What is the Difference between Justification and Salvation in Swedenborg’s Theology?

In the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), as in other Christian theologies, justification is seen as part of a process that results in our salvation. In a nod to the traditional Christian concept of the ordo salutis (“order of salvation”), Swedenborg lists justification as one among many elements of the process of salvation. For example, he writes:

The Divine power and activity meant by the Holy Spirit are, generally speaking, reformation and regeneration, which lead to renewal, quickening, sanctification and justification; and these lead to purification from evils and the forgiveness of sins, and ultimately to salvation. (True Christianity #138)

However, his view of justification, in particular, is significantly different from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox perspectives, and radically different from the Reformed Protestant perspective.

Salvation

The word “salvation” is so ubiquitous in Christianity that Swedenborg simply assumes that the reader knows what it means. He rarely offers anything like a concise definition of salvation. However, when he does define it, he equates it with eternal life. For example, in commenting on Ezekiel 3:18-21, Swedenborg writes:

Here “dying he shall die” is to perish in eternal death, which is damnation, for it is said of the wicked; and “living he shall live” is to enjoy eternal life, which is salvation, for it is said of those who repent, and of the righteous. (Apocalypse Explained #186:2, italics added)

And in the same work:

“Salvation and glory and honor and power unto the Lord our God” [Revelation 19:1] signifies because eternal life is from the Lord through the divine truth and the divine good from his divine omnipotence. This is evident from the signification of “salvation,” as being eternal life; also from the signification of “glory and honor,” as being the Lord’s divine truth and divine good; also from the signification of “power,” as being, in reference to the Lord, omnipotence. (Apocalypse Explained #1198, italics added)

So in Swedenborg’s theology, “salvation” simply means gaining eternal life in heaven. He describes the nature of that life in detail in his best-known book, Heaven and Hell.

Swedenborg makes it clear that it is the Lord Jesus Christ alone who saves us. And yet, the Lord does not do this instantaneously, but through a lifelong process—a process that requires our willing receptivity and cooperation to succeed:

The people who are going to receive the powerful spiritual effects listed above are those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is salvation and eternal life. He is salvation because he is the Savior—this is the meaning of his name, Jesus. He is eternal life because those in whom he is and who are in him have eternal life. He is even called “eternal life” in 1 John 5:20.

Now, because the Lord is salvation and eternal life, it follows that he is also everything that enables us to gain salvation and eternal life. Therefore he is every part of reforming, regenerating, renewing, bringing to life, sanctifying, justifying, purifying from evils, and finally saving. The Lord is carrying out these processes in all of us, meaning that he is trying to have these effects on us; and when we adapt and modify ourselves to receive them, he actually carries them out in us. (Even the acts of adapting and modifying ourselves are actually from the Lord.) If we do not accept the Lord’s processes with a willing spirit, he cannot carry them out in us, but his desire to do so remains constant. (True Christianity #150)

Justification

Justification is one of the elements Swedenborg lists as part of the process of salvation. And this is where Swedenborg departs radically from the Protestant (Lutheran) theology in which he grew up, and significantly from Catholic and Orthodox theology.

In fact, in order to appreciate Swedenborg’s view of justification, it is necessary to understand that although he was conversant with the various Catholic and Protestant creeds and doctrinal statements, he skipped over them all, pushed them aside, and looked directly to the Bible itself to formulate his doctrines of justification and salvation.

To understand Swedenborg’s theology of justification, then, it is necessary to understand the underlying meaning of the words commonly translated “justify” and “justification” in the Bible.

Justification in the Bible

Our English word “justification” is derived from the Latin word iustificationem. However, the use of this latinate term to translate the underlying Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible can make the Bible’s meaning seem more abstract than it actually is.

In biblical Hebrew, the word צָדַק (tsadaq) has the root meaning of “to be right, straight.” From this it derives its more common meaning of “to be just, upright, righteous.” In its various forms it can also mean “to make just, righteous, innocent” and “to declare someone just, or innocent, to acquit.”

In biblical Greek, the word δίκαιος (dikaios) has the basic meaning of “righteous; observing divine and human laws.” In a broader sense it means “upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God.” Based on this it can also have the meaning of being declared righteous.

In both Hebrew and Greek, the biblical words for “just,” and the forms derived from them, such as “justify” and “justification,” are primarily speaking about the intrinsic quality of the person, as being a just, righteous, virtuous, and innocent person who keeps the commandments of God. The meaning of declaring a person just or righteous depends upon the person actually being just or righteous.

Justification in Swedenborg’s theology

Swedenborg’s view of justification, then, involves a person becoming righteous. Without this, it would be a violation of divine justice for a person to be declared righteous. God’s judgments are always just and right, Swedenborg says, so God will not declare anything just or righteous unless it actually is just and righteous.

Because of Swedenborg’s practical, biblical focus, it is usually more accurate to translate the words he uses for “justification” as “being made righteous”—which is exactly how most of the translations of his works do translate them.

Here is one of the earliest definitions of justification in Swedenborg’s published theological works:

Those who have been purified from self-love and love of the world—both those inside the church and those outside of it—are made righteous by the Lord. (Arcana Coelestia (“Secrets of Heaven”) #2114)

Here the distinctiveness of Swedenborg’s theology of justification from Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theology is already on display. By “the church,” Swedenborg means Christianity. So by “people inside the church” he means Christians. And here, early in his theological works, he was already saying that both Christians and non-Christians are justified, or made righteous, by the Lord (Jesus Christ) when they are purified from self-love and love of the world.

This shows the practical nature of Swedenborg’s doctrine of justification. It is not a mere theological or legal term and process. It is a process of changing a person so that he or she is no longer driven by selfish and worldly desires, but by love for God and love for the neighbor. And this is true no matter whether the person is a Christian or a non-Christian. In all cases—even among non-Christians—this is accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ working in and through the person. (See: Is Jesus Christ the Only Way to Heaven?)

Swedenborg gives a fuller account of what it means for a person to be righteous in a commentary on Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-46—a passage commonly called “The Sheep and the Goats” or “The Judgment of the Nations”:

The expression “the righteous,” used of those on the right in these statements,

The righteous will answer him, saying . . . [Matthew 25:37]

and

The righteous will go into eternal life [Matthew 25:46]

means that the Lord’s righteousness dwells with them. All in whom the good of kindness [literally “charity”] is present are called “the righteous.” Not that of themselves they are righteous but that they are made so by the Lord, whose righteousness they take to themselves.

Those who believe that of themselves they are righteous, or that they have been made righteous to such an extent that no evil at all is present in them any longer, are not among the righteous but among the unrighteous. For they attribute good to themselves and also make that good meritorious; and people like them cannot possibly possess true humility with which to worship the Lord.

Therefore in the Bible those people are called “righteous and holy” who know and acknowledge that all good comes from the Lord, and all evil from themselves, which means that their evil comes from hell. (Arcana Coelestia #5069)

In other words, in Swedenborg’s theology, to be “righteous” or “justified” is to accept the righteousness of the Lord into ourselves willingly, while recognizing that it is not our own, but the Lord’s in us. And as Swedenborg explains extensively elsewhere, this happens only by our repenting from our sins—which flow from our inborn selfishness and worldliness—and focusing our life on loving the Lord by loving the neighbor through practical service to our fellow human beings, as the Lord himself taught in Matthew 25:31-46 and in many other places.

Swedenborg was aware of the judicial sense of “justification” that is commonly used in traditional Christian, and especially Protestant, interpretations of “justification.” See, for example, Arcana Coelestia #9264. However, for an extended statement on Swedenborg’s view of justification, or becoming righteous, in contrast to traditional Christian perspectives, see Arcana Coelestia #9263.

In Swedenborg’s theology, then, “justification” involves a person repenting from sins and living a new life of love for God and love and service to the neighbor. This, in Swedenborg’s view, is not an instantaneous event, but rather a lifelong process. For more on what this process involves, please see: “What does Jesus Mean when He Says we Must be Born Again?

In a nutshell

In Swedenborg’s theology:

  1. Salvation is attaining eternal life in heaven.
  2. Justification is the process of becoming a good and righteous person through repentance from sins and living a life of love and kindness to the neighbor.

Justification, then, in Swedenborg’s theology, is an integral part of the process of salvation. It is the process by which we become good, loving, thoughtful, and righteous people through the active presence of the Lord within us—which presence is the Holy Spirit working in us.

When we have gone through this process of “justification,” or becoming good and righteous people (together with other things that the Lord accomplishes in our lives when we are willing and receptive), we are saved—which means that we will move on to eternal life in heaven when our life on this earth is finished.

(Note: This post is a slightly edited version of an answer I recently wrote and posted on Christianity StackExchange. You can see the original question on StackExchange here, and the StackExchange version of my answer here.)

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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10 comments on “What is the Difference between Justification and Salvation in Swedenborg’s Theology?
  1. Alex says:

    Hi Lee. Thanks for sharing. It was a good post.

    This is what irked me about people trying to justify their actions through God or declare themselves or others righteous. Does it not speak of arrogance to assume you are able to judge on the same divine level as God?

    This is the thing about Swedenborg. His teaching appear to make too much sense to be true. On the one hand, we have no idea how people viewed the Bible and faith as a whole before ‘traditional Christianity’ was born. I would imagine it being similar so hoe Swedenborg saw it, because it seems intuitive and logical.
    But then again, how come it took so long for someone to open the Bible and try to read it and see what it meant the way he did? Was the medieval church that oppressive?

  2. Gage says:

    Lee,

    Thank you. This helped me understand something that has always been challenging. I hope you have or will take on sanctification too!

    Best regards, Gage

    • Lee says:

      Hi Gage,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. I’m glad this article was helpful to you! It’s a bit more technical than most of the articles here, but it does deal with a couple of important words that get thrown around a lot in Christian circles, and with the realities behind those words.

      Here’s the quick version on sanctification:

      Sanctification is another one of those latinate words that makes things seem fancier and more abstract than they actually are. It simply means “being made holy.” And things are holy when the Lord—who alone is holy—is present in them.

      So we are made holy when we accept the Lord into our lives by believing in him and living according to his teachings from a good heart. In the Bible, “the saints” means “the holy ones.” And they are the holy ones because they are the ones who have accepted the Lord into their head, heart, and hands, meaning their thoughts and beliefs, their loves and motivations, and the things they do each day.

      Like justification, God doesn’t “sanctify,” or declare holy, anything that isn’t actually holy. So when we have become holy by accepting God into our life, we are then “saints” or “holy ones” as the Bible uses that term, and God also declares us “holy ones” or “sanctified.”

      More abstractly, when divine good and truth are present in something or someone, that sanctifies the person or thing. The Bible is called “The Holy Bible” because it contains and delivers divine truth.

  3. Rami says:

    Hi Lee,

    Can you talk a bit about the role that Divine justice plays within Swedenborg’s theology? Satisfying the demands God’s justice factors heavily into penal substitution, and for good reason: we are sinners in our fallen state, and sin merits death and everlasting separation from God. However, it was through an unimaginable act of mercy that Jesus suffered in our place, satisfying God’s justice, and saving us from the punishment that we deserve.

    We see, then, that in penal substitution justice and mercy work in tandem- justice is what we deserve, and mercy is more than what we deserve. God’s mercy cannot compromise His justice, for if God were to simply forgive us of our sins without giving us the punishment that we deserve, then God would not be just.

    I understand that in Swedenborg’s theology terms like punishment and perhaps even justice take on a different meaning than what you might find in more classical theology, but I was wondering how he resolves the issue of us deserving damnation for our sins (justice), and God rescuing us from damnation (mercy) without running into a problem of God being unjust because we were saved while the spiritual bill remained unsettled.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rami,

      First, satisfaction theory and penal substitution are not “more classical theology.” They are relatively new theology, unheard of in the first 1,000 years of Christianity in the case of satisfaction theory, and for the first 1,500 years of Christianity in the case of penal substitution. Swedenborg’s teachings about redemption are far older than either of these theories, since they go all the way back to the beginning—to the Bible itself—and accord with the primary theory of redemption for the first 1,000 years of Christianity, known now as Christus Victor.

      Second, the Bible says nothing about any need for us to satisfy God’s justice, and it certainly says nothing about any requirement that the penalty be paid for our sins. This theology is a pure human invention that has nothing to do with anything taught anywhere in the Bible. It is a legalistic doctrine based on the legalism of Anselm, then Aquinas, then the Protestant reformers, based on a new legalism that developed in the medieval world. It is entirely alien to the culture and teachings of the Bible, both Old Testament and New.

      In short, there is absolutely no good biblical reason to believe any of these satisfaction-style atonement theories. Christianity, in particular, was specifically designed to get us away from that sort of legalism. The atonement and redemption theory of true Christianity is one based on love (aka “grace”), not based on legalism. The Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity have veered badly away from the teachings of the Bible, and have infected many generations of Christians with false, anti-biblical theology that makes God out to be a petty tyrant, not a God of infinite love.

      It is very clear from many passages in the Bible that God forgives all of our sins unconditionally, and has no need for “justice” in the sense of punishment or retribution for our sins. Jesus said that whenever a brother (or sister) sins against us, we should forgive, not seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21–22). And he said that we must love our enemies to be like our Father in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matthew 5:44–45). God has no need for “justice” or “payback” or anything else for our sins.

      Instead, God wants us to repent from our sins, turn away from them, and live a good life of love and service to our fellow human beings instead. That is what God requires for us, as stated hundreds of times throughout the Bible. As long as we continue to sin, we continue to bring pain and suffering upon ourselves. It is not God that punishes us; we punish ourselves and one another whenever we choose evil over good. God has absolutely no need for us to be punished, and God does not punish us.

      We don’t “deserve” damnation for our sins. We bring damnation upon ourselves when we sin. People who smoke cigarettes bring lung cancer and death upon themselves. People who do drugs bring disease and death upon themselves. And people who do more spiritually evil things, such as murdering, committing adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting bring spiritual death and destruction upon themselves. God doesn’t do it to us, and God has no requirement that it be done to us. But evil is evil because it is destructive, and those who engage in evil bring that destruction not only upon others, but especially upon themselves. As Psalm 34:21 says, “Evil brings death to the wicked.” Not God. Evil.

      That’s why God wants us to “Cease to do evil, learn to do good” (Isaiah 1:16–17). And that’s why the first thing John the Baptist, Jesus, and Jesus’ disciples all preached was “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near,” and “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

      None of that stuff about satisfying God’s justice or wrath or need for punishment is taught anywhere in the Bible. What is taught instead is the need to repent from our sins, believe in God, and follow God’s commandments. And we can’t do that if we don’t accept God’s, or Christ’s, power into our life, because as Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).

      So please flush all that satisfaction and penal substitution sewage out of your head. It is all pure falsity that has nothing to do with the Bible’s teaching about how we are reconciled to God. There are a number of articles here that cover these subjects in more detail. Here are some of them:

      I know that’s a lot of articles. And I know you’ve probably read most of them already. But if your mind is getting re-infected with the errant falsity of satisfaction theory, you need a strong antidote to it.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rami,

      About divine justice and judgment, that is simply a factor of God’s love and truth shining upon us. God’s love reveals our lack of love when we have turned ourselves away from God. God’s truth reveals the falsity and evil of our ways when we have turned ourselves away from God. It doesn’t condemn us. It simply shows us for what we are. And when we see what we truly are, we can either repent and turn toward God, or we can continue in our evil, selfish, and greedy ways, continue to turn our back on God, and continue to bring death and destruction upon ourselves. The choices is 100% ours. God has no need to condemn us, because we condemn ourselves when we refuse to heed and live from God’s justice and judgment, which is really God’s love and truth.

  4. Rami says:

    Hi Lee,

    I know we’ve discussed penal substitution on a number of posts on your blog, and while I’m not leaning in that direction, I do occasionally take a closer look at it when it when certain theological conundrums come up.

    In this case, I was wondering: is Christ’s redemptive work a function of God’s justice or mercy? In penal substitution theory, it’s pretty clear which is which because of the way God is conceived in its larger theological mindset: we are guilty, and God *justly* judges the guilty to hell, and the righteous to heaven. However, God does not *want* to condemn anyone, and loves us immeasurably, so God, while not compromising on His justice, *mercifully* gave us a way out through Christ.

    But I’m having a bit more trouble discerning these dynamics through Swedenborg’s theology, largely because he seems to use an ‘updated’ spiritual vocabulary in which terms like justice, mercy, and damnation are used interpreted somewhat differently than in traditional religious language, because he conceives of God rather differently. God doesn’t judge, punish the guilty, or reward the righteous, because God is seen more like the light of love and wisdom that we can either let in or shut out as much as we wish (or can take, in the former). And our afterlife is a reflection of this decision.

    So how are we to conceive of attributes like justice and mercy? Are they even attributes of God, or are they rather the ‘action’ that Swedenborg speaks of when he says that God is love and wisdom in action?

    When it comes to the issue of atonement, I understand, according to Swedenborg, that human beings were at one point so weighed down by our collective sinfulness that it was interfering with people’s ability to enter heaven. So God incarnated into Christ so as to defeat the powers of evil that were preventing people from living righteously. What does that mean in terms of justice and mercy?

    Would it have been unjust to give human beings the choice between heaven and hell while their consciences were compromised by the pervading evil, where they were constantly choosing hell? If so, then it makes the Incarnation sound like an act of justice (that emanates from love) rather than one of mercy. But if it was just to allow The Fall to drag human beings to hell, and the Incarnation was an act of mercy, then how is justice done?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Rami,

      These are big questions.

      First, once again the so-called “traditional religious language” use of terms such as divine justice and mercy are very far from how the Bible, or even the first 1,000 years of Christianity as a whole, used those terms. The now “traditional” usages of those terms are based on a medieval legalistic framework that is foreign to the Bible’s usage of them, and to the prior Christian use of them. Swedenborg’s usage of them is far more “traditional” if by that you mean going back the farthest in Christian usage and doctrine. The currently accepted “Christian” usage of those terms is “traditional” only in the sense that Jesus spoke of “tradition” when he said that the religious leaders had substituted human traditions for God’s Word and God’s commandments (Matthew 15:6–9; Mark 7:6–8, quoting Isaiah 29:13).

      Second, what has now become “traditional” (in a human sense) “Christianity” has a fractured and divided view of God due to the false doctrine of the Trinity of Persons. That fractured nature of its view of God pervades everything about its theology, including the separation of God’s mercy from God’s justice, distributing them to two distinct “persons” of God (which are really two of three distinct gods worshiped in traditional Christianity. See: “Is the Doctrine of the Trinity Polytheistic?”).

      The fundamental fallacy about God’s mercy and justice held to in most of the Christian world flows from the fundamental fallacy about God’s own nature held to in most of the Christian world.

      To be more specific, in satisfaction theory, there is a “good cop, bad cop” dynamic between God the Father and God the Son. Regardless of theoretically attributing all divine attributes to all the Persons of God, in reality satisfaction theory sees God the Father as the “bad cop,” whose honor, or justice, or wrath (depending upon the particular variation of the theory) requires God to punish human beings with eternal hell for their sins. So in satisfaction theory, “justice” is associated primarily with God the Father. God the Son, meanwhile, is the “good cop,” who puts himself out and takes all kinds of abuse in order to satisfy God’s honor, or justice, or wrath, thus saving human beings from eternal hell by making himself a substitute for the satisfaction or consequences required for their sins by God the Father. So in satisfaction theory, “mercy” is associated primarily with God the Son.

      Yes, I know that in satisfaction theory God the Father sends God the Son, supposedly out of mercy. But the two Persons of God are still fundamentally at odds with one another practically speaking. God the Father requires satisfaction or punishment, while God the Son provides the satisfaction or endures the punishment. So one Person of God is required to nullify or satisfy the demands of another Person of God.

      In satisfaction theory, humans are not even part of the equation, except for “setting the board” by sinning. It is entirely a conflict among different deities, a lesser deity in the pantheon playing off against a greater deity to neutralize the greater deity’s need for satisfaction or punishment. (Although trinitarian doctrine says verbally that all three Persons of God are equal, in reality in that theology God the Father is greater than God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit is lesser than both of them, just as in Tertullian’s originally invented version of the Trinity of Persons. The whole dogma is utterly self-contradictory, the words saying one thing and the reality of how it is actually seen in the minds of those holding the dogma being something entirely different.)

      In stark terms, in satisfaction theory god #2 saves us from god #1.

      In satisfaction theory, human beings are saved, not from the Devil, or even from their own evil, but rather from a contradiction between justice and mercy within the polytheistic Godhead itself. God’s mercy must save us from God’s justice. So the two are in competition with one another, and at odds with one another, and the Godhead is itself riven with internal conflict and controversy. Once again, the actuality of how the dogma is seen as working in the minds of those who hold to it completely contradicts the verbal assertions and formulas used to paint a veneer of reasonableness onto an utterly fallacious, self-contradictory, and blasphemous view of God, atonement, and salvation.

      It is simply a “Christian” version the internal conflict and controversy among the Greek and Roman gods of the pagan world out of which the bulk of “Christianity” came. It has nothing to do with anything presented in the Bible.

      In true Christianity, which Swedenborg explains, there is no internal conflict within God. There is no division whatsoever between God’s justice and God’s mercy. There is no need for God’s mercy to override or satisfy God’s justice because the two are one, and always act together for the same purposes and goals. We can distinguish them intellectually, but in reality they always act together as one.

      Aside from its general reliance on a polytheistic notion of God, the key error of satisfaction theory is the idea that one part of God—God’s justice—wants or requires our damnation, and that this is at odds with another part of God—God’s mercy—that wants our eternal salvation.

      But that’s not how God’s justice and mercy want, act, or interact at all. In fact, God’s justice, or truth, wants the same thing as God’s mercy, or love, because God’s justice exists only to carry out God’s mercy, and God’s mercy carries out everything it does by means of God’s justice. The two work 100% together in everything they do, and are never at odds with or in conflict with one another. There is one God, not two or three gods, and that one God is always completely unified in everything that God does.

      When people go to hell, it is not God’s justice that brings that about. God’s justice is seeking the same thing as God’s mercy, which is to lift everyone up to heaven. Rather, when people go to hell it is because they have rejected both God’s justice and God’s mercy.

      They have obviously rejected God’s mercy, because God’s mercy wants heaven for them, not hell.

      But they have also rejected God’s justice because God’s justice wants them to take advantage of the means to go to heaven, which is spiritual rebirth, or regeneration, and which involves living according to the laws of divine justice, fundamental to which are the two Great Commandments: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. God’s justice is the reality that only by living according to these commandments, and all of the other commandments about honesty, faithfulness, integrity, and so on that flow from them, can we become angels of heaven. So God’s justice is always working to bring about that change in us toward good, right, and spiritual living in order to carry out the will of God’s mercy that we become angels in heaven.

      In true Christianity, and in a true conception of God, there is no division between God’s justice and God’s mercy. The two always work hand in hand in a fully mutual effort to bring about the eternal salvation of every human being who is willing to be saved.

      In true Christianity, human beings are not saved from God, but from the devil, evil, and hell—which are all synonyms for the same thing. And this salvation happens by God’s justice and God’s mercy working together to defeat the Devil through the Incarnation as Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ’s complete victory over the Devil during his lifetime on earth, and through God as Jesus Christ fighting against and defeating the Devil within every human being who is willing to put his or her trust in God, open the door to God, and accept God’s power to defeat evil, the devil, and hell in him- or herself.

      This is the basic theory behind Christus Victor. And it is the basic theory—and reality—behind Swedenborg’s understanding of God, mercy, justice, and the atonement, or better, the redemption of humankind.

      God’s justice fights, not against God’s requirements, but against evil and falsity. God’s justice is a sword in the hand of God’s mercy, fighting against and defeating evil, falsity, hell, the Devil, and Satan wherever God goes, and whenever we allow God to enter into our lives and fight for us. God’s justice is not against us, requiring that we go to hell, as in satisfaction theory. Rather, it is against the evil and falsity in us that will drag us down to hell if it is not defeated. God’s justice always fights for us, against the evil and falsity within us.

      There is no good cop and bad cop in the Godhead. God is 100% the good cop, fighting against the evil and falsity within us and saving us from slavery to their power over us.

      God’s mercy and justice are not at odds with one another in even the slightest way. They are fully one with each other, acting together to bring about our eternal salvation, if we are willing to be saved.

  5. Tony says:

    There is no good cop and bad cop in the Godhead. God is 100% the good cop

    I think you contradicted yourself there lee lol

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