All human beings, in virtue of being human, bear God’s image, from the greatest to the least. The image of God is foundational to understanding how and why we do justice. It’s that image which creates the standard that lends to each person’s transcendent value, requiring us to treat all humans with dignity and worth. Without this standard, justice isn’t possible.
I’ve been writing a lot about justice, but why does any of it matter? Why are we having this conversation at all? Justice is a word that has often been muddied, distorted, and even disregarded. To be God’s agents of justice, we have to work through the mud and distortion and bring clarity to true justice.
Daniel Webster said, “Justice is the great interest of man on earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.” Justice is the glue that holds society together, but it’s more than glue. When we act justly, we experience the true joy of Jesus. As he said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:10–11).
As Christians, it’s paramount to understand biblical justice because what we think about justice influences almost every area of our lives. This is why I’ve been focusing on justice. The biblical concept of justice needs to be restored.
To restore justice, we need to understand a few critical concepts. The first is God’s call to justice. Justice is important to God. There are more than two thousand verses in the Bible directly related to justice. There are twice as many references to justice as to prayer, almost three times the references to love, and three times the number of references to money (which is often actually a justice issue).