Justice in an unjust society 2

Is God’s chief goal for society that everyone comes together to sing him songs of praise and pray to him?


Amos 5:6-7, 10-15, 21-24

6  Seek the LORD and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel, 7  O you who turn justice to wormwood and cast down righteousness to the earth!

10  They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. 11  Therefore because you trample on the poor and you exact taxes of grain from him, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. 12  For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate. 13  Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.

14  Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. 15  Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

21  “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22  Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. 23  Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. 24  But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.


Observations and reflections

Notes: The Context of these verses is the warning of pending judgment on the ten Northern tribes of Israel (also called Samaria) because of the tolerance of injustice in their society.

In the ancient Middle-East, the city gate was a place of wisdom where the elders gathered to give counsel and judgment in difficult situations.

  1. For every verse, list the injustices present in Samaria in the time of Amos the prophet.
  2. Record and summarise what God desires from his worshippers in these verses.

Reflection and application

  1. Look at the “transgressions …and great sins” God accuses Israel of (verse 12). Which of these are present in our society, and even in your Christian community?
  2. Considering these verses above
    1. Why would God “hate the solemn assemblies” of corporate worship and fasting (verses 21-24)?
    2. What do you learn about the character of God and what really pleases him? Try to summarise your answer in your own words.
    3. What could you do today that will please God?
    4. How could you help your small group and church see what God truly desires from his worshippers?


In your own words, pray for God’s justice to manifest in the court rooms, community and especially for the poor and needy in your society.


The Kingdom of God 7 – righteousness and joy

The aim of this devotional Bible Study is to reflect on the anticipation and nature of the kingdom of God.


Psalms 97:1-12

1  The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2  Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3  Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 4  His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

5  The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 6  The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

7  All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

8  Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD. 9  For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10  O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11  Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 12  Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Observation and reflection

  1. What is the tone or mood of this Psalm? [hint: note the emotive descriptors in verses 1, 8, 11, 12]
  2. What is the reason for this mood? (verses 1, 9)
  3. The Psalmist describes the LORD as a King approaching to rule words like “clouds and thick darkness”, “fire that consumes his enemies”, “lightnings”, “people tremble”, “mountains wax” and “glory”. (v2-6) Give two or three words that desribe what this King is like, as described in these verses.
  4. What is this King’s kingdom like? [hint: note verses 2, 6, 11, 12]
  5. The response to this awesome King’s reign is dived. What groups of people are mentioned, and how do they respond to God’s rule?
  6. In the kingdom of God “light” and “joy” “is sown for the righteous” (v11). What do you think the Psalmist means to say?

Personal relfection and prayer

God is an awesome King who rules in righteousness and justice; even in the Old Testament the coming of his kingdom was anticipated and celebrated.

  1. Reflect on your government and its political arena. Can you say of it that “righteousness and justice are the foundation” of this government?  Why/ why not?
    1. Pray for God’s kingdom to come – starting in your heart and home! Then pray for “righteousness and justice” in your land.
  2. Reflect on the society of today. Would you rather describe it as being “joyful” or “fearful”? Why/why not?
    1. Pray for God’s kingdom to come – starting in your heart and home! Pray that “Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets… And [that] the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.” (Zechariah 8:4-5)

The Kingdom of God – not in religious observance

The Kingdom of God is a central theme in the Bible, especially the teachings of Jesus. The aim of this devotional series is to prayerfully reflect on the Kingdom of God and its manifestation in and through my life.


Romans 14:14-21

14  I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.  15  For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.  16  So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.

17  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

18  Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.  19  So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.  20  Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.  21  It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.

Observation and reflection

Context: The congregation(s) in Rome were divided in their understanding of which holy days were to be observed and which foods were religiously acceptable.

Focus on verse 17.

  1. Rephrase the sentence “the reign of King Henry VI extended throughout the British Isles”.
    1. What is meant by “The Kingdom of God” in verse 17?
  2. Why (in this context) does Paul say “The Kingdom of God is not in eating and drinking
    1. Why is this an important distinction even today?
  3. Replace the following words with short phrases to describe what it means or implies in relation to “the Kingdom of God”:
    1. Eating and drinking
    2. Righteousness
    3. Peace
    4. Joy
  4. What does Paul mean by the qualifying phrase “…in the Holy Spirit”? [hint: where else does Paul write about “Holy Spirit… peace… joy”?]
  5. According to this verse:
    1. What is God’s reign like?
    2. Where does God reign?
    3. How is God’s reign extended in practice?

Application and prayer

Jesus did not come to enforce ceremonial religious observances.  He came to bring righteousness, peace and joy in our hearts and relationships.  Do you experience that?

Jesus taught us to pray God “Let Your kingdom come!”  (Matthew 6:10).

  1. In which relationship of yours do you not experience “righteousness, peace and joy”?
    1. Pray that God will work in your hearts to establish his “righteousness, peace and joy”.
    2. Make an appointment to discuss this with the other person so that there might be God’s reign may be evident in your relationship.
  2. Is there an aspect of your life that does not correspond to God’s “righteous” reign?
    1. Confess that to God and pray to God who is ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
    2. Bring that area of your life to God in prayer, asking him to create his righteousness in your heart.
  3. Is there something about your nation or neighborhood or world which upsets you (i.e. violence, corruption, perversion, poverty, etc)?  Pray for God’s Kingdom to come in “righteousness, peace and joy!”


Apologetics 1 – The Origin of Death

The aim of this devotional study is to consider the process of creation without “the help” of evolution.


Romans 5:6-21

6  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– 8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

12  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned– 13  for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  14  Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the One who was to come.

15  But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.  16  And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.  17  For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  18  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20  Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Observation and reflection

  1. This marvelous Text from Paul’s letter to the Romans contain some difficult thoughts requiring a bit of contemplation about the age of sin without the Law between Adam and Moses. Get the outline of the argument by summarizing Paul’s thoughts in the following sections:
    1. Verses 6-11
    2. Verses 12-14
    3. Verses 15-21
  2. About the origins of sin and grace
    1. How – and through whom – did sin enter the world? (v17)
    2. How did death enter the world? (v12)
    3. Through which act lead were “many made sinners” leading “to the condemnation of all men”? (v18)
    4. How – and through Whom – did grace enter the world? (v17)
    5. Which act lead to “many made righteous” and “to justification and life of all men”? (v18)
    6. In which way does Paul compare Adam and Jesus? (v14) And why? / what does that mean?
  3. According to Paul’s understanding of salvation:
    1. Was Jesus a real person?
    2. Was His crucifixion a real event?
    3. Was Adam a real person?
    4. Was the fall of sin a real event?
    5. In Paul’s thoughts, how does these two events relate to one another?

Personal reflection and prayer

12  Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin”

  1. Why did Jesus become man and die on a cross?
  2. Considering verse 12 (quoted above).  If I believe “death [came] through sin” why would that be impossible to accept that “God made use of the evolutionary process to create the world and all in it”? [hint: what does Darwinian evolution require?]
  3. Thank God again for His free gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus His Son, and bring your views of creation and the world in prayer to God. Ask Him to lead you in all truth, and to rid you of all confusion.

Eternal Church 4

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in the knowledge and appreciation of the church.


Revelation 19:5-8

5  And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.” 6  Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Observations and reflections

Note: The context of this Scripture is within the prophesy which John wrote about the future judgment of the whole world, where Satan and his followers will be judged by God, and Jesus’ faithful followers will be rewarded by Him.  See also Revelations 21:2,9

  1. What is the metaphor John uses describe the reunion between Jesus and his church in this prophesy?
  2. What is the atmosphere of this reunion?
  3. What is the church of Jesus likened to in this prophesy?
    1. What do you understand Jesus wanted to communicate by using this metaphor / imagery for the church?
    2. What are the required response of the church implied in this imagery? [hint: verse 8]

Personal reflections and prayers

Consider each of the following questions, and then talk to the Lord about each of these points:

  1. How often does your local congregation speak about, pray about or sing about the return of Jesus?
  2. How much and how often do you long for Jesus’ return to come and fetch you to himself?
  3. In considering your daily conduct: would you say your “garments are white” – i.e. do you live a righteous life or are you involved in things that the Bible or your conscience condemn?
  4. If Jesus would speak to you today, would he be jealous of your affections for earthly things?

Holy Spirit 6

The aim of this devotional study is to appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit on earth.


John 16:7-14

7  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

8  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12  “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13  When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

14  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Observations and reflection

Note: This is part of the last conversation that Jesus had with his disciples on the evening of his arrest, and referred to the sending of the Spirit as teacher and helper in order to comfort his disciples.

  1. What names are attributed to the Holy Spirit in this teaching of Jesus?
  2. Jesus said it is better for his disciples that he leaves so that the Spirit would come to them. What is the advantage that the Spirit has over Jesus (for his disciples)? (v7)
  3. What activities/ helps are attributed to the Spirit in v8-11?
    1. Who gets “convicted of sin” – and how? (v8-9)
    2. Who gets convicted “righteousness” – and how? (v8, 10) [think and look carefully oat these verses…]
    3. Who gets convicted of pending judgment? (v8,11)
  4. What activities/ helps are attributed to the Spirit in v12-14?
  5. How does the Spirit relate to us? What can we expect as normative? (

Application and Prayer

Consider “The Spirit will convict [the believer] of righteousness”

  • What “righteousness” did Jesus refer to?
  • Have you experienced the Holy Spirit convicting you of righteousness before? How and where?
  • Thank God for the Spirit’s leading into Truth and leading into understanding of our righteousness in Christ.  Read through the list of your identity in Christ, and see what the Holy Spirit leads you to focus on, and mediate on that.

[With whom can your share this truth to encourage them today?]

The Blessed Life 5

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the rewards the righteous – of those who fear the Lord.


Psalms 103:8-18

8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  9  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.  10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;  12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to 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; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

17  But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18  to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.


Note: To fear the Lord means to live with the knowledge that God is our creator and judge, and therefore we his servants who live according to His will and depart from evil (See Eccl 12:13-14; Psalm 34:11-14, Proverbs 3:7; 8:13)

  1. Psalm 103 calls us to bless the Lord and remember the goodness of God towards us.  Summarize in one phrase what the Psalm tells of God in each of the following segments:
  • Verses 8-10
  • Verses 11-13
  • Verses 14-16
  • Verses 17v18
  1. What does this Psalm tell of the Lord’s special treatment of those who fear him? (v11-13, 17-18)


  1. Verses 13-14 reads like this: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
  • Love can be translated as “deliberate attention and action for the good of the receiver”. According to this definition, does a father give more love or less love to his son who struggles in life?  Why?
  • Why does the Father show compassion to those who fear Him in these verses? Answer in your own words.
  • Sometimes we feel that God may love us less because we struggle or fail in His holy standards.  What does this Psalm say to people who feel like that – people who want to please God in holy living?

Prayer and Confession

Do you fear the Lord?  Pray a prayer of confession and thanksgiving over yourself from this Psalm

  • Praise God with the truth of His character and ability according to this Psalm
  • Confess what God promises to you and what he feels about you.
  • Thank God for his merciful goodness towards you.

Salvation 11

The aim of this module is to grow in understanding and appreciation for the fullness by which God saved us in the death of his Son Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 5:1-21

1  For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3  if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.

4  For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.  5  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6  So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

8  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  9  Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.

10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11  Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences…

14  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15  and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

16  Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


There are several terms used to describe a certain part of the process by which God saves us.  Consider the following terms with a simplified definition of each.

  • Eternal life describes both life without end in days, as well as the experience with which we live to the fullness without reservation – the very life of God.
  • Glorification refers to the fullness of our salvation we will receive when Christ returns to deliver us of the presence of sin and Satan and transform our bodies to resemble his.
  • Identification means to identify with the position of another: Christ identified with us in our humanity and carried the punishment of our sins – even death; we in turn identify with his righteousness and life.
  • Inheritance refers to what we will partake of as children of God, that which is rightly ours as children of God – both now and when Christ returns to take us to him.
  • Justification is a legal term meaning that no fault (or sin) is found in the accused.
  • Condemnation is a legal term which implies that the accused is found guilty and has been sentenced for punishment.
  • Reconciliation means to arbitrate and bring peace between two parties.
  • Regeneration or recreation means to bring to life, to make new.
  • Repentance means a 180 degree turn-around in will, attitude and behavior – to go the other way. Biblically it is used to mean one turns from sin towards God’s way of life.
  • Righteousness refers to what is right in the sight of God, and is often spoken of as a garment by which we are clothed to appear pure before God.
  • Substitution or propitiation with regard to our salvation refers to another who takes the punishment of sin on our behalf.

Now read through the text again and fit each of the following verses with one (or two) of these salvation terms that fit best.

  • V1 ————–
  • V2 ————–
  • V3 ————–
  • V5 ————–
  • V10 either ————– or ————–
  • V11 ————–
  • V14 ————–
  • V15 ————–
  • V17 ————–
  • V18 ————–
  • V20 ————–
  • V21 ————–

Application and Prayer

Which verses in today’s sccspeak the clearest to your conscience today?  Why does it press on your heart?  Spend some time to pray to God about that aspect of your salvation.  Then make time to worship God for this great gift of salvation in his Son Jesus Christ!