The Bible declares that God is love and God is holy, and we look to the Bible to teach us about godly love and holiness. We are to love God and others because God first loved us, and we are to be holy for God is holy.
The Bible also declares that God is just, and it instructs us about godly justice. Pursuing biblical justice means we follow God’s way to make right that which is wrong, and we look to Scripture to define what is “right.”
As human beings, the fully human Jesus Christ is our standard for how to live justly. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, died a sacrificial death and rose again to make right that which was wrong between us and God. Jesus also cared for the outcast and reached out with compassion to help those most often overlooked to make right that which was wrong between persons. Jesus pursued justice, both spiritually and physically.
As we look at the life of Jesus and the clear command given throughout the Bible, it is clear that Christians are called to “do justice.” We are called to take action and confront evil, to care for the vulnerable and to make right that which is wrong. This command is not new. It is not a cultural fad or something that is simply a trend in today’s society. Throughout the Bible, our call to do justice is clear
“Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute” (Psalm 82:3).
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17).
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-19).
“What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things” (Luke 11:42).
Biblical justice starts with the eternal in mind. It starts by seeing people as God sees them – recognizing that we are all created in the image of God. And it is incumbent upon Christ followers to pursue physical and spiritual freedom for the oppressed so others can also become what God created them to be.
As believers, we may partner with those doing the work of social justice in our communities, but let us not be confused about our ultimate mission. Our mission is not about picking up another cause because it sounds appealing and makes us look good. Our mission is about fully embracing the cause of Christ. The end goal of biblical justice is seeing lives reconciled to God and others, and eternally transformed.
Yours in Christ,