Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Social Justice, Abortion, and Proverbs 31:8-9

Every Saturday morning Christians meet outside the abortion clinic here in Louisville to pray, to proclaim the gospel, and to attempt to persuade women to seek help at A Woman's Choice Resource Center rather than having their children killed in the "clinic".

Below are some notes that I used in preaching a sermon this morning outside the above-mentioned location.

Proverbs 31:8-9

8 Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the
[b]unfortunate.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.

(NASB)

I. Introduction:

A. Proverbs 31.

1. Many Christians, even those familiar with the Bible, only know this chapter because of its description of the virtuous wife.

2. But the chapter deals with the mother of a king describing how he may exercise wisdom as a king; the reason that 2/3 of the chapter focuses on a godly wife is because the choice of a godly spouse is so crucial to all of life.

B. Social justice in Proverbs.

1. This chapter continues a theme of social justice present throughout all of Proverbs.

2. Example: Proverbs 14:31, He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,
But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

C. New Testament.

1. Jesus: The law fulfilled in loving God and loving neighbor.

2. James 1:27, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)

II. Those whom we must defend by our speech

A. Mute:

1. Those who cannot speak for themselves, primarily due to legal/socioeconomic disadvantage.

2. In our society the charge to speak out for the “mute” has a direct application to the plight of the unborn, who (in addition to their natural, physical inability to speak) are also at a legal disadvantage, in that the government has not defended the right to life for infants yet in the womb.

B. “Unfortunate”

1. Lit. “the sons of the passing away,” or, “the children characterized by having their lives in danger.”

2. Again, in our society, the most dangerous place to be is in the womb; how unfortunate to be deemed an “unwanted” person: how much more unfortunate that those in the womb who are considered “unwanted” may be dismembered, their lives snuffed out at the will of another.

C. Afflicted and needy:

1. The scholars of the New English Translation point out that, “They are the ones left destitute by the cruelties and inequalities in life.”

2. Cruelties and inequalities have plagued our nation’s history; along with the great ideal of extending basic rights to all people, in practice America has consistently been guilty treating minority groups as less than human, thus depriving them of protection under the law. This situation of injustice remains as over 300,000 African American children are killed annually through abortion.

III. Conclusion:

A. Social justice: the twin pillars of “social justice” are justice and compassion for those in society who are afflicted by the ravages of sin.

1. Justice: if there is no absolute standard of right and wrong (even one that is, at times, hard to discern), then how can we know if people in society have been wronged, and thus advocate for them?

2. Compassion: like God, we are to reach out to those who have been ravaged by sin to the point of suffering along with them; we must not condone sin, we must seek to rescue people from sin.

B. Those who need “social justice” are the “poor.”

1. “Poor” = those who realize that they have been ravaged by sin.

2. “Blessed are the poor” = it is only the poor who receive the compassion of God, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

C. True “social justice” can only be based on the justice-satisfying, compassionate, mercy-extending, work of Jesus.

1. This passage, and others like it, divide humanity into two groups; in this case, we can think of these groups as those who are oppressors and those who are afflicted.

2. We must see ourselves first as the oppressors— under the righteous judgment of God— and then as the afflicted: ravaged by sin.

3. Jesus died, receiving in Himself the judgment that we deserved, and He rose from the dead on the third day, to set us free from bondage to sin.

4. Come to Jesus today, receive forgiveness, freedom, and life forever.

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