SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-11-16: "Steppiing Out Of Injustice"

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Stepping out of injustice


Have you ever been treated unjustly?

Have you ever been ripped off and/or back-stabbed by a supposedly loyal friend?

Have you trusted someone who treated you unfairly?

What about trying to go to sleep at night while obsessing over the three little words,

“That’s not fair?”

Sleep doesn’t come easily when you’re pumping adrenalin.

          We live in an age of martyrs. Justin D. Long asserts that more people have died for their faith in the Twentieth Century than all the other centuries combined. He writes,

“During this century, we have documented cases in excess of 26 million martyrs. From AD 33 to 1900, we have documented 14 million martyrs.”

A dictionary definition of justice is,

“the quality of being just; propriety; impartiality; fairness - including some system of merited award or punishment.”

Benjamin Desraeli said,

“Justice is truth in action.”

This sermon explores injustice, bullies and victims. I am seeking a Christian response to the sick violence of this world.




This is a Blog Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2003 1:02:01 PM by miltonim


“Their first interview was with a group of young boys whose village had been attacked by Islamic Taliban soldiers. The elderly and infants were killed on the spot. Twenty-seven children, 14 boys and 13 girls, were taken to a military camp about 9 miles from their village. That evening, the boy's hands and feet were tied behind their backs and they were ordered to deny Christ. Each refused. Burning coals were piled on the ground in front of the boys. As they refused to deny their faith, they were held over the burning embers. Still, they refused to deny their faith.”


November 16, 2008

Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland

Stepping out of injustice

Psalm 108:8-18 - Matthew 5:38-42

“Living the Christ-filled life in this present world is to know injustice. Learning how to act and react to it is a challenge. Jesus taught us how.”         Pastor Phil


"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20



          A. Ancient World – Foxes’ Book of Martyrs

            B. World of History

            C. Present Day World is Filled with Perpetrators and Victims

                        1. Criminals go unpunished – Eccles. 3:16

                        "Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was

                        there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there."

                        2. The oppressed are un-helped – Eccles. 4:1

                        "Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the

                        sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, but they have no comforter-on

                        the side of their oppressors there is power, but they have no comforter."

                        3. Politicians are unethical – Eccles. 5:8; 10:5,6

                        "If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of

                        justice and righteousness in province, do not marvel at the matter; for

                        high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them."

                        "There is an evil I have seen under the sun, as an error proceeding from

                        the ruler: folly is set in great dignity, while the rich sit in a lowly place."

                        4. Good people go unrewarded – Eccles. 8:14

                        "There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom

                        it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked

                        men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous.

                        I said that this is also vanity."

                        5. Capable people are unsuccessful – Eccles. 9:11

                        "I returned and saw under the sun that-The race is not to the swift, nor the              battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of                                        understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to                                    them all."

            D. Bad things happen to good people



          A. Two Extremes of Christianity – Truth in Tension

                   1. Pacifism – Passive, Non-Violent Resistance 

                                    a. Martin Luther King, Jr. studied under Gandhi

                                    b. Mahatma Gandhi studied the life of Jesus

                        2. Activism - Active Resistance against Evil

                                    a. Jesus before Sanhedrin/Herod

                                    b. Jesus Cleansing the Temple

            B. Must be led by the Holy Spirit – Romans 8:14

            “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

                        1. Time to be Active – Eccles. 3 “A time to speak”

                        2. Time to be Passive – Eccles. 3 “A time to be silent”

                        3. Ask God for His Wisdom – James 1:5-8

                        “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all

                        liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask

                        in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea

                        driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will

                        receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in

                        all his ways.”

            C. PACIFISM – Matthew 5:38-42

            "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

            "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right

            cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take away

            your tunic, let him have your cloak also. "And whoever compels you to go one

            mile, go with him two. "Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to

            borrow from you do not turn away.”

            D. ACTIVISM -  Matt. 10:34-36; Luke 22:35-37

            "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace

            but a sword. "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter

            against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';

            "and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'”

            ”And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and

            sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing."  Then He said to them,

            "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and

            he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”



          A. Because He gives us freedom of choice – Deut. 11:26

            "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse."

            B. Because ultimate justice is in the future – Eccles. 3:17

            "I said in my heart, 'God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a

            time there for every purpose and for every work.'"

            C. Because it shows we need a Savior – Eccles. 3:18

            "I said in my heart, 'Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them,

            that they may see that they themselves are like animals.'" (W/O God, we’re lost!)

            D. Because it can build character – Romans 5:3,4

            "And not only that but we have glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation

            produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope."



            A. REACTIVE - Emotional Response to Circumstances

                        1. “Hit and Run Christianity”

                             a. Telling people off on telephone, email or text-messages

                             b. Letting emotion rule your tongue

                        2. Feeling more than thinking

            B. PROACTIVE – Decisive, Thinking Response – Gal. 2:20


Stepping out of injustice


November 20, 1998

A Taste of Grace - Les Miserables (pronounced, Lay Miz ar ahb)

Imagine the police knocking on your door one day, accompanied by a scruffy ex-convict, whom only yesterday you befriended. As thanks for your generosity, the ex-con has stolen most of your silver.

What do you do?

This is the opening question of of "Les Miserables," the magnificent Victor Hugo classic that has been made once again into a movie, this one starring Liam Neeson. The film, now out on video, is a stunning illustration of the way truly great art incorporates rich biblical themes. The convict's name is Jean Valjean and the man he has stolen from is a bishop. But this is no ordinary bishop. He's a radical believer who takes the words of Jesus literally. So when Valjean is dragged before him holding the stolen silver, the bishop informs the startled police that the silver was a gift. He turns the other cheek by giving Valjean a pair of silver candlesticks as well, and then sets him free. Later we learn that Valjean had spent nineteen years in prison merely for stealing a loaf of bread out of hunger, an injustice that left him deeply embittered. The bishop's act of generosity and grace breaks the cycle of anger and sin. This is Valjean's first taste of grace, and it transforms him. The ex-convict later shows the same extraordinary forgiveness and grace to someone who wrongs him. I won't spoil the ending for you, but it's extraordinarily compelling, with a powerful Christian message.

Why exactly is this story so compelling?



Stepping out of injustice, Text:

Psalm 103:8-18

The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

9  He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever.

10  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11  For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

12  As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13  As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.

14  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

15  As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

16  For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.

17  But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children,

18  To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.