Worship & Justice continued

Enacting Justice in the Bible

From the very beginning of time, humanity has been plagued with the consequences of self love which reflects insufficient love of God and demonstrates itself in disobedience of His law and in a personal offense to His character. When groups of humans gather under the influence of this self love, they create societies that exacerbate the problem and descend into self destruction. Either God’s people deny self or deny God; deny ungodliness and pursue godliness or deny justice and descend into the abyss.

The New Testament solution fixes the base problem one worshiper at a time. These God-produced worshipers cluster in groups (churches) where, under the moving of the Holy Spirit, the whole exceeds the sum of the parts. These groups affect society as the Lord wills. Christ is still the only hope for individuals and societies, but still His people must live up to His call. So, James encourages true believers to be hearers and doers (like Micah who encourages “doers of justice”).

My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil excess, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you. But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror; for he looks at himself, goes away, and right away forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer who acts—this person will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:19-25)

This passage equally condemns those who hear but do not do, and those who do but do not hear. God’s people can neither ignore the behavior His Word calls for; neither can they go perform without depending on and following His revealed directions. One can readily understand, then, that the central point is the effect of the Word of God in the child of God.

God’s Word must be so implanted in His people that it displaces the moral filth and evil excess of self love and produces affection for God and His truth. Thus, they reflect His character by learning deeply from His Word in order that they may live well before Him by obeying from the heart what His Word proclaims. In short, know God lovingly from the Bible; represent God humbly in the World.

This is what the LORD says: The wise must not boast in his wisdom; the mighty must not boast in his might; the rich must not boast in his riches. But the one who boasts should boast in this, that he understands and knows Me—that I am the LORD, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things. This is the LORD’s declaration. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, HCSB)

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