Read Ephesians 1:3–2:10 and Psalm 33:10–22.
Shalom—the end state of true justice—is always founded on the centrality and exclusivity of Christ. There is a human instinct to fight injustice that even many non-believers have. It’s in our DNA to correct the most egregious wrongs we encounter. But without first being aligned to the heart and mind of Christ—without first submitting our will and desires to those of Jesus—no true justice can be achieved. Worse, we are likely to inflict new pain in our pursuit of justice. Justice sought without submission to Christ is worse than injustice; it’s false justice. Where false justice is marked by revenge, selfishness, and expediency, true justice always corrects the wrong while seeking to reconcile both the victim and the perpetrator to God.
The first relationship in need of justice because of sin is our personal relationship with God. This is the first step toward peace for every individual. Until we are reconciled to God, we are totally incapable of bringing justice to anyone else because Christ is at the center of true and lasting shalom.
In our reading today, we see that our reconciliation with Christ means that we also have His Holy Spirit. “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13–14). His Spirit empowers us to see the world, love people, and view injustice the way Jesus does.
Once we are reconciled with Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, we are capable of taking on His eternal perspective, identifying where He is moving and working right now to build His kingdom, and discerning how He wants us to participate alongside Him. We are able to do as Christ does. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:8–10).
This is why Love Justice International does all of our work in partnership with the local church. Our anti-trafficking model can be implemented by anyone, but we only work in concert with other believers. Protecting someone from a life of slavery is a valuable step in a person’s life, but sharing the love of Christ has eternal implications and only those staff who are themselves devoted to Jesus—and building His kingdom—are capable of sharing the gospel. We believe in following Christ’s example of meeting human needs while sharing His revolutionary message of salvation and reconciliation.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:16–21).
There is power in sharing the gospel at the point of need, declaring the love of Christ while demonstrating that love. God is a God of love; and love is not idle in the face of injustice, nor is it satisfied to see physical needs met while spiritual brokenness is ignored. Both are at the heart of God.