“The resurrection and new creation, then, have a major influence on the Christian’s understanding of how to regard the various forms of decay we see around us in creation now. One of the ways that nature ‘groans’ under decay is in unjust relationships. Christians are not to be passive in the face of injustice. . . . We have not been saved just to be safe, but saved in order to serve.”- Timothy Keller
“But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule.”- 2 Peter 3:13 (CEV)
In Chapter 10 (“Hope for Justice”) of Hope in Times of Fear, Timothy Keller talks about what the Bible says foundationally about what justice is. And how the resurrection helps us define and promote justice. For example, 2 Peter 3;13 tells us that dikaiosune – justice – fills the new heaven and the new earth.
Above all, Pastor Keller notes, the Bible clearly treats the kingdom of God as a kingdom of justice. Certainly, the author stresses, Jesus’s salvation comes to anyone willing to go through the spiritual poverty of repentance and faith. Thus, the ‘poor in spirit’ (Matthew 5:3) know salvation only comes through sheer, charitable free grace. The spiritual riches we receive in Christ open our eyes to the needs of the weak and poor around us.
Four centuries ago, Jonathan Edwards pointed out that anyone truly saved through Jesus’s cross and resurrection inevitably sympathizes with the poor. Edwards said:
“Consider what God hath done for us . . . what a poor business will it be, that those who hope to share these benefits yet cannot give something for the relief of a poor neighbor without grudging! . . . What would have become of us if Christ had been so saving of his blood and loath to bestow it, as many men are of their money or goods?”
Today’s question: How do the resurrection and new creation impact your life? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Biblical justice – evangelistic witness”