What does it look like to live your everyday life as a “kingdom citizen”? The new CSB Tony Evans Study Bible features Kingdom Living articles that give practical insight on how to do just that.
The excerpt below from 1 John 4 shows how we can personally model as well as influence government to “maintain a safe, just, righteous, and compassionately-responsible society where freedom flourishes.”
Good Works Tied To God’s Glory
Jesus’s earthly ministry consistently modeled the integration of justice through the spiritual and the social in that he dwelt among the oppressed, ate with them (Luke 5:27-32), comforted them (Luke 12:22-34), fed them (Luke 9:10-17), restored them (Luke 5:12-16), and ministered to them (Luke 7:18-23) in fulfillment of his Father’s will. All of Jesus’s good works were clearly connected to the spiritual purposes of God (Matthew 4:23-24).
Christ’s followers are to influence society for God through the good works they do for others in the name of God, too. Good works are not good words, nor are they simply good things. After all, you don’t have to be a Christian to do good things or to say something kind. The unsaved can built orphanages and houses, give money, and visit the sick. But the unsaved cannot glorify God through good works. What we do for others must always be tied to God’s glory.
How Do We Live Out Biblical Justice?
The apostle John stressed the connection between love for God and love for others: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother or sister whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). John reminded us that his love is to be expressed through actions and not just words as it is carried out “in action and in truth” (1 John 3:18). A just society is comprised of people who can truly understand what biblical justice entails and daily seek to promote it in the lives of all.
Biblical justice isn’t simply a ministry to be relegated to a special event. Biblical justice is a foundational part of fulfilling the purpose of God in the church as intimated by the heart of God. It results from God’s people being what God has called us to be and participating in what God has called us to do.
Dr. Tony Evans
Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, is founder and president of The Urban Alternative, served as chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and is author of over one hundred books, booklets, and Bible studies.