God’s Covenant Love

What is a Covenant?

Covenant is key to understanding how God relates to His Creation.

Covenant is what God has used through Scripture to describe His Love (320 times)

Humans made in His image are the main focus of God’s ‘Covenant Love’

The Scriptural story of God’s revelation to us is the unveiling of His Covenants

The ultimate revelation of His ‘Covenant Love’ is Jesus Christ

As followers of Jesus Christ Our Lord, we have committed to be HIS disciples

And as His disciples we are to love as He loves

As Followers of Jesus, guided by Scripture we express love in covenant relationships

God’s people throughout history have used a covenants to express love in the most important of all human relationships: Biblical Marriage…The Marriage Covenant

So as Christ’s body, HIS church, HIS ‘Called Out Ones’ we are expressing love in our relationship with each other in this ‘Family’ by instituting ‘Covenant Membership’.

There is only one requirement to be qualified to enter into such a Covenant Membership: That you have come to the place of Biblical Salvation in Christ Jesus!

From there we enter in by choice, conviction, obedience, commitment, and LOVE

Today I want to share with you the biblical story of God’s Covenant Love in preparation for that commitment some of us will make today and in the coming weeks and months here at Midtown Church.

It is the story of redemptive history, culminating in Christ Jesus

The progressive revelation of God’s love (He knew the best order)

I hope today you clearly hear God speaking to you in love thru His Covenant Love

The original covenant of life God made with Adam in the beginning was broken with the fall of man and sin entering into the world.

It is downhill from there, so bad God destroys the world with the great flood

God begins to rebuild the relationship with His Creation & Mankind:

The Story of Noah: The Covenant Love with ‘Fallen Mankind’

Genesis 6:17-18

I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

  • God ‘Establishes’ the Covenant
  • It is with ALL mankind (one race,the human race)

God’s Covenant is all inclusive: everyone has access

The Story of Abram (who becomes Abraham): Big Picture of Covenant Love

Genesis 12:2-3

I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

  • God is going to form a Covenant People that He will bless ALL PEOPLES thru

God’s Covenant Love will be displayed through a certain Nation that will bless ALL

Genesis 15:6

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

  • This is the basis of relationship with God: Total Faith in HIM
  • This is how we access all of God’s Covenant Love!

Genesis 17:7

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

  • Eternal Nature of God’s Covenant Love
  • Covenant is extended to all future generations & descendants of Abram’s faith
  • God is the God of all who would put their faith in Him as HE reveals Himself

The Story of Moses: Covenant to Clarify a People and a Place to Birth Blessing

Exodus 6:2-4

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners.

  • Same God, same Covenant Love, now further revelation of that love / plan
  • God’s Love can change you from a foreigner to an owner

Exodus 24:8

Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

  • Foreshadowing of Christ all over this revelation of God’s Covenant Love
  • The Passover
  • Covenant in Blood (Covenant Requires Sacrifice)
  • Specifics spelled out ‘The Law’ (previous 4 chapters was God giving the laws)

Story of David: Pointing to The Messiah and The New Covenant in God’s Love

Psalm 89:3-4 & 28-29

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.

  • This Covenant Love story is going to culminate with a Person

From David forward the Prophets declare the coming of a ‘New Covenant’

Jeremiah 31:31-32a & 33b

The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors”… “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

  • This will be an Internal / Spiritual experience vs External / Natural one
  • Not only will God be our God (Gen 17) but WE will be His People

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of of all the covenant promises

The entire Bible is pointing to Jesus Christ

Luke 22:19-20

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

  • The New covenant is God revealing the fullness of his covenant love in Christ
  • Here Jesus is telling us how he will seal the deal

Lay out the Gospel in terms of redemptive history

2 Corinthians 1:19-22

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

  • The culmination of all human history is the advent of Christ
  • God enables it all, we receive it in faith
  • Because of what He did we ‘speak the Amen’ which is that we Surrender

God’s Wisdom Revealed by The Spirit

Paul is writing to the Corinthians as a Pastor, to shepherd them & teach them.

He started the letter calling for unity, then gets to source of Christian Unity: The Spirit.

The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is foundational to our Christian lives.

He is the person of the Trinity we actually interact with once we belong to Christ.

The Spirit can and will work in our lives prior to Salvation, but once He indwells us…

It is essential that we understand how the Spirit work with us and in us.

It is essential that we first and foremost understand how & why He comes to indwell.

It is essential that we learn how to yield to and access God’s Spirit in us

All our ‘Spiritual’ problems require ‘Spiritual’ solutions, we need what the Spirit gives!


And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

  • Paul came to them ‘boasting only in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 1:31)
  • He gave his ‘testimony’ what he had experienced; what he had witnessed
  • He didn’t want the waters of his faith or theirs to be muddied; but to be clarified
  • Keep the main thing the main thing! Christ Crucified! The Gospel

I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

  • He didn’t come swagger and confidence.
  • He didn’t try to win them with theatrics
  • He let the message be Christ and he let the Power be Christ’s Spirit
  • The last thing he wanted for them was to rely on human wisdom
  • Denial of the Spirit is only unforgivable Sin

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

  • God’s message is eternal wisdom; recognized through Spiritual Maturity
  • Please don’t expect it to be appreciated by our world
  • The fullness of God’s redemptive plan is a mystery to mankind with God’s Spirit
  • God’s completed Revelation = Christ…Surrender to HIM = God’s Spirit in US !

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”– the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

  • The power running this world is deceived and does not know the ways of God
  • Jn 18 Jesus: Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me. Pilate; What is Truth?
  • What the world sees as truth is not truth. What the world sees as wise is not…
  • On our own with our ‘Human Capabilities’ we have No Idea! (Isiah 64:4)
  • These are things only seen with Spirit-taught understanding

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

  • The only way to understand God is through his Spirit (Pre-Salvation Sanctification)

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

  • It’s when we truly understand what He’s given us that we receive His Spirit
  • God’s Spirit speaks a different language, different concepts and economies

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

  • Our world, human wisdom rejects the message of the Cross
  • They have no means by which to understand: no way to decode the message

The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” (Isiah 40:13) But we have the mind of Christ.

  • Who is the person with the Spirit?

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…(Ephesians 1:13)

  • We have access to the mind of God through His Spirit because of Christ

Application Questions:

In what ways has God’s Spirit enabled your faith?

Why does Paul call God’s Wisdom a ‘Mystery’?

What truth in Scripture has God revealed to you by His Spirit?

What practices have helped you develop ‘Spiritual Discernment’?

Why do you have the mind of Christ?

The World’s Wisdom VS God’s Wisdom

Context: Paul writing to a church he was part of starting, dealing with their issues

He started with Unity and then He clarifies what they are United around

This church, like us, is geographically situated in ‘This World’

We are called to be in this world but not of it; Spiritually ‘Set Apart’ by following Christ

It starts with a clear understanding of and belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Everything we are as a church starts with the reality of Christ!

Who He is, and what He has done are not understood by the means of this world

God’s ways are scoffed at by the popular culture of our day, as they were 2000 yrs ago

1st Corinthians 1:18-31

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” (Isiah 29:14)

  • Not believing in the unconditional gift of the Cross = The height of foolishness.
  • The only way to truly experience the ‘Very Power of God’ is to surrender to Him
  • God says HE WILL

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

  • The pursuit God is not an educational, philosophic, information based endeavor
  • God’s way is for you do it His way and that is by ‘Relational Faith’
  • You don’t need to know everything, you don’t even need to know much:
  • You just need to know The TRUTH

It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

  • Jews wanted a replication of Moses
  • Greeks wanted to ‘reason’ it out with logic
  • The Gospel of Christ dosen’t fit mold of this worlds thinking (never has, never will)

But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

  • The only way it makes any sense is that God enables it
  • God is calling, will you let him be heard in your heart & soul?
  • It’s beyond ‘This World’s’ capabilities to fully understand God’s wisdom & strength

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

  • Did any of us really know anything before God called us?
  • I know I was truly humbled…I thought I knew somethings…
  • I’ve been considered foolish by friends, family & others for being a ‘Real Christian’
  • They think I have wasted my life…we will see

God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

  • The manner of Christ’s birth was a low as it gets
  • The manner of Christ’s death was the epitome of nothing: shameful & despicable
  • But through this God, and God alone made the way for us to have EVERYTHING
  • True Faith takes no credit for the salvation of Christ…But we do take part!

COMMUNION: Celebrating & ‘Taking Part’ in ‘The Gift’ of Christ-Given Salvation

This is a Sacrament only for Surrendered Disciples of Jesus Christ (Start Today)

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:24)

  • Being united with Christ is an ongoing practice
  • The Lord’s Supper is a: Remembrance / Reconnection / Reenactment of GRACE
  • Who Christ is and what He did enables us to:
      • Enter into a right relationship with our Creator
      • Become pure & Holy, Christ’s purity and Holiness become ours
      • End being ‘Owned’ by Sin…it still oppresses, us but dosen’t own us
  • Since we could make none of that happen, we have nothing to take credit for

Application Questions:

Why does the reality of the Gospel destroy the wisdom and intelligence of the world?

Why does God not want us to know Him through ‘Human Wisdom’?

Why do you believe Christ is the power and wisdom of God?

Why is the reality of God displayed through foolish, shameful and despised things?

What are some ways you can ‘Boast only about the Lord’?

Pastors, Elders & Church Discipline

How Church Members should relate to Pastors / Elders

  • Members should formally affirm Pastors / Elders

  • Members Should honor Pastors / Elders (1 Tim 5:17-18)

  • Members Should submit to the Elders (Heb. 13:17)

  • Members should pray for their Pastors / Elders

  • Members should bring charges against disqualified Pastors / Elders (1 Tim 5:19)

  • Members should remove gospel denying Pastors / Elders

Church Discipline

Church Discipline is part of the Discipleship Process

In removing someone from membership the church says it can no longer affirm a person’s profession of faith in Jesus Christ based on that person’s consistent actions.

The Five Purposes of Church Discipline (1st Corinthians 5)

  • Discipline Aims to Expose

  • Discipline Aims to Warn

  • Discipline Aims to Save

  • Discipline Aims to Protect

The underlying purpose of all Church Discipline is love! (Hebrews 12:4-13)

It begins by church members developing the skill of privately & tenderly confronting sin

Formal church discipline is reserved for sins of significance & unrepentant sin patterns

Matthew 18: The Process of Church Discipline

  • One on one private conversation

  • Then confront with others

  • Then inform the church as a whole and have the body confront

  • If no repentance then remove from fellowship

  • Christ confers HIS authority to HIS church

Church Discipline is required in cases to protect the reputation of Christ

When Church Members Should Not Submit: (Pg. 118 & 119)

Chapter 8: What OUR Membership Covenant Should Include

Chapter 1:1-17: The Priority of Unity in Christ Jesus

Corinth was a diverse, sexually immoral and factious city. It totally resembles Atlanta.

Paul had founded the church at Corinth and had been in touch with the church. The church had written Paul asking for help with several issues.This letter was written to address those issues.

This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Sosthenes.

  • Paul constantly working in partnership
  • Sosthenes: former Synagog Leader, beaten by mob…converted by Christ

I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy because you belong to Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

  • The message is for the WHOLE church…All who belong to Christ
  • He makes us His when we call on His ‘Name’ (Reality of who HE IS recognized)
  • He has done this to you just like He does it for people everywhere

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

  • Paul is thankful for all Christ has given us by making us HIS
  • How well do we appreciate all Christ has done for us?

Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge. This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true.

  • The real results in our life, attitudes, values, lifestyle, purpose and understanding
  • These ‘Actual Results of Biblical Conversion prove the truth of the Gospel

Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Christ has given us what we need, and will continue to do so until HIS returns
  • His Spirit in us ‘Designates Us’ as: Forgiven / Redeemed / Adopted
  • He does this so you can be His partner in the redemption of all creation
  • Lordship of Christ is critical to the whole process

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

  • So based on all of this and by Christ’s Authority Paul reminds us of our ‘Oneness’
  • We are united by and around our Lord Jesus Christ, so let’s act like it!
  • It is the FIRST thing Paul wants to tell this Church and ours

For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”

  • Division is one of the Devil’s key strategies to disrupt Christ’s Church
  • He does it by tempting us to sin that involves PRIDE
  • Following ‘Parts’ of the Body rather than the Head acting through the parts
  • Following ‘Only’ Christ puts you outside of the system Christ set up
  • Christ gives His authority to the Church; exercised though ‘Plural Leadership’

Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

  • He refutes that there is a place for any division in the Body of Christ
  • He does the Saving, Baptizing and placing of people into the ONENESS

I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.)

  • He did do some baptizing, but it was not his focus
  • He was not keeping score

For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

  • He was not looking for the attention of being the one who baptized
  • He knew what his primary role was: Declare The Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • He knew that it was not about what he said or his ability to impress with words

Paul begins with asserting that we all have a common call and place

That we unify around that call and the ONE who calls

That we have so much to be thankful for having been made partners of Christ

And because of that we have a responsibility to be united in every way

That we have different roles in the body that allow us to express that unity

Application Questions:

What are the gifts, grace and peace you have ‘Belonging to Christ’?

Describe the partnership you have with ‘Christ our Lord’.

What role can you play in protecting and promoting unity & harmony here @ Midtown?

Why are divisions, cliques and human allegiances damaging to Christ’s Body?

Why does Paul put ‘I only Follow Christ’ in the list of wrong thinking about the Body?

Becoming & Being A Member

Becoming a Member

Acts 2:36-47: Biblical Requirements & Blessings of Local Church Membership.

Acts 2:36-41 The Requirements: they received, understood, and affirmed the gospel of Christ presented to them; conviction and godly sorrow led to repentance; Spirit Indwelling; they were baptized as a public testimony of their new life in Christ and then stayed in community…

Acts 2:42-47 The Blessings: doctrine, fellowship, communion, prayer, experiencing God at work, unity, privilege of serving and loving others, gladness in God, being used by the Lord to extend salvation to others. All of these happened as part of a local body meeting regularly (with the same people!)

The Church Provides: A Relational Workshop / A Discipleship Platform / A System of Accountability / A Unity of Mission / A Set of Shared Values / A Shared Identity / A Community for Expression of Gifts / A Way to Cooperate in Blessing Others / A Family that Displays God’s Glory

Biblical Membership Standards / Expectations


Grace VS Law

The Church Itself is The Gatekeeper / Keeper of the Keys

Understanding & Belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is THE Only Requirement

Clear Biblical Gospel Presentation

  • Brokenness (Matt 18:4-5)

  • Repentance (pg 88 & Mark 1:15)

  • Baptism (pg 90 & Acts 2:38

Affirming Our Statement of Faith

  • 1 John 4:1-3

Jesus Christ makes you a member of a Local Church by HIS Spirit

Being a Member

Start with Table Discussion Segment On Philippians 2:1-18

Set Up:

  • The critical part of submission is participation & ownership

  • We submit to each other as we possess and share intimately in Christ made fellowship

  • What does that look like? How does it work?

  • Where does the motivation and example come from?

Eight Ways To Submit to a Local Church

Publicly: Officially Joining and publicly Identifying with the church. Public Baptism

Geographically: Being where the church is and where it’s members are.

Socially: Active participation in the life of the church, shaping and being shaped by it.

Affectionately: Emotionally investing yourself in the church and church members.

Financially: Generously supporting the church, other members and the leadership.

Ethically: Making The Church & God’s Word the primary source of right and wrong.

Spiritually: Exercising Spiritual Gifts, Participation in Discipleship, & Praying for &

Biblical Justice: Justice from God’s Point of View

One Race is about the reality that all humans are of One Race. It has been proven scientifically we are all one race: The Human Race.

What we look like, where we are from, various customs & culture are different expressions of the Trinity Itself in the creation of humanity / ‘mankind’. As one race we can be united to each other by our Creator no matter the differences and experiences we have. He does it by putting HIS Spirit in us when we surrender to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Jesus Christ’s Church we can choose to stop accepting the premise that people are of different ‘Races’ in our language, attitudes, perceptions and actions. We should not expect this to happen without of our being yielded to God’s spirit.

There’s a reason the ‘World’ wants to perpetuate the lie of different races: Division

The result of lies being the basis of human relations is what we call ‘Injustice’. In many ways, because of the lie that people who look different are different ‘Races’, there is a human legacy of injustice, it is the legacy of sin.

Please remember injustice is due to rebellion against & denial of God that results in people establishing & perpetuating injustice that forms a system of humans sinning against God & each other by oppressing each other. Injustice is the by-product of sin. It is not due to a lack of opportunity or education or access to resources it is due to SIN. That is a Biblical Theology Point of view

Justice is too big a topic for one sermon, but we can build the proper foundation If we are to define Justice from a Biblical point of view (the only one Midtown takes), we must begin with the Author of Justice as revealed by the Scriptures; not our feelings, preferences, ideas or what the culture thinks about ‘Justice’.

If we will allow God to define Justice, then as His people, we should be in agreement with Him as to how ‘Justice will be served’…

We must pursue Justice in every way possible, but we have to let what Justice is be defined by God and be good with HIS timetable for when. HIS way for how…

The bottom line is we start with Who God is, and what Scripture says about HIM and Justice.

Psalm 145:3

His greatness no one can fathom / His Greatness is unsearchable / No one can measure His greatness / There are no boundaries to His greatness / His greatness is beyond discovery.

  • Multiple translations same point: HE is beyond our comprehension
  • We can approach Him with humility based on that reality

Psalm 33:4-6

For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

  • HE & HIS WORD set the standard, not you and me or the culture or politics
  • The love of justice is who HE is
  • HIS dominion / sovereignty is absolute (Biblical Theology)

Isaiah 5:15-16

So people will be brought low and everyone humbled, the eyes of the arrogant humbled. But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.

  • Views, ideas, emotions & intentions of people apart from God’s will (arrogance)
  • HIS Justice will be exalted… NOT human justice
  • The reality of HIS actions will prove HE alone is Holy

Jeremiah 12:1

You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?

  • Jeremiah ‘knows of’ God’s Righteousness, but he doubts…just like we do
  • From Jeremiah’s point of view it seems that God is making some mistakes…
  • Is God not paying attention? Does HE not care?
  • When we come at it as though we understand the entire situation we are mistaken

God’s answer: Jer 12:5-6

If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

  • You can’t even keep up with other things I Created…
  • You stumble (SIN) when you are in best possible situations…
  • It is an object lesson in what we started with: God is beyond us…

Our way forward is to humbly recognize The Author & Perfecter of Justice so we can be ‘Instruments’ of HIS justice!

Zachariah 7:8-10

And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

  • As God’s People we are Commanded
  • Administer means to DO it…not to post it, or read a book about it
  • Show mercy, don’t just think it’s a good idea
  • You & I, today & tomorrow, can work to end oppression (based on Scripture)

But there is a danger in our own ‘Working’ for Justice if we loose sight of WHO it must always be about and that it can only come from HIM. For followers of Jesus Christ how we begin to foster Justice is clear…it is about connection to the source of true Justice.

Micah 6:7-8

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  • The answer is an obvious NO…the example is the worst excess of man’s ways. 
  • God has shown us, how he wants it to be: ‘Shalom’
  • If we truly ‘Walk’ with HIM, we will DO Justice
  • True love can only be expressed in ACTION…to love kindness is to ‘BE KIND’

1 John 3: 18-19

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.

  • Words & Speech VS Actions & Truth…notice which side truth is on?
  • Beware of those who claim to seek Justice apart from The ‘Source of Justice’  
  • We belong to the truth because we have surrendered our lives to ‘The Truth’

You cannot overcome evil with evil…

You cannot bring about justice with injustice…

God defines Justice in His Essence

God is always against people treating other people unjustly

Injustice is established & perpetuated by SIN based on LIES

You cannot be on the side of ‘True Justice’ and be against Jesus Christ…

Application Questions:

What are some ways you can seek humility in your approach to God & Justice?

How can you increase your understanding of God’s idea of Justice?

What can you do to ‘Administer Justice’ & not oppress the marginalized?

How might you discern who is concerned with ‘Biblical Justice’ VS ‘Human Justice’?