:16-17), and gives all believers equal salvation regardless of when they first believed (Matt 20:1-16, Luke 15:11-32). To those that believe fairness is 'getting what you deserve', salvation completely circumvents the actions of man. It is not based on works, but faith (Eph 2:8-10). The offer itself seems 'unfair', as no man worked to earn the offer [but Christ did!].

God is just, He is perfectly just, and nothing He does is unjust. 

Yet, when it comes to Him asking His people to be just, He asks us, what is true justice? We see both in the Bible (and in the jewish code, though they did not always follow it) that the highest justice was not cold justice but "Merciful Justice".

This is why Christ came (to satisfy the mercy and the justice of God). (Zech 7:9-10, John 8:1-11, Prov 21:3, Hosea 6:6, Luke 18:9-14, etc) 

So yes, God is Fair! His justice is more perfect and merciful than any human court.

January 22 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Billy P Eldred
I would say more than fair! "And Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons but in every nation he that feared him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to him." 

The Bible also tells us : "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some count slackness, but is long-suffering to you-ward not wanting any to perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. 

Calvinist will tell you that only those chosen by God can be saved. I believe the above verses show us that we ALL can be saved. That is why Jesus died on the cross. Just because God knows who will be saved does not mean that he has eliminated any from being saved. He chose us all. He is fair. Because he is God he has to be fair otherwise he would not be God! 

Jesus told a parable about hiring workers and those who only worked one hour were paid as much as those who worked all day. Those who worked all day complained but he told them didn't you receive what you were promised. Do I not have the right to give the others as much? (I know I paraphrase) Humans might not reccond fairness but God is fairness. If we receive more than we deserve, how is that not fair? Jessie Duplantis once said "God is not a God of enough, he is a God of too much!"

January 21 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img 3185 %282%29 Meluleki Maphosa Amateur Bible Student
Put simply and thank God, He is not fair, He is Gracious. He has freely given us what we do not deserve. 

Exo 34: 6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” 

When I go to God I don't ask for justice or fairness I ask for mercy because I am a sinner who cannot stand justified before God without Jesus.

Isaiah 53: 4 	Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows; 
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, 
Smitten by God, and afflicted. 
5 	But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
And by His stripes we are healed. 
6 	All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way; 
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7 	He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth; 
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

January 21 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini joyce whaley
NOOOOOO! However he is not unjust (Hebrews 6:10) and what is most amazing is that his thoughts that he thinks toward us are thoughts of peace and not of evil to bring us to our EXPECTED end! (Jeremiah 29:11)

March 27 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Salem Markus Purba
Well, as David said:"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain" (Psalm 139: 6), so are we, a believers and followers of Jesus have no capability of measuring whatever God had done to us, fair or unfair.

Since God so loved us (John 3: 16-18), why don't we love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind. (Deuteronomy 6: 5; Mathew 22: 37-40) by obeying commands of Jesus (John 14: 15-17).

April 20 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
Is God fair? Yes He is! Even in the exercise of His moral justice, Scripture teaches that God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:10). He is exceedingly merciful and gracious. 

How is God's justice dispensed to sinners? Does God discriminate between sinners in extending His saving grace? Does He seek to save a specific number of sinners that He has chosen from the foundation of the world and to the exclusion of the rest of sinners? 

Deterministic soteriology groups would readily argue that God does not seek to save all sinners but only those He has determined to save from the foundation of the world. They would further argue that no sinner deserved eternal life in the first place since all were condemned to eternal damnation in the lake of fire. According to this group, those who are lucky to receive God's saving grace and are therefore irresistibly chosen are considered privileged!

My view is that this deterministic notion fails the text of Scripture on a number of scores. 

First, it contradicts what God has proclaimed in Scripture concerning His saving grace in Christ Jesus being available to all sinners (John 3:16-17; Romans 10:5-13). 

Secondly, it impugns God's moral character by portraying Him as inconsistent and contradictory in His dealings with men contrary to Numbers 23:19. My view is that God cannot exercise His justice in a manner that is inconsistent with His revealed will in Christ. He cannot extend His saving grace to all sinners while secretly withholding it from some!

Thirdly, it projects an unhealthy view of the gospel. The deterministic notion portrays that God targets only specific people to the exclusion of the rest. This puts into question the efficacy of Christian evangelism and witness. 

Finally, it makes a mockery of God's judgment recorded in Revelation 20:11-15. Why would God condemn sinners for their failure to repent if God had denied them His saving grace? What does God seek to achieve through the judgment proceedings? 

I am persuaded that God's fairness transcends all His dealings with men and at no time does God contradict Himself. His fairness is revealed through His universal love for all sinners through the offer of saving grace and His justice is seen in His condemnation of sinful men who reject His saving grace in Christ Jesus.

August 21 2023 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Internet image Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer
John 6:44 “For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.” So what happens to those that the Father decides not to draw? They will get a fair trial before God because God is absolutely fair. If they are deemed righteous by their "good works" they will inherit eternal life. If not they get what sinners deserve. But the problem is no one will be judged to be righteous by the law. The law only condemns it cannot save. Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." 

John 6:63 “The Holy Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.”How many people of their own free will will choose to receive Christ? None, because it is impossible for anyone to save themselves. Mark 10:26-27 “The disciples were astounded. ‘Then who in the world can be saved? They asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, With man it is impossible. But with God, all things are possible.” Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? (A rhetorical question that demands a no answer.) Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." But you argue, we are not evil, we are Christians! So exactly who is evil then? Everyone! Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Note that Jesus is speaking to people that have "your heavenly Father" as their father. 

Choosing to receive Christ is an act of righteousness and "there is none that are righteous, not even one" according to Romans 3:10. 

God is the One that does the choosing. 1 Peter 1:2 “God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and by His Spirit has made you holy….” Who chose whom? God chose His children. Ephesians 1:4-5 &11 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. For he decided in advance to adopt us into his family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan."

April 24 2021 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Yes, He's fair! He's "a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4).-- a verse I memorized as a collegiate through Bible Memory Association, now Scripture Memory Fellowship. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 89:14) --another BMA verse. God is just. It is part of His character, which means He is always just. --Bible Verses About Justice - Justice in the Bible

God's "rectoral or distributive justice is his dealing with his accountable creatures according to the requirements of the law in rewarding or punishing them" (Ps. 89:14) --Easton's Bible Dictionary

"Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice." --H. L. Mencken, Prejudices

Michael was right about 2 Corinthians 5:21 where the Bible speaks about God's justice or righteousness, i.e. that God is just:

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul preached:

"...for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

"Being 'just' means that God has every right and authority to provide judgment because He has provided every means for righteousness through His Son. Any punishment or judgment is as a result of denial of His righteousness and His provision for justification." --What ‘God Is Just’ Means to Believers
Chad Napier

August 21 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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