Our God is love, but we need to understand that is not His only character. It can be dangerous if we only teach about God’s character that is full of love and grace, without balancing it with the teaching of His other characters, like discipline and holiness.
God has love, but he is also firm. He is forgiving, but He is just toward evil. We cannot ignore one of his characters and focus on the other, because both of God’s characters have the ability to coexist. How can we know His characters? We can know through His representation and His actions.
As God is mighty in His faithfulness toward those who love Him (Psalm 89:9), His wrath is also great toward those who are against Him (Psalm 59:14; Deuteronomy 29:28). This includes idolatry (Deuteronomy 32:16) and intentional debauchery (Deuteronomy 29:20)
God is pleased with kindness and righteousness (Jeremiah 9:24), but He also hates every evil thing that defiles His holy name (Leviticus 20:3). As God’s children, we must live in holiness. Apostle John saw a vision in Patmos of a bride in the feast of the Lamb wearing fine linen; this represents the right doings of holy people (Revelation 19:8).
God’s righteousness is strongly related to His just character or His decision based on the law. God’s justice is clearly seen in His promises with His people. He desires for His people to focus more in living righteously rather than other matters – even more than a ritual service (Proverbs 5:24). His righteousness and justice reveal care, but we need to remember that righteousness also reveals two other things: God’s judgment and wrath over the wicked ones.
As we have seen, love, power, holiness, righteousness and justice are strongly related. These characters of God are like pieces of a puzzle that need to be built completely. It is useless if we have missing pieces in the puzzle. Knowing God without knowing His other characters will be useless and is also dangerous. God’s grace and discipline are like two sides of a coin. Those two sides do not lessen the value of one another, but they become the basic foundation to strengthen one another. God bless.
Taken from GBI Gatot Subroto Jakarta article