by John Piper
Because of the amazing mercy of God described in Psalm 106 we can cry out with hope, “O Lord, help me when you save your people” (verse 4). And what does he help us do? Obtain the fullest blessing of God: “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” (verse 3).
So what acts of justice and righteousness in the cause of Christ-exalting life can we do?
In my sermon last Sunday (January 22, 2012), I answered with five words: Supplication, Consideration, Education, Legislation, and Proclamation. I promised I would try to unpack them more fully. Here goes.
It was years of prayer-filled action that brought an end to abortions at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Would not God be pleased if we set our hearts to pray that the new $16,000,000 Planned Parenthood center in St. Paul closes for lack of support, even as it begins its business.
Ponder the power God has over the hearts of secular leaders. For example, God “turned the heart of the king of Assyria, so that he aided [Israel] in the work” (Ezra 6:22).
This means that God sometimes converts leaders to himself for glorious purposes (Daniel 4:34-35).
Be considerate of women in crisis pregnancies by supporting or working at a Christian crisis pregnancy center. God has raised up thousands of them in recent decades, and they have silenced the pro-choice criticism that pro-life people don’t care about mothers and babies before and after birth.
John Ensor, who started five CPCs in Boston, told me that in all his 12 years of pastoring, he never personally led so many people to Christ as he did in this ministry to women and their boyfriends and husbands. The CPCs are a strategic front in the battle for the hearts of our nation. They say: We care.
Educate yourself, your children and your friends about the history and the nature and the effects of abortion and the prolife movement. The Internet makes this not only easy, but fascinating. Just set aside half an hour and start with Abort73.com. This site is especially good for young people. Email it to those you know. Or just type “abortion” or “prolife” into your search engine and surf. You will make amazing discoveries. Then talk about them and share them with others.
We gave away 1,500 copes of the riveting 33-minute film 180 produced by Ray Comfort connecting the Holocaust with abortion and revealing the appalling ignorance of many young people today. You can watch it online. And you can order DVDs and business cards to give out. This film is worth spreading to believers and unbelievers alike. If you ever doubted that the need for education is real, this film should convince you how needed it is.
We make a distinction at Bethlehem between what we do as an institutional church, and what we call you to do as individual Christians in the world. The business of this church, as an institution, is not to engage in partisan politics. If we did that, we would lose our greatest power—namely the stance from which to speak prophetically into the moral and spiritual dimensions of all issues without political entanglements.
But this not true of you as an individual Christian citizen. In a democratic order your calling includes engagement precisely at the political level and the making of laws. You are needed. And I urge you to be engaged with Christian wisdom. In fact, I encourage some of you to consider a vocation in the politics. We complain much about the low standards of leadership and character and statesman-like quality of many politicians. Perhaps we have not encouraged bright and wise and mature and godly young people to move in this direction. It would not be easy. Indeed it may not even be possible in some cases to be elected with clear biblical views. But I would encourage some of you to try.
Our main calling and our greatest gift to the world is the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the only message that gives pardon for the agents of death, and power for the agents of life. And since all of us, at one time, have been children of darkness, the blood-bought pardon of Jesus is precious to us all. That’s where we start. We don’t earn that pardon with prolife action. It is a free gift. With that pardon in hand, we proclaim the good news to others. We make sure people know that we do not think justice for the unborn is the gospel. Salvation for sinners through faith in the blood-bought pardon of Christ is the gospel. When that grips our souls, we are set free and empowered to live for justice.
So in any or all of these five ways let’s joyfully pursue the fullest blessing of God: “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” (Psalm 106:3)