'Let justice roll on like a river.' 'Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness.' From Amos through to Matthew, justice is a core message of the Bible. So how do we open our eyes to see God's perspective of justice? From March through to June, we'll hold up a different lens over the light of 'Justice', asking how it looks with a heavenly perspective. This series is about understanding that 'Heaven being established on Earth' also means establishing justice on Earth. Justice is a core message of the Bible, seen in a spectrum of ways. We will repent together for when we've not seen God's perspective for a people or situation. And we will, in turn, be equipped to advocate for the poor, broken, and hurting.
Heaven on Earth
What does divine justice look like? What does the hope of heaven mean for the oppressed or victims of injustice?
Heaven established on Earth means justice on Earth. At his second and final coming, Jesus will end all evil. But at His first coming, He came not to bring judgement but to bear it so that we could be forgiven and accepted. Jesus is already present in the world to change lives, but final justice is waiting for us at the end of time. We are called to balance patience with hope.
Made In the Image of God
What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How can we see the character of God in others? God made humanity to be like God, representing Him on Earth. Our value is at the heart of the creation story. If we made in the image of God, so too are our neighbours; migrants crossing the channel or CEOs of billion-dollar companies. We are citizens of heaven. This is our identity.
The Law and The Prophets
What can we learn from those who’ve gone before us? What do they have to teach us about our present-day circumstances? Much of the Old Testament prophecy was about God’s judgement on Israel for their unjust practices in treating the poor, the foreigner, the widow and the orphan. The Ten Commandments point the Israelites towards justice; they establish just principles for living.
Jesus and Justice
Does Jesus’ example tell us anything about how we’re to treat others? What can we learn from Him that would help bring justice to our lives? Are we willing to let Him shape and mould our lives? Following on from the prophetic words of the law and prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus is the fulfillment of what they spoke of. He is the embodiment of God’s will on the Earth. His life was the perfect description of the upside down kingdom, were the last shall be made first and those who are persecuted will inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
Economic Justice Part One
There is always a cost; we just need to decide who’s paying for it. Are we willing to pay it, or do we just want someone else to do it? What does that say about the way we see other people?
The first aspect of biblical justice is radical generosity. While secular individualism says that your money belongs to you, and socialism says your money belongs to the State, the Bible says that all your money belongs to God, who then entrusts it to you. Jesus calls us to be wise stewards of our wealth.
Economic Justice Part Two
Luke 8, 12 & 14
Josh & Josie Jones
There is always a cost; we just need to decide who’s paying for it. Are we willing to pay it, or do we just want someone else to do it? What does that say about the way we see other people? The first aspect of biblical justice is radical generosity. While secular individualism says that your money belongs to you, and socialism says your money belongs to the State, the Bible says that all your money belongs to God, who then entrusts it to you. Jesus calls us to be wise stewards of our wealth. This is a guided meditation that considers and reflects on three of the parables of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke.
Racial Justice Part One
The image of God is on all races and yet racial injustice has been a challenge in biblical history as well as human history, from the Jews and the Gentiles through to today. Races should not merely ‘get along,’ but must become a new humanity in which the old divisions no longer prevail. This is an ongoing mission for the kingdom of God.
Racial Justice Part Two
Do you choose to 'ally' yourself with others to benefit them, or because it will further and promote your own ambition? Talking about being an ally is a hot topic in today's society. We have to be careful that our allyship doesn't become something that benefits ourselves when those we're standing in alliance with don't actually benefit. When we do see people being performative in their allyship, we have got to be prepared to say 'this has got to stop because it is not the purpose of God'.
Racial Justice: A Conversation
Hope Nyabienda, Renae Huggan-Broughton, Abbie Coburn & Michael Vincent
Take a moment by yourself. Are you willfully blind to the racism around you? Does your support of those marginalised by racial inequality come from a place of selflessness, or has it ever been for prideful gain? When faced with the opportunity to learn about a topic that could lead us to confront some uncomfortable personal realities, it’s an easy choice to opt out. Equally, the temptation can creep in to utilise the cause of another to further our ambition. There are both mindsets we can be caught in regarding racial justice. As part of our life-long discipleship, we need to take time to sit alone with these possibilities and ask God to search our hearts for any presence of them.
Environmentalist and theologian, social activist, and author, Dr Ruth Valerio is the Director of Global Advocacy and Influencing at Tearfund. This role allows Ruth to inspire and equip Christians with a whole-life response to poverty, bringing lasting change to the issues that impact the poorest and most vulnerable. Previously Ruth helped to launch the Eco Church scheme - Open Heaven is currently working towards its bronze award.
Environmental Justice: How Can We Respond?
Ally Lead, interviewed by Luc & Rachel Sadler
Where around you do you see environmental injustice? Could you give, act, or pray to make a difference in this situation? We recognise that living sustainably is not always easy. For the Leads, the starting point has been trying to educate themselves and make an informed decision based on what they think is best for the world. There is always a cost involved; it is just where or who that cost is. We’re delighted to have Ally Lead sharing their journey with us this week in OH1.
Is there a way to truly love our enemies? When is it hardest to ‘turn the other cheek’?
You cannot do justice without recognising how power has been used to exploit and abuse, but you also cannot do justice without exerting power yourself. The gospel shows us a Saviour who does indeed exercise authority over us, but who uses that authority and power only to serve us, and who was willing to lose it and suffer in order to save us. Christians have intellectual and heart resources to use power in a way that does not exploit. We must never stop struggling to walk in our Saviour’s steps.