Pastor Rechab Gray from Cottage Grove Church in Des Moines, Iowa will join Shane Vander Hart next week on the Caffeinated Thoughts Podcast to discuss biblical justice.

In the video below was a powerful and challenging moment during a recent sermon he gave discussing biblical justice.



“That longing for justice is inherent to the nature of the Christian. Because a love of justice is inherent to the nature of their God.

“Listen to me, you need to really ask yourself the question. Do the writers that you read I’m (gonna) go there? Does the news that you watch. I’m gonna really go there.

“Do the preachers you listen to? Do they shy away around this word called justice? Are they uncomfortable with the word itself? Even you now when I bring up justice, does your heart say, ‘Oh, no, he’s going there again.’

“Is there a discomfort with the word justice? Because I want you to know if there is an inherent discomfort with the word justice, then it might be that all your life you have been taught an American Jesus, not a biblical one. It might be, because it was Jesus that says, I’m coming in, I’m going to bring down the mountains. And I’m going to raise the valleys as a metaphor for bringing down those who are high and exalting the humble!

“That’s exactly what Mary said in her magnificant. In this book, Luke chapter one, verse 42, through about 49, where she says, ‘You have brought down those who are prideful and exhausted those from a humble estate.’

“Jesus said that. It was Jesus, not me, who said, ‘that you tithed to me in cumin, but you neglect the weightier matters of the law’ – justice in the righteousness of God!

“I didn’t say that. Jesus says that. Jesus in his inaugural speech in Luke chapter four says, ‘the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach liberation to the capital and freedom to the oppressed.’

“Jesus said that, not me. He brought up oppression. He brought up the prisoner. He brought up justice in this text alone, he mentions justice four times!

“If justice makes you uncomfortable, then it might be that you have not been taught the biblical Jesus, you’ve been taught the American version. And I’m scared to say that they’re two different gods.

“But here at Cottage Grove, we want to preach the biblical Jesus. Yes! Yes! Yes, in our nation all of these matters of justice have been politicized, but in the church they dare not be! Ever!

“So yes, at Cottage Grove we will preach justice for the unborn who never even get the speak a word before they come out of the womb! Yes, we will preach justice there! But we will also preach justice for the unarmed who is killed in the street with no hope of justice.

“Yes! We will preach justice for the sexually trafficked who have been kidnapped and given no hope of living the life that God wanted his daughter to live, and you who watch pornography, feeding into that system.

“And we will also also preach justice; justice for the Native American who had their land stolen from them and sits in a corner of a land that they had first.

We will preach justice for the Mexican community! We will preach justice for everybody who’s hurting! We will preach justice for the slave! We will preach justice for the prisoner! We will preach justice, hear me, for the falsely accused!

“We will preach justice for everybody! That’s what the scripture calls us to do.

“And I’m sorry that some of those areas make you Democrats sad. And I’m sorry that us preaching justice in the other areas make you Republicans mad. If you’re looking for the Republican Jesus, you ain’t gonna find them here at Cottage Grove.

“But if you’re looking for the biblical Jesus that Jesus I fell in love with, when I was 14 years old, the Jesus who saved me from my own injustice! The Jesus that died on the cross for my sin! The Jesus who rose from the dead victoriously to bring justice, you will hear about them every single Sunday, every single Sunday. I love that Jesus!

“It is my job, as a pastor, to bring him to light through his work. That’s what you’re gonna find here. That’s what you’re gonna find here. And I’m begging you Cottage Grove, stick with us. Stick with us. It should be uncomfortable. Who said preaching is comfortable?

“When (has) the word of God ever made you comfortable? Anytime the Word of God makes you comfortable is either because you’re killing it in righteousness, Romans three already told you that ain’t true. Or you are lying to yourself.

“This isn’t about comfort. It’s about conviction of the Spirit of God and the glory of God that transforms us.”

1 comment
  1. While I like a good jumping off point– people are uncomfortable with using the word “justice” in church, as in life, because since at least 15 years ago it has been redefined by some activists to mean a twisted thing that is not only opposed to giving each individual that which they are rightly due, it is explicitly against the very roots of the Faith itself.

    Ezekiel 18 is the recorded word of the Lord, scolding Israel for attempting to punish people for that which they did not do. The son does NOT share the sins of his father.

    Same way that “racism” has been stripped of meaning, when it is screamed in the streets and even argued by mainstream, supposedly serious people that it is racist to judge someone by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.

    People are uncomfortable fighting on unstable ground, especially if they value the truth and that ground was destabilized by those who reject the truth. Fighting on the opponent’s chosen ground is a bad idea.


    There is also the very old observation that children love justice– while those who know their sins crave mercy.

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