Justice – Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  October 23, 2005

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  • Mercy & Justice
Isaiah 58:1-14
RS 187-07

Understanding Isaiah 58:1–14

Isaiah’s teachings bring to light the importance of justice, showing us that being right with God is not just about fasting and religious rituals. According to Isaiah, a real fast is about addressing unfairness, caring for the needy, and keeping the Sabbath. He encourages believers to actively seek justice, promising that their lives will shine, they will heal, and God will respond to their calls for help.

1. The significance of justice

God highlights how critical justice is, showing us that true worship is more than just religious rituals. Even those who deeply love God’s laws and worship might be confused when their prayers aren’t answered. They come to understand that real worship includes active pursuit of justice, freeing those who are oppressed, and providing for those in need. Therefore, having a deep understanding of societal needs and leading a life dedicated to helping others, especially the poor, are clear indicators of real faith and an authentic relationship with God.

2. The true definition of justice

The biblical understanding of justice, based in the concept of “shalom,” differs from the Western definition. It highlights the inclusivity and societal harmony in biblical justice. The idea of family goes beyond just blood relatives, encouraging interdependence and challenging the notion that happiness is just tied to family. The emotional impact of ignoring other people’s needs, the importance of investing in community resources, and the responsibility to support weaker members of society are also emphasized.

3. What makes you a person who really practices justice?

The mistaken idea that you can earn God’s blessings through religious acts and charity is questioned. The focus is on the fact that true faith is about caring for the poor and practicing social justice, not selfish manipulation. Genuine love and care are highlighted, warning against using religion as a cover for selfishness. It is argued that good deeds done out of fear or pride are self-centered and not effective. The power of God’s grace to change us, the idea of beauty shifting from self-focus to focusing on others, and Jesus’ identification with the poor through his humble life and experiences of injustice are explored. This encourages genuine love for God and others.



The Justice of God

By Tim Keller


By Tim Keller


By Tim Keller

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Share the reason for the hope within you!

In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.