Generous Justice, class 13 –
From Chapt. 8. Pg. 170-189
It is the plan and purpose of God to bring all things in heaven and earth together in Christ (Col. 1:20; Eph. 1:10). This chapter addresses the question, what does that mean?
As creator, God showed himself to be an artist and
Creation is described in architectural terms (Job 38:4-6; Is. 66:1).
Creation is described as a garment (Ps. 102:25-26; 104:1-2; 6; Job 38:9).
God has crafted a physical, emotional, social, spiritual creation existing in the state of shalom.
As citizens of the community of God, we are to pursue and preserve that shalom in all things, including social shalom (pg. 175). The illustration of Bedford Falls with and without George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life an example of a world with and without a godly influence. (Pg. 175).
God created the world with shalom (Eden). Then shalom was lost (Gen. 3). Now the task of the God-follower is “to live in a way that generates a strong community where human beings can flourish. Specifically, however, to ‘do justice’ means to go to places where the fabric of shalom has broken down, where the weaker members of societies are falling through the fabric, and to repair it.” (Pg. 177).
Prov. 14:31 – Contempt for the poor is contempt for
Prov. 19:17 – Care for the poor is care for God
2 Cor. 8:8-9; Luke 9:58 – Jesus identified with the poor
Matt. 25:35-40 – When serve the poor and victims of injustice, we serve Jesus who identified with them. (Pg. 184-189).
The incarnation, from Jesus’ lowly birth to
identifying in ministry with the poor and disadvantaged to the horror of the
cross, teaches us that God “knows what it’s like to be the victim of injustice,
to stand up to power, to face a corrupt system and be killed for it. He knows
what is like to be lynched. I’m not sure how you believe in a God remote from
injustice and oppression, but Christianity doesn’t ask you to believe in that.”
Jesus paid our debt
to relieve and deliver us from our spiritual poverty and bankruptcy. (Gal.
3:10-14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Matt. 5:3). “To take that
into the center of your heart and life will make you one of the just.” (pg.