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How Should Christians Approach Social Justice?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2021 1:00 am

How Should Christians Approach Social Justice?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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March 4, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 655 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


1. What does it mean to “walk in sin,” and how is this different from sinning occasionally as Christians?

2. Can you elaborate on a biblical view of justice and social justice and how it relates to those who are marginalized?

3. Are the miraculous gifts of the spirit for today?

4. Is Replacement Theology biblical?

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There's a lot of focus on social justice in today's society.

What's the biblical approach to social justice best is one of the questions will be answering on today's addition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now and if you have a question for Pastor Israel.

You can call us at 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts and email us at questions at core, burst up let's go to John calling in from Deerfield, Illinois John, welcome to core Christianity. Thanks for taking my call. Hey John, thanks for giving us a call at your question for us today brother.

So the question I have, like birds walking here.

I'm curious how one might go about that category and what it looks like to walk versus periodically like that and I appreciate the question asked just finished preaching through first John at my church and I think that the passage that you're referring to is first John chapter 1 beginning in verse five John said this is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we line do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin. And then he adds this in verse eight if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And if we say we have not seen we make him a liar and his word is not in us a one of the things we see here really clearly is that walking in the darkness does not mean that we are walking in the light does not mean that we are living perfectly and without Senate as Christians were always can a battle with sin were never going to be sin. Listen to were in the presence of the Lord. And so what John is in teaching here is the idea that sometimes put out there this idea of sinless perfectionism and yet at the same time he say look, there is a pattern of behavior that could be categorized as living in sin walking in the darkness. It seems like the people to whom John is writing to hear it seems like there was a group within this church that had left the community essentially abandoned the church begun to deny who Jesus was and what he accomplished that there's this real confusion about the identity of Christ and even essentially began saying things like were sinless. We don't have sin, sometimes people refer to this is the heresy of anti-know me and is him that is state they just rejected God's law.

They said hey everything is fine work were saved by grace, risk, and a live however we want it so that that certainly would classify as living in the darkness is walking in the darkness.

And again that's that idea of walking in the light or walking in the darkness.

It is just a figure of speech for this is the way in which we conduct our lives were living in and for the Christian, what were called to something else were called to walk in the light, the opposite of walking the darkness and the way in which we walk in the light. I think this is what what John brings out here in first John one is by confessing our sins if we confess our sins.

Verse nine he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In other words, as we don't do with our sins as believers in Jesus Christ, we don't minimize them.

We don't downplay that we don't pretend like they're not real issues mean those are ways of continuing to walk in the darkness we confess our sins and receive the grace that God extends to all those who earn from their sins to him and so I think that's it. Just in the context of first John, the best way to understand this idea of walking in the darkness and what an encouragement for each and every one of us to live in the light to bring arson into the light and and thereby put it to death. That's what Paul says in in Romans chapter 8, and so thank you so much for that question brother was a Pastor Israel. What do you say to a person. Let's say has a friend or relative who claims to be a follower of Christ, but seems to be consistently walking in the darkness and they say look, you know I made that decision. I'm a Christian, but there their lifestyle choices are directly antithetical to what the word would say yeah.

I mean it's a heartbreaking situation but I think it's one that many of us as as believers have experience. And of course we want to call an individual to live in light of what it is that they claim to believe and so I think in love, we we speak the truth was, I hate that there's this discrepancy between how your living and what you claim to believe about God about Jesus, about what it means to be a Christian.

And so I think we have to be honest with each other and we have to essentially exhort one another mean the author to the Hebrews said this in Hebrews chapter 3 that we ought to exhort one another, day by day. While it is called today less were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. And I think that there are a lot of people who confess that there Christians, but whose hearts are being hardened because there continuing in this pattern of my say walking in the darkness.

And it's a really scary place to be and that's why they need Christian community and and faithful brothers and sisters working to say hey you know the snap out of it hit look at what's happening. You need to turn to Christ, and so yeah but whose responsibility for all of us to know admonish one another in love and always love the course of extending grace to people. But if we see that that consistent pattern for not just to stand by idly and watch somebody self-destruct right yeah absolutely. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adm. Sanchez. Let's go to a voicemail that came in from Susan in Northern California Parker sanity were tight, generally really love yet I heard that Rick about God's view on social justice and the example given was, love your enemies and protect the vulnerable. For example, the unborn baby.

I just want to highlight. There might be more opportunity to reach out to them more marginalized in society and talk about where the Scripture talks about just that and that it always connected with righteousness more to that story and left only clocking to white Christian that you already know focus on abortion rights, which is also part of God's law and coming from church that multiethnic and I watched a lot of people in our community suffering from racial biases, etc. we have such a need for reconciliation, biblical reconciliation, not just for this culture. Been a much deeper way. Thank you so much by Wallace Susan, thank you so much for calling us and for interacting with with the broadcaster really do appreciate it when people call in and ask questions about some of the answers that we've we've given one of the challenges we get a question and the question that we got on social justice came at the end of our broadcast earlier this week and so we only had I think some like 60 seconds to try to tackle that really important subject that really isn't enough time to be able to say everything that you want to say in a situation like that and certainly on on broadcast like this, but it is so important that we open up this subject a little bit more thinking through what the Bible has to say with regards to justice and social justice. The first thing I think that's it important for every one of us to understand is that God calls his people to justice is something we can we can avoid as Christians as those who claim to follow the Lord. I think of a passage like Zechariah chapter 7 verses 9 to 10 thus says the Lord of hosts render true judgments show kindness and mercy to one another. Do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner or the poor and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart. This is really really something you see over and over again in Scripture actually God actually pronounced a curse on those who did not pursue justice. Deuteronomy chapter 27 verse 19. Curse it be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless and the widow, and all the people shall say amen. In other words, when it comes to this idea of justice, of loving and serving and guarding the rights of those who are marginalized often to me that that's the groups were hearing about here in those passages of Scripture it's something that the church should say amen to and the reason is because it reflects the very heart of who our God is earlier in the book of Deuteronomy in Deuteronomy chapter 10 versus 17 to 19 we read this for the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty and the awesome God who is not partial and takes no bribe.

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner giving him food and clothing.

One of the cutting it so important for you to note one world thinking about these various passages of Scripture that come in the context of this discussion about justice, biblical justice is that God is concerned with the care of the marginalized in society, orphans, widows, immigrants, why because oftentimes these are the very groups that are that are vulnerable to injustice that are often taken advantage of in our world will give you just a story.

I remember years ago when I was in college were renting an apartment in San Diego actually got pretty bad. Mary area of San Diego really a lot of poverty directly to drive-by shootings on my street that year when we were living in this apartment was kind of a sad, sad neighborhood. We were there.

I had several college roommates and we moved out you know we're trying to get our rent deposit back and we were emailing our landlord over and over again. You are trying to get our deposit back. There was a lot of money for college students and we never got any reply and finally after. After a couple of months. We did a little bit of research in real estate.

They actually have to give us our deposit back if they haven't told us what they spent it on and so we we sent this information is legal information to them and with we finally got a response was this sort of quickly put together Microsoft Word document that that basically invented all of these these things and he fabricated all of these things that they said they spent our deposit on it was really heartbreaking to get a sense of were taken advantage of and for us. You young college students. It really wasn't that big of a deal was frustrating, but it really got me thinking about all the people that lived in that neighborhood. Many of them single mothers, many of them get on on welfare or section 8 is struggling who could never fight that kind of a thing nearly just would've been impossible for them that were there were going to work every day trying to put food on the table for their children. It just got a thing got me thinking about how many other people were being taken advantage of their oftentimes it is the widows, the poor and the these kinds of communities that are vulnerable to in justice and so God cares about them and in part of justice.

In this idea of social justice. We could say biblical justice is caring for them as well.

Christians are called to do, and pursue justice as those who have been justified when you clearly distinguish there between the idea of social justice and what's called the social gospel, there's a lot of confusion about this in the church today.

The social gospel is the idea that what we do in terms of justice is is the good news of the Christian faith. In other words, me loving my neighbor so on and so forth. That's ultimately the essence of the gospel.

The Col. of Christianity. It's in a love God and love your neighbor.

That's what it's all about. That's the gospel will know that's a false gospel the true gospel is that were justified solely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But that as the justified we pursue the good of our neighbors not in order to be more justified anything like that but because of God's mercy to us and so look there is there so much more that could be said about this, but I really appreciate you.

Susan calling in and asking about the idea of biblical justice, something that we should be concerned about, and something that we really need more clarity on in these days and and we have to go to the Scriptures to get it right to counsel Pedro thanks so much and thanks for your great question Susan, this is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez.

If you have a question for Pastor Israel about the Bible or the Christian life. We would love to hear from you right now. Here's the phone number it's 8334 that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to Tom who is calling in from Washington state.

Tom what your question for Pastor Israel my call and enjoy your show. I enjoyed my question is on the gifts of the spirit, now and I'm talking more. The miraculous one you like the tongue.

Do you think that there's no form today or if you think the churches come into your people have different opinions but when I read it.

It sounds like there's a maturity and are in the church to where we don't need those things to back up what we believe and why we believe you think that that were at. Bayard got violent or what you think were well I certainly don't think I got a silent he's always speaking to us through his word and to the world around us, but when it comes to the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit is mentioning is gifts like the gift of tongues or the gift of prophecy described in places like first Corinthians chapters 12 through 14. I do believe that those were given for a specific time in the history of the church in particular in that the early apostolic. I Tom this is a question that I as a pastor of really thought about me when I was a newer believer. I think I was I was more open to the idea of a yeah the sign gifts are still around. Ordinarily, for the church today and then as I grew and can continue to study the Scriptures in my mind change on this. I know that there are a lot of faithful believers and really godly people who have differences of opinion, but my view based on what I believe the Scripture teaches is that yeah, though those gifts served a particular purpose for a period of time in the church and namely that purpose was the advancement of the gospel. They were sort of like these. These rocket boosters to help launch the gospel into orbit if you will, and one passage of Scripture that I would go to that I think alludes to this is in the book of Hebrews now. I love the book of Hebrews when Mike my favorite books of the Bible over and over again.

The author, the Hebrews is talking about the importance of Jesus and his gospel, how Jesus is better than everything he's better than the old covenant sacrifices the old covenant priesthood keys the Lord he sees the one through whom we have the forgiveness of sins and the Hebrew church that's being written to their they're missing the point. There some of them being tempted to turn away from Jesus. So the author the Hebrews says to them in Hebrews chapter 2 beginning in verse one. Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it versus the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a chore a just retribution. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation. It was first declared by the Lord and it was attested to us by those who use by those who heard while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. In verse four.

There is what I want to focus on just from a moment. Listen to what the author the Hebrew Sais of the gospel was being preached. You heard it you Hebrews don't don't turn away from it and God bore witness to that gospel to the reality of the message. The truthfulness of the message by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. In other words, those gifts those sign gifts of the Holy Spirit serve to it passed to the gospel message. Now that doesn't mean that you know there aren't instances of God working extraordinarily today know God might heal someone through prayer.

That kind of thing. We just don't expect Scott I don't expect God to ordinarily work in the same ways that he was working during the days of the apostles in the book of acts, or for that kind of thing and and again that's not to say that the spirit isn't working today. The spirit is working today redeeming men and women bring people to himself, uniting us to Jesus Christ and the spirit is very active. It is at those signs though sign gifts. In particular, served a very specific purpose and so Don that's my answer and I appreciate your call brother Tom. This is core Christianity with pastor Adm. Sanchez and if you're a regular listener to our program. One let you know that we aren't supported by a particular church or denomination. We depend on people just like you to keep this program on the air and if you believe in what we do. Would love to invite you to join what we call our inner core, yes please do. If you're if you're blessed by this broadcast. If you been encouraged by the answers that you hear me were going straight to the Scriptures.

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The core argument number 833-843-2673 let's go to Clint calling in from Tulsa, Oklahoma Clint, welcome to core Christianity.

Hello, thank you all day and I saw you read my question my question is about a lot lately about so I've done some research and while I can agree with. Maybe some of it I don't fully agree with most of it. I think that I was reading Matthew 2337, speak to that baby and the entire book of Romans mainly Romans nine and the first card room and also John 14 six complained that, could you maybe clarify a lot of passages there Clint, but I love it I love that you're digging into the Scriptures let me to say so this idea mean that that phrase is sometimes thrown out the replacement theology and is the idea that the church has replaced Israel so that God doesn't care about the Jews anymore board that the Hebrew nation that kind of thing. Well it does seem like you and again there are differences of opinion on on this question in the church does seem like when you get to places like Romans 9 to 11 that God is still very much so working in the Jews, and that he's calling them to himself as a that's that's what I believe Medicus as we look at Romans chapter 11 were called. He seems to have this hope that the Lord is good to bring about this great restoration but the reality is Israel under the old covenant was a type of the church now in the New Testament we are as that the body of Christ grafted into this one tree ball again talks about that in Romans 9 to 11 that the language of replacement theology is the best way of talking but I think it's a sort of one organic family.

We are but a Paul said in Galatians chapter 3 the children of Abraham by faith is that wonderful me when you read the Old Testament think a lot a lot of Christians don't read the Old Testament because they feel like it doesn't apply to them. What will Paul says that's our family tree. Abraham is my father, my great-great-grandfather by fate if you will, and so we have been grafted into this one family through Jesus Christ, who is himself the true Israelite you see some of this also in the book of Ephesians very clear in the book of Ephesians where a Paul said in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 12. Remember that you were at that time that is brighter faith in Christ separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world but now in Christ you were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, for he himself is our peace was made us both one and is broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances so that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace isn't that just absolutely beautiful absolutely wonderful. The other from people that have this idea out out there that God has no two people she's got the church's got is realized that this sort of separate plans for them. But here I think Scripture makes it absolutely clear.

We've been grafted into the family of God were no longer strangers to the covenants of promise through Jesus. We've been welcomed in there's there's one church.

There's one plan of salvation is out of the church, you know, replaced Israel. God doesn't care about the Jews again.

Romans chapter 11, it's that we've been brought into the story through Jesus through faith. And that's I think the way we need to approach this question by the way they want to, that the earliest controversies in the church. You see this in Ephesians. You see this in the book of Galatians is how to relate to one another within the body of Christ. Jews and Gentiles.

Now one church, we still have problems like that in the church today had of how to relate to people who are different than we are different cultures and it gets to the gospel. It's through the cross to the work of Jesus that we are united as one family. Thanks for listening to core Christianity request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us at core, and click on offers and the menu or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time.

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