SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-09-20 "Justice and Righteousness"

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          I am sixty-eight years old and still struggle with issues of injustice that I see in the world around me. In a sense my ministry is based on justice, God’s kind of justice. The most difficult type of injustice any of us will ever face is what happens when a bullying adversary has his foot on your throat and keeps it there when you plead for him to let up.

          It is one thing to deal with injustice in the world around you, but quite another when the injustice is laid on your doorstep. Have you ever laid awake at night and cried out to God over injustice or unrighteousness?  This sermon could be aimed in your direction.

          There are three words that can create anxiety and depression as often as you say them or think them,

“That’s not FAIR!”

Say it softly to yourself over and over. Your blood pressure will rise, your heart rate will go up, you will pump adrenalin and you will come to understand that anxiety is all about. You can actually make yourself physically ill by saying it enough.

          Take your distresses heavenward. You have a Heavenly Father who hears, knows and cares about your distresses. Don’t be afraid to talk to Him instead of counting sheep when life’s burdens seem too heavy. My sermon today is concerning our great need for justice and righteousness to flow like a river not just across our land, but in our hearts as well.


Pastor Phil  <><<












September 20, 2009 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland


Pursuing God’s Justice and Righteousness in our Lives

AMOS 5:21-24


“Too many Christian believers omit character, attitude and conduct when they deal with God and man. God is expecting His Righteousness and His Justice to be worked out in our lives.”                                                                                       Pastor Phil


 “But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Amos 5:24


Amos was a Southern Kingdom Prophet 787-735 B.C.

His message was to both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms

Prophesy Given about 751 B.C. – Reign of King Jeroboam – 2 Kings 14

Israel’s Prosperity contrasted to Idolatry, moral rottenness, Swearing,             Stealing, Injustice, Oppression, Robbery, Adultery, Murder



          A. Cannot be Righteousness w/o Justice

            B. Social Justice Rhetoric / Real Social Justice

                        1. Human rights are respected and met

                        2. Food, Clothing, Shelter, Medical Care, Education and                                                    Adequate Employment

                        3. Fair Treatment for the Disadvantaged

            C. Godly Justice is reflected in fairness to others

            D. Simply put, Injustice is denying a neighbor their rights under God

                        1. Injustice is treating a neighbor wrongly in God’s Eyes

                        2. Injustice is Present in all cultures throughout the ages

            E. TEXT: Religious Rituals minus Righteousness and Justice Angers                          the Lord

                        1. Three strong statements: Hate, Despise, Do Not Savor

                        2. Jewish Yom Kippur = Annual Day of Atonement

                                    a. Ten Days after Rosh Hashanah – Feast of Trumpets

                                    b. Priest entered the Holy of Holies with sacred blood

                                    c. Day of Reconciliation – Making peace w/God and Man

            F. Justice and Righteousness isn’t just for God Himself / for us

                        1. We must show God’s Love, Justice, Righteousness and                                              Peace

                        2. Religion w/o God’s heart is merely an outward show

                        3. Our daily lives must reveal God’s Justice / Righteousness

                        4. We must not oppress the poor







      “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy

        place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his

       soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3,4

            A. No one is Righteous before God – Romans 3:10-12

               “As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none

                 who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all

                 turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none

                 who does good, no, not one."

            B. In God’s Sight, All have sinned – Romans 3:23

                “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

            C. Our best attempts at righteousness are still unrighteous B4 God

                        1. Our Righteousness is seen as filthy rags – Isaiah 64:4-6

                           “For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor

                             perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,

                             Who acts for the one who waits for Him.  You meet him who

                             rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your

                             ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned; In these ways

                             we continue; And we need to be saved. But we are all like an

                             unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

                             We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken

                             us away.”

                        2. God is searching for a Loyal Heart -   2 Chronicles 16:10

                           "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole

                            earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is

                            loyal to Him.” (“fully committed”) NIV

                          "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth

                           that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely                                   His.” NASB

            D. The Biblical View of Righteousness - Micah 6:8; James 1:27

               “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD

                 require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with

                 your God?”

               “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit

                 orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted

                 from the world.”



    "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a     

      Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute

      judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And

      Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE


          A. In Jesus is found BOTH Justice and Righteousness

                        1. In English BOTH Righteousness and Justice are often                              translated from the SAME HEBREW WORD, “Tza-Dek”





                        2.  We long for His righteousness – Matthew 5:6

                           “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For

                             they shall be filled.”

                        3.  We Spiritually put Him on each day – Galatians 6:13-18

                         “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able

                            to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand

                            therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the

                            breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the

                            preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of

                            faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the

                            wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of

                            the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer

                            and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all

                            perseverance and supplication for all the saints;”

            B. Invite Him into your heart and begin to seek and find – Matt. 6:33

                "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these                     things shall be added to you.”

            C. He waits and knocks at your heart’s door – Rev. 3:20

               "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and

                 opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”







Amos 5:21-24

21  "I hate, I despise your feast days, And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.

22  Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.

23  Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.

24  But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream.



Luke 4:16-21

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

17  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

20  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

21  And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."