Doing Justice and Mercy – Pastor Tim Keller

Pastor Tim Keller defines VERY clearly what “justice” means from a biblical perspective.  He says it’s only possible in pursuit of beauty, not duty.  In other words, your motive should not be out of a sense of duty.

The obligation to do BIBLICAL justice in the context of charity is a PERSONAL obligation, not a state or governmental obligation.  Biblical INJUSTICE results when charity becomes a GOVERNMENT or STATE or LEGAL obligation.  NOWHERE does the bible authorize secular governments to engage in charity or social security or welfare. Charity has always been and always will a family and church function and should NEVER become a governmental function.  To do otherwise is to remove economic and social power from families and churches and make the government essentially into a civil religion with supernatural powers, the most important of which is as the owner of ALL property.  You can’t redistribute wealth without STEALING UNLESS:

  1. There is no PRIVATE property that is absolutely owned by a single human.
  2. The government is therefore the owner of EVERYTHING.

This sermon, from Tim Keller, is the fourth from Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s current series “Where We are Going: The City and the Mission”. It’s a series focused on Redeemer’s gospel based core values and is part of a special season at Redeemer called “Rise”. During this season, we’ll be making these sermons widely and freely available. Please visit for more information, including daily devotionals.

This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on March 20, 2016.

Series “Where We are Going: The City and the Mission”.

For an analysis of the implications of his interpretation of biblical and legal justice and an exhaustive comparison between the two, see:

  1. What is “Justice”?, Form #05.050
  2. Why Domicile and Becoming a “Taxpayer” Require Your Consent, Form #05.002, Section 10.2
  3. Requirement for Consent, Form #05.003, Section 3: Justice
  4. Generous Justice (OFFSITE LINK) -Tim Keller
  5. Justice and Compassion in Biblical Law (OFFSITE LINK) – Richard H Hiers, Scribd

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