I posted earlier today a mind-map of a few verses from Deuteronomy but before that my last CPx specific post was on the great commission, as seen in Matthew’s Gospel.
From it, we learned that our mandate is to go forth, making disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the name of the trinity and teaching them to obey all of God’s commandments. This brings up an important topic of conversation: that of transformation.
Social justice is a hot topic right now. There are folks in the states disparaging the idea at every opportunity that they can. Their are others that make Jesus and the Bible solely about it (a social gospel that removes the sting of evil and the need of a savior). Both are quite wrong — Justice (I’m stepping back now because I think the “social” piece is an unnecessary adjective) is quite important to the heart of God — we see that in God’s design of His society, in the words He speaks through the prophets, and in the action and ministry of Jesus but it’s not the main thing. If we take Jesus’ Words seriously we see that discipling nations is the main thing.
And it’s quite profound to look at discipleship and it’s possible results. At its initiation, repentance is sought out. This is an active re-orienting of one’s life around the ethic of the Kingdom of God by renouncing and walking away from work sown in the kingdom of the world. This, specifically through the conviction and work of the Holy Spirit now present in their life, leads to a regeneration of the inner man (which should produce change in the outer man) and a character that looks much more like Jesus and less like the world. This reformation leads to the renewal of hearts and minds — they are shaped specifically by God — and the end result is a transformation that has changed everything.
This is the idea at least. Through all of this, though, we must act justly, as Jesus did — we heal the sick, we comfort the broken hearted, we clothe the naked, we proclaim and seek release for the captive, we announce jubilee, and teach those around us to do the same — and ultimately place our hope in the transformative power of the Gospel to completely change communities. We see it happen throughout Acts (The end of Acts 2 speaks powerfully to me regarding this) and we see glimpses of it happening in the communities we work in. We should never underestimate the power of the Gospel to radically transform communities united for it. And perhaps its a bonus but as Micah says, hearts radically transformed by God will be oriented around justice and mercy.