Contrary to how some people feel, the aim of Biblical justice is freedom. Freedom can be defined as a release from illegitimate bondage in order to make the choice to exercise responsibility in actualising and maximising all that you were created to be. Biblical justice encourages freedom through affirming accountability, equality and responsibility by linking the spiritual to the social realm. That is, freedom and biblical justice must be founded upon spiritual truth from our vertical relationship with God and expressed in our horizontal relationship with each other. In other words, biblical justice is all about loving God and loving others.
Jesus links our attitude towards God (the spiritual) with our attitude towards others (the social). Love is not merely a feeling, but rather, an action. Love is compassionately and righteously pursuing the well-being of another. So since loving others is all about pursuing their best interest, then we should seek to free any person from oppression and inequity. We see this in Jesus’ earthly ministry. He preached the kingdom (the spiritual), but He also addressed people’s physical needs (the social).
As we fight for biblical justice and freedom, we need a balanced approach. We must confront sin and spread the gospel. But equally important, we must also stand against injustices, whether they be racial, socio-economical, political or criminal. If the gospel has changed your life, then praise God. If you are doing well and God has blessed you, then praise God. But understand, God doesn’t grant us freedom solely for ourselves. He wants to use us to help others gain their freedom. This is where biblical justice comes into play, and this is why God tells us to fight for the weak, speak up for those without a voice, and defend the rights of the oppressed and marginalised.
How is your love for God and love for others connected?
Scriptures to read:
Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
Jesus replied,“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.
(Scriptures are from the New Living Translation)