Do Justice: Radical Compassion
It really is no secret that selfishness and the pursuit of the advancement of one’s situation over the needs and situations of others is the modus operandi of our world. Even with the hyper-sensitivity to social justice issues, when it comes down to it, the needs of the many often play second fiddle to the needs of the one. That’s not the way it should be, though, for the followers of Christ. There’s no “arriving” when it comes to doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).
As we take a look at the responsibility of the followers of Christ to live with a counter-cultural compassion from Isaiah chapter 58 this Sunday we’ll put ourselves under the microscope. It’s an important message this week, a strong challenge for us to consider. We all have a long way to go with this, myself certainly included, and I’m looking forward to hearing what God’s Word has to say about that this Sunday.
November 8, 2020
Churches are not made that men of ready speech may stand up on Sundays and talk, and so win daily bread from their admirers. No, there is another end and aim for this. These places of worship are not built that you may sit comfortably and hear something that shall make you pass away your Sundays with pleasure. A church which does not exist to do good in the slums, and dens, and kennels of the city, is a church that has no reason to justify its longer existing. A church that does not exist to reclaim heathenism, to fight with evil, to destroy error, to put down false- hood, a church that does not exist to take the side of the poor, to denounce injustice and to hold up righteousness, is a church that has no right to be.
To be people of justice means to engage in radical Christ-centred ministry of mercy and compassion.
1. Our responsibility: We are to seek to bring freedom to the oppressed and to be generous to the poor and destitute (v. 6-7, 9b-10a)
In the twentieth century the American church divided between the liberal mainline that stressed social justice and the fundamentalist churches that emphasized personal salvation...In the mind of many orthodox Christians, therefore, “doing justice” is inextricably linked with the loss of sound doctrine and spiritual dynamism.
A heart poured out in deeds of mercy and justice to the poor is the inevitable
sign that you have been justified.
1 John 3:17-18
2. God’s response: Mercy and compassion invites God’s favour and blessing (v. 8-9a, 10b-12)