Societal Justice & The Gospel

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!” – Matthew 23:23-24
 
Them: “Righting social injustice isn’t a part of the Gospel”:
 
God:
“Thus says the LORD: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. For thus says the LORD concerning the house of the king of Judah: “‘You are like Gilead to me, like the summit of Lebanon, yet surely I will make you a desert, an uninhabited city. I will prepare destroyers against you, each with his weapons, and they shall cut down your choicest cedars and cast them into the fire. “‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, “Why has the LORD dealt thus with this great city?” And they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”‘” – Jeremiah 22:1-9

What is the good news promised?

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ – Jeremiah 23:5-6

Christ accomplished his mission through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension. As a result, he inherited all authority in heaven and on earth. His kingdom was therefore established. I ask you now: Aside from the fact that those who pervert justice exist, is the establishment of Christ’s kingdom good news? Is the establishment of justice in society at least *part* of the good news of the establishment of Christ’s kingdom?

How dare we remove the establishment of justice for the oppressed as a definitional component of the Gospel! You teachers who are party to this reductionism, take note.

That Christ has inherited all rule and authority over the nations is no less a precious aspect of the gospel than the fact that he is Savior of your soul.

P.S. For a reminder of what Christ did to that desolated city which would not heed God’s commands to establish justice spoken of in Jeremiah 22. Google “Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD”.
 

 

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