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A passion for Jesus and for justice

Justice is inherent in justification.

This understanding of justification will have enormous effects on the church’s understanding of mission. Like Paul, the church that lives by this account of justification will not merely be trying to “save souls” but will want to be God’s agent in the creation of a justified and just people – transformed and participating in Christ and his current work in and through the church.

Evangelism – sharing the good news – will be a message about liberation from all sorts of sin, including hatred and violence and injustice, and into a new life. Centrifugal activity, or outreach – embodying the good news in the public square – will mean siding with those who are neglected and mistreated, whether in the neighborhood or in another part of the world. In fact, the differences between terms like “evangelism” and “outreach” will in part collapse, not because Jesus is being replaced with justice, understood in some generic, secular way, but because Jesus is justice, the justice of God incarnate. The result will be a deeper spirituality, not a lesser one, a closer walk with God (the God of justice), not a more distant one. In fact, the result will be a passion for Jesus and for justice.

— Michael J. Gorman, from Becoming the Gospel: Paul, Participation, and Mission

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