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A Mighty Flood of Justice



A MIGHTY FLOOD OF JUSTICE

Part 2 of Above & Beyond!

Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. January 14, 2018.

INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. King was a champion for civil rights and he was in many ways the conscience of the church, calling Jesus-followers back to their savior's concern for what we call social justice.

In one of his speeches, King said, "Somehow, the preacher must be an Amos, and say, 'Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.' (Amos 5:24) Somehow, the preacher must say with Jesus, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to deal with the problem of the poor.'" (Luke 4:18)

We have received Jesus' heart for the hurting. The Holy Spirit put it there. A key mark of a genuine believer is what Tim Keller calls "generous justice." (See Acts 20:35 - "help the poor")

It's true that Jesus came to save individuals from their sins, but it is also true that he came to create a community/church that would save people from the sins of the world; evils such as racism, human trafficking, corruption, poverty, oppression, etc.

JESUS AND JUSTICE ISSUES

Jesus defined his ministry as a combination of practical outreach to the vulnerable AND Gospel preaching:

Matthew 11:4-6 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Jesus did not spend all his time leading Bible studies. He spent a lot of his time healing and helping people who were traditionally outcast from their villages and left on the garbage heap of life.

JESUS-FOLLOWERS AND JUSTICE ISSUES

Jesus calls his followers to make the world better. Turn to Luke 14:12-13.

Luke 14:12-14. Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Let me paraphrase Jesus here: "Use your business contacts to make the world a better place for everyone. Use your connections and your cash to help the forgotten and downtrodden people."

Jesus wants us to have a kingdom perspective on injustice and suffering: He says, "Don't ignore it, change it."

Bryan Stevenson wrote in his stunning book Just Mercy, "The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”

For 20 years, the Cornerstone has worked with Jesus for social justice. We have shared his WORD and his WORKS.

We began in Olongapo City, reaching out to street kids. We helped provide medical care, food, & clothing. We helped build church buildings and homes. Ask Bill Richards or Dan Mitchell about walking through a garbage dump where kids with buckets were scavenging for copper wire to sell.

We've reached out to AIDS orphans in Zambia. Since 2001, we've provided half the monthly support for the Chikondi Home in Lusaka. Ask Duke Dunn about holding a little baby with AIDS in an overcrowded orphanage in the city.

We've built 20 or so homes in Anapara, Mexico, a slum just yards from El Paso, Texas. I remember renting a big SUV and driving to Sams Club in El Paso. Craig and I bought several hundred of your donated dollars of rice and beans and oil and other essentials. Then, we drove across the border to the slum. Dirt roads, sewage in the street. We went door to door handing out supplies.

We've done other good works here in the USA. Hurricane relief. Foster and adoption. Jail outreach. Work with the shelters, partnerships with Blue Water Pregnancy Care, Bridge Builders, Mid-City Nutrition, Hunter Hospitality Houses, SONS, and so on.

Does anyone know what time it is? No, I don't mean it's time to go for lunch. I mean it's time to renew our vision and our participation in making the world better for people. We might have fallen behind just a step or two and this is the moment to re-focus and to re-engage in that "mighty flood of justice."

DIEDRE HAUPT

Let me introduce you to soemone who has step into the justice river. Her name is Diedre Haupt and she is on staff with ReachGlobal, the world missions agency of the EFCA.

Diedre is preparing to return to her team in Berlin, Germany, where she is engaged in reaching out to prostitutes and fighting against human trafficking. I've asked Diedre to share her ministry with us today. Please give her a very warm welcome.

Diedre's website is here.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES ON BIBLICAL SOCIAL JUSTICE

Justice Organizations - A Sample

  • Gleaning for the World: gftw.org

  • Hope International: hopeinternational.org

  • Hope Story: hopestory.ca

  • International Justice Mission: ijm.org

  • Prison Fellowship: prisonfellowship.org

Justice Books - A Sample

  • Created to Flourish: Peter Greer and Phil Smith

  • Good News about Injustice by Gary Haugen.

  • Just Courage by Gary Haugen.

  • Generous Justice by Tim Keller.

  • Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller.

  • The Just Church by Jim Martin.

  • Beyond Charity by John Perkins.

  • Cry Justice by Ron Sider.

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

  • Contemporary Christianity by John Stott (chapter 20).

A BIBLICAL VISION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE - A SAMPLE

  • Leviticus 24:22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.

  • Deuteronomy 10:17-19 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

  • Deuteronomy 27:17-19 Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbor's boundary stone.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” 18 “Cursed is anyone who leads the blind astray on the road.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” 19 “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

  • Psalms 68:5-6 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing;

  • Psalms 146:7-9 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, 8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. 9 The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

  • Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

  • Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

  • Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

  • Jeremiah 9:24 (NIV-WS) but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

  • Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

  • Amos 5:23-24 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

  • Matthew 11:4-6 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

  • Matthew 25:34-40. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

  • Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

  • Luke 4:18-21 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

  • Luke 14:12-14 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

  • Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

  • Galatians 2:10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

  • Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

  • 1 Timothy 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.


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