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That’s Just Wrong – Pastor Jeff Vines

by | Sun, Feb 4 2024

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Have you ever witnessed something and thought, that’s just wrong? Surely there are moments when God observes His church, it’s actions, or lack thereof, moments when He looks to the Son and the Holy Spirit, saying, that’s just wrong. It’s an inexplicable sentiment, but one that resonates.

When God’s people neglect to engage in feeding the hungry, providing clothes for the needy, or offering assistance to those in desperate situations, it reflects a lack of interest from the church in the lives of those less fortunate.

On this episode of Today with Jeff Vines, Pastor Jeff teaches us about God’s definition of social justice. Examining Isaiah Chapter 58, Jeff emphasises the need for a shift in our attitude toward things that are inherently wrong.

The Gospel Transforms Us

‘There can be no doubt according to Scripture,’ says Jeff, ‘that if the spirit of God has truly penetrated your heart, then the Gospel has transformed you from the inside out. The Bible says time and again that if the gospel is in you, then you’re going to live differently. You’re going to be involved in social justice.’

In Isaiah 58:6, God speaks to His people and He says, is not this the kind of fasting I’ve chosen to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter?

‘When it comes to social justice, the Bible speaks a clear message,’ says Jeff. ‘God has the last word because He had the first word. And the first word was this. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And because this is His world, only He gets to define social justice.’

The Bible says that God determines and defines what is just and what is unjust. Not a political system or an economic theory. But it’s also true that we have seen incredible injustices in the church throughout history.  Yet God anticipated this in Isaiah. He understands that outwardly, Christians may appear religious, but the Gospel may not have genuinely penetrated their lives.

‘The problem is not that we aren’t radical as Christ followers,’ says Jeff. ‘We come to church every weekend; we pray, we fast, we do devotionals. The problem is we’re not radical enough. The law of God has gotten into us, but not the spirit of God’s law.’

The Depths of God’s Truth

Jeff believes Christians need to get out of the shallow waters and go into the depths of God’s truth to let His spirit wash over us. The Bible is a litmus test for Christ followers. Are we concerned to the point of helping the poor? Are we visiting the prisoners?

‘In Matthew 25, Jesus says there’s a difference between those who are going to spend eternity with God and those who aren’t,’ says Jeff. ‘And it’s quite simple. You’ll know them by how they treated the poor. The litmus test of whether you truly know God is how you are relating to the poor. It’s a cause and effect.’

Jeff believes that many people serve God because of what they hope He will do for them, and not out of genuine gratitude. The real issue is with their hearts, not their activity. The problem is why they’re doing what they’re doing.

‘When you come alongside somebody that’s in need,’ says Jeff, ‘you take their pain and their problems and their hunger and their disease on yourself. You’ve got to pour everything into them without any expectation in return, and their problems are going to become yours.’

‘You have to sacrifice with no expectation. And you do it because you love them.’