MODULE 9: LIVING JUSTLY
Outcome: The disciple commits to being a tangible part of the solution for an injustice in the world.
Our discussions about self-denial and generosity ultimately lead us here: how will we be a part of the solution to injustice in the world? This is where we really learn to be salt and light. It’s not always easy, but it is the way of Jesus.
For Further Study
Want to dive deeper into prayer? Check out the recommended
books and resources at the bottom of the page.
DISCUSS the “Shalom” video from The Bible Project.
REVIEW these key quotes from the video to get started:
In the Bible, the word “peace” can refer to the absence of conflict, but it also points to the presence of something better in its place.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is “shalom.” In the New Testament, the Greek word is “eirene.” The most basic meaning of shalom is “complete” or “whole.”
The prophet Isaiah looked forward to a prince of “shalom,” and his reign would bring shalom with no end.
Jesus restored to wholeness the broken relationship between humans and their creator. This is why the Apostle Paul can say, “Jesus himself is our eirene (peace). (Ephesians 2:14-15)
Becoming people of peace means participating in the life of Jesus, who reconciled all things…
It’s not just the absence of conflict. True peace requires taking what’s broken and restoring it to wholeness—whether it’s in our lives, in our relationships, or in our world.
1. This is the biblical concept of “shalom.” How does this understanding of “peace” go farther than typical definitions?
2. Think about a time in life where you were not experiencing shalom—your life was fragmented, broken, or disjointed. Did you come back to wholeness? How?
3. Now think about our culture and world. In your opinion, which fractures are most painful? Why?
4. Start asking yourself how you might be called to bring shalom to the world. You can’t fix all the problems, but you can help heal something that’s broken. What might that be?
5. To help you get more clarity on Question 4, consider the following:
What injustices have you suffered yourself?
What injustices disturb you the most?
For whom do you feel the most compassion?
What do you think Jesus showed the most concern for?
6. What fractured relationships or habits are present in your life that need shalom?
Assignment: Watch Tim Keller’s sermon, “Generous Justice,” located below. Then access Part 1 of the Generous Justice journaling guide below as well. Come ready to discuss your responses at your next meeting.
Generous Justice Response: Part 1
WATCH Tim Keller’s message, “Generous Justice,” located above. You may want to take notes as you listen.
JOURNAL responses to the prompts below, and come ready to discuss these at your next meeting.
1. What were your first thoughts as you listened to this message? What stood out to you?
2. Keller explains, “All other religions say, ‘Live as you ought and God will accept and bless you.’ But the gospel says, ‘Receive his acceptance and blessing as a gift through what Jesus Christ did on the cross and then and only then will you live as you ought. Not live as you ought and get the blessing. Get the blessing through Jesus Christ as a free gift, and then live as you ought.’”
This illustrates two approaches to “doing the right thing:” (1). Do the right thing to receive God’s blessing, or (2) Receive God’s blessing so you can do the right thing. What are the motivations behind each approach?
3. What makes the motivations of Jesus’ disciples unique to all other religions?
4. Justification is a really important term for our Christian faith. Justification, in short, means Christ took our sins so we could stand as righteous before God. We’re justified before God not because of what we have done, but because of what God has done. Justice for sinners isn’t earned; it’s
given. But we aren’t only forgiven.
READ 2 Cor. 5:21.
The NIV (New International Version) says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” When we put our faith in Jesus, there is an incredible exchange: our sins are no longer counted against us, and instead, we are righteous just like Jesus. God removes a burden we could never lift alone, and gives us a gift we could never earn.
Pause for a moment, and think through your reactions toward this truth about justification. How does it make you feel? How is it confusing? How does it stir up your spirit? Even more so, how does it affect the way you go about your life and interactions with others?
5. Keller said, “When you know you’re saved by grace, you cannot be condescending [hold in contempt or judgement] to perpetrators of injustice because you know that you were the perpetrator of the ultimate injustice, which was rebelling against God—and yet God saved you.”
Think back to Module 8 and what we’ve learned about hospitality. There was a time when you were left “out,” but Jesus welcomed you in, cleaned you up, and made you a member of the family. By faith, grace gave you a gift you didn’t deserve. Jesus didn’t give you what was fair, he did what was right.
What’s the difference? Is justice about making things equal and fair, or making things right?
What might that have to do with this conversation about doing justice for others?
6. READ Micah 6:8.
Step through this passage backwards. God’s people should walk humbly with him, love mercy, and do what is right. This is what God requires of us, because it is good.
First, when we walk humbly with God, we walk confident that God has ultimate power and authority over everything, and he uses that power to take care of us. We don’t have to be prideful, overextended, or worried. God’s power won’t run out, and he wants to extend it to us.
Second, we are to love mercy; in other words, as we are with God, we love what he loves, and even become like him. God is full of compassion, and loves to forgive wrongs. If we are walking with God, we do the same. That leads to the third point: do what is right.
This is an illustration of a full-bodied life of faith. If we do not embody all three of these things, something is wrong. But consider the language here: we love mercy and do what is right.
7. What motivates the acts of justice we do? Are you motivated by results, or your Redeemer?
In light of that, are you willing to commit to doing justice, even when you can’t guarantee the outcome, or see the full picture like God does? If things don’t appear to resolve as they “should,” what was the point?