About the Series
These days, it seems like we can’t turn on the news or look at social media without being confronted with a host of hot-button and emotionally-charged issues. Poverty and income inequality, race and injustice,…the list goes on. And to make matters worse, it seems like every time we start making some progress in our culture something sends us spiraling further downward.How does God view these issues of social justice? Does the bible address these topics? In this sermon series, we seek to address these issues in a way that brings hope, healing, and the redemption of Jesus to a broken world.
“Gospel Is, Gospel Does” | October 23
The story of the bible all leads up to a great announcement: through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, mankind’s broken relationship with God has been restored! This good news (or gospel) is the central theme of the bible. Additionally, the bible contains many commands and instructions on caring for the poor, taking in orphans, working against injustice, and breaking down barriers between people of different races. Therefore, a rift has developed between two different groups of churches: those who are “gospel only” churches and those who are “social justice” churches.This division is unnecessary, and according to the bible, it’s wrong. In the bible, we see a deeper understanding of the gospel inevitably leads to good works for our neighbor. Those who have truly grasped the gospel will see it start to shape their attitudes, affections, and actions.
“Poverty and Generosity” | October 30
One of the metaphors the authors of the bible use for the gospel is that of debt. According to this perspective, our sin is like a great unplayable debt and we are hopelessly stuck in poverty. But God, who is rich in mercy and kindness, forgives our sins through the work of Jesus. From this foundation, God instructs his people to work hard, to make an honest living and be financially wise, so they can be generous with others in need.
“Orphans and Widows” | November 6
The way of the world is to discount or discard those who are not of use to us. Weakness and fragility are seen as liabilities, not assets. But the gospel tells us that Jesus—the one who possesses all the power in the universe—became weak and frail to rescue his people. Seeing this, we can understand why Christians have been involved since the very beginning in caring for those who are most marginalized—orphans and widows.
“The Gospel and Race” | November 13
*Special guest speaker Jevon Washington
The history of mankind is of warfare and bloodshed between different people groups. But one of the hallmarks of the gospel is not only did Jesus come to break down the hostility between man and God, he came to break down barriers between man and man. Through Jesus, God is adopting a family full of children from every nation, tribe, and language on the earth. The more we truly grasp the gospel, the more we will want to break down barriers and welcome those who are different from us. In our racially-charged nation, the only true hope for change is the working out of the gospel of Jesus.
“Why the Church?” | November 20
The world is a broken place, and these issues of justice don’t often play out in a way that looks like God’s picture. When we survey the magnitude of the brokenness, we can become overwhelmed and believe there’s nothing we can do. But, we must remember that God has given the gospel not just to individuals, but to his church. In the church, the poor should be provided for, orphans and widows should be cared for, and barriers should come down. Yes, the church fails at this all the time. But those failures are no reason to toss aside the plan God has put in place. Rather, the more the church understands the gospel, the more it will carry out the the work of the gospel, which then has the potential to affect our communities and the world.