Tim Keller | October 31, 2010
The gospel is intensely personal because it entails a commitment of the whole person to Jesus. And if the whole person is committed to Jesus, that includes one’s private and public life. If this is true, then what happens when we take the gospel out of our private lives and out of the church and out into the world?
One of the things that happens is that the gospel creates a passion for doing justice in the world. Deuteronomy teaches us many things about justice. We’re going to look at these three headings in chapters 4 and 15: 1) the threefold call by God to us to do justice, 2) the dynamic for doing justice, and 3) doing justice is a testimony to the world.
The good news of God’s love invites us to share our faith not only in private but also in public. By showing fairness and kindness to those who have less, we’re living out God’s wisdom and demonstrating His presence in our lives. This message fuels our desire for justice and generosity, reflecting the abundant blessings we’ve received from God.
1. The triple call of fairness
In old farming societies, bad weather or poor crops could lead to debts and even forced labor. The Bible encourages us to be consistently generous, forgiving debts, and freeing slaves at certain times. It also encourages us to lend to the poor and support their long-term growth, putting their needs before profits. The early followers of Jesus lived this out by sharing what they had, and we’re called to make a big difference by showing compassion and generosity to those in need.
2. The dynamic of fairness
God’s instruction to care for the needy comes with His grace to help us do it. Experiencing God’s love through Jesus’ sacrifice changes how we see poverty. We realize our spiritual need and recognize the value of every person, no matter how much or little they have. This good news of God’s love works like a powerful engine for justice, changing our views and sparking our care for those who are poor.
3. The testimony of fairness
Justice is a command from God, and when we live it out, we not only honor God but also prove our faith is real. The early followers of Jesus did this by telling others about His resurrection and generously helping those in need. It’s important that our actions match our words, showing our faith is genuine. It’s in this balance of wanting to please God, admitting our fails, and relying on His love that God is truly honored.
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