Faithlife Sermons

Justice

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What comes to mind when you hear the word Justice?
Punishment? Retribution? Revenge?
Christian Justice is actually none of these things in fact it has less to do with people getting punishment or reward and more about how we are called to live the life that God has gifted us with.
God’s Justice equals ministry to those most undeserving not retribution for bad behaviour.
That passage we heard today described the
This includes you and me and those that are the hardest to love.
Retribution?
For example if you look at the life of Paul in who wrote the lions share of the New Testament one could argue that he did not receive Justice! Paul was Going from town to town beating, and taking part in the killing of Jesus followers. Paul did all of these things yet instead of revenge God chose to make Paul and example of happens when one turns away from their own perception of God’s will and embraces God’s true will.
Revenge?
Paul thought he was doing God’s will by punishing those that were out of step with the religious community of the day... but when he had his encounter with God everything changed.
Tell the Story finish with Ananias....
Acts 9:15–16 NLT
15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
Everything about this story from Saul’s conversion to Ananias risking his life to heal Saul’s blindness does not seem to equal what we would call Justice.
Paul understood this as well when he penned these words in
Ephesians 3:8

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.

Paul the least worthy was chosen to be given the privilege of telling the non Jewish world about Jesus. How is this justice?
Justice is about making all things right not making things even.
God is always looking for ways in which to help us make it he is not looking for ways to damn us to and eternity separated from him.
This is at the very heart of who we are as a holiness people at the end of the 19th century the Holiness movement was born our of a desire to work toward the redemption of the least of these.
The term social justice in our current situation has taken on more of a political meaning and because of that when we here the words social justice or justice we automatically coil into a defensive posture.
Last week we talked about how our Faith is shaped by what we think about God. If we believed that God is for us then our lives resemble all the positive attributes of God even in the midst of difficult circumstances. However if we see God a punisher and absent our lives resemble all the negative thoughts and actions of the world we live in.
God. If we believed that God is for us then our lives resemble all the positive attributes of God even in the midst of difficult circumstances. However if we see God a punisher and absent our lives resemble all the negative thoughts and actions of the world we live in.
However long before Social Justice took became a political agenda it was a biblical agenda.

3 He will not crush the weakest reed

or put out a flickering candle.

He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

This is not speaking of a punitive justice but a righteous justice. To make right all this world has marred and spoiled…to speak up for and fight for those that are indeed experiencing unfair and in some cases inhumane treatment.
This is not speaking of a punitive justice but a righteous justice. To make right all this world has marred and spoiled…to speak up for and fight for those that are indeed experiencing unfair and in some cases inhumane treatment.
We are all recipients of God’s righteous Justice and as such are called to extend this to the rest of the world.

6 “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.

I will take you by the hand and guard you,

and I will give you to my people, Israel,

as a symbol of my covenant with them.

And you will be a light to guide the nations.

7 You will open the eyes of the blind.

You will free the captives from prison,

releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.

Jesus was sent to teach us how to be God’s servant who lives for others, who brings forth justice on the earth, and who is the light of the world.
Jesus was sent to model and teach us how to be God’s servant who lives for others, who brings forth justice on the earth, and who is the light of the world.
Todays passage is a wonderful pic
When we believe wrong things about who God is we interpret important attributes of God like his Justice incorrectly.
the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause. rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice. the moral principle determining just conduct.
On this first Sunday after the Epiphany, we reflect on the Baptism of Jesus, and the vocation to which Jesus is called – to be God’s servant who lives for others, who brings forth justice on the earth, and who is the light of the world. In doing so, we also are to remember our baptism, and the vocation to which we are called.
What comes to mind when you hear the word Justice?
God also expects us to do our part.
On this first Sunday after the Epiphany, we reflect on this passage in Isaiah as a precursor to the Baptism of Jesus, and the reason to which Jesus is sent to bring Justice to the world.
Jesus was sent to model and teach us how to be God’s servant who lives for others, who brings forth justice on the earth, and who is the light of the world.
Going back to the story of Saul we are given an example of what this looks like. Ananias was asked to go to Saul and pray that he regain his sight…
lays out the church’s missional vocation
Punishment? Retribution? Revenge?
Ananias was scared and probably a little bit angry at this request by God…He had heard how much damage Saul had done and was not really convinced of his so called conversion…the truth is he would preferred to be asked to go an call down fire on Saul or simply be allowed to just live his own life. However God wanted Justice not retribution.

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.

He has done the same for us. By sending Jesus God has brought us righteous Justice…Praise be to God.
It is because of the Justice we received that we are to
Someone today needs to hear No matter what you are going through or what we have done God wants to bring grace not punishment to your life.
If we will allow this truth to soak in to our very being it will in fact be an Epiphany to us.
Absorbing this truth will lead to a discovery or a realization that no matter how difficult your circumstance, no matter how demanding your job is, no matter how busy your life is, no matter how bad you feel about yourself...
Jesus came to make all things right not punish you for your sin.
Stop defining your life with words like responsible, capable, and allow your life to be defined by words, like passion, connection, meaning, Love, grace and spirit.
Stop defining success in your life with words like responsible, capable, and allow your life to be defined by words, like passion, connection, meaning, Love, grace and spirit.
Stop defining your life with words like responsible, capable, and allow your life to be defined by words, like passion, connection, meaning, Love, grace and spirit.
This is how we bring peace of Justice to those in turmoil…by dealing with the turmoil we often find ourselves in first.
When we understand this we are able to live on the mission God has for us in our everyday life. We stop looking for ways to live mission outside of our life and instead just live our mission in the midst of our life.
You do not have to pick up another church job, you do not have to abandon your family, or quit your job to work for Justice…you can just extend Justice to those you are already in contact with.
Stop beating yourself up for not doing more and just look for the opportunities God Gives you to be his instrument of peace.
We can serve others, work for justice for all people and groups of people but simply shining the light of Jesus where we are.
Reflection Question:
Sometime today if you can you may want to find some solitude and quiet your heart and mind and ask God these Questions. Write these questions down...
Has my opinion of the justice of God about punishment or grace?
What do I need to allow God to make right in my life?
What have I been beating myself up with that God wants to resolve or has already resolved?
What Have I been holding against others that needs to be forgiven?
How can I pursue Justice for others in my particular context?
James
When we receive communion we are inviting or giving permission to Holy Spirit to transform our will and our life. We become more Christ like taking on the best qualities of Christ.
In essence we become what we are receiving.
As we receive Justice through the death and resurrection of Jesus we are able to become Justice for others by showing the love, compassion, grace, and hope of Christ in all areas of our daily lives.
Communion
As we recieve Justice thorugh the death and ressurection of Jesus we are able to become Justice for others by showing
So stop beating yourself up for not doing more and just look for the opportunities God Gives you to be his instrument of peace.
Communion
So How do we respond?
lays out the Mission of Jesus, the church’s mission…He lays out our mission.
To be servants who live for others
Christian Justice is actually none of these things in fact it has less to do with people getting punishment or reward and more about how we are called to live the life that God has gifted us with.
To work for justice for all people and groups of people
God’s Justice equals ministry to those most undeserving not retribution for bad behavior.
This includes you and me and those that are the hardest to love.
To be those ordinary people who, in our own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room. 
For example if you look at the life of Paul in who wrote the lions share of the New Testament one could argue that he did not receive Justice!
Paul was Going from town to town beating, and taking part in the killing of Jesus followers.
Paul did all of these things yet instead of revenge God chose to make Paul and example of happens when one turns away from their own perception of God’s will and embraces God’s true will.
Paul thought he was doing God’s will by punishing those that were out of step with the religious community of the day... but when he had his encounter with God everything changed.
Everything about this story does not seem to equal what we would call Justice.
Paul understood this as well when he penned these words in
New Living Translation Chapter 3
8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.
Paul the least worthy was chosen to be given the privilege of telling the non Jewish world about Jesus. How is this justice?
Justice is about making all things right not making things even.
God is always looking for ways in which to help us make it he is not looking for ways to damn us to and eternity separated from him.
This is at the very heart of who we are as a holiness people at the end of the 19th century the Holiness movement was born our of a desire to work toward the redemption of the least of these.
The term social justice in our current situation has taken on more of a political meaning and because of that when we here the words social justice or justice we automatically coil into a defensive posture.
However long before Social Justice took became a political agenda it was a biblical agenda.
New Living Translation Chapter 42
3 He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
This is not speaking of a punitive justice but a righteous justice.
To make right all this world has marred and spoiled…to speak up for and fight for those that are indeed experiencing unfair and in some cases inhumane treatment.
We are all recipients of God’s righteous Justice and as such are called to extend this to the rest of the world.
New Living Translation Chapter 42
6 “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. 7 You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
Jesus was sent to teach us how to be God’s servant who lives for others, who brings forth justice on the earth, and who is the light of the world.
Going back to the story of Saul we are given an example of what this looks like. Ananias was asked to go to Saul and pray that he regain his sight…
Ananias was scared and probably a little bit angry at this request by God…He had heard how much damage Saul had done and was not really convinced of his so called conversion…
the truth is he would preferred to be asked to go an call down fire on Saul or simply be allowed to just live his own life. However God wanted Justice not retribution.
New Living Translation Chapter 9
15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.
He has done the same for us. By sending Jesus God has brought us righteous Justice…Praise be to God.
Someone today needs to hear No matter what you are going through or what we have done God wants to bring grace not punishment to your life.
If we will allow this truth to soak in to our very being it will in fact be an Epiphany to us.
Absorbing this truth will lead to a discovery or a realization that no matter how difficult your circumstance, no matter how demanding your job is, no matter how busy your life is, no matter how bad you feel about yourself...
Jesus came to make all things right not punish you for your sin.
Stop defining success in your life with words like responsible, capable, and allow your life to be defined by words, like passion, connection, meaning, Love, grace and spirit.
This is how we bring peace of Justice to those in turmoil…by dealing with the turmoil we often find ourselves in first.
You do not have to pick up another church job, you do not have to abandon your family, or quit your job to work for Justice…you can just extend Justice to those you are already in contact with.
Stop beating yourself up for not doing more and just look for the opportunities God Gives you to be his instrument of peace.
Reflection Question:
Sometime today if you can you may want to find some solitude and quiet your heart and mind and ask God these Questions. Write these questions down…
Has my opinion of the justice of God about punishment or grace?What do I need to allow God to make right in my life? What have I been beating myself up with that God wants to resolve or has already resolved? What Have I been holding against others that needs to be forgiven?How can I pursue Justice for others in my particular context?
James
When we receive communion we are inviting or giving permission to Holy Spirit to transform our will and our life. We become more Christ like taking on the best qualities of Christ.
In essence we become what we are receiving.
As we receive Justice through the death and resurrection of Jesus we are able to become Justice for others by showing the love, compassion, grace, and hope of Christ in all areas of our daily lives.
Communion
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