"Am I My Brother's Keeper?": Christians and Social Justice

By Michael Horton - Posted at Core Christianity:

It is through the gospel that the Spirit creates, grows, and expands Christ’s church. Already in Acts 2, we see the Great Commission playing out on the ground. At Pentecost, the Spirit empowers Peter to proclaim Christ as the fulfillment of the Scriptures, convicting many of their sins and opening their hearts to receive the good news.

Those who believe are baptized (with examples in Acts of whole households being baptized along with a believing parent). “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Any program for missional outreach that omits these elements—or even makes them subordinate to humanly crafted initiatives—is a mission different from the one Christ ordained for his church.

Christians are free, however, to take up vocations that are not given to the church as a special institution but still ordained by God. The Great Commission doesn’t call us to be parents—or even to marriage. In fact, the examples of Jesus and Paul underscore this point!

Nevertheless, marriage and the family are divinely ordained institutions. The Great Commission does not provide a roadmap to peace in the Middle East or domestic economic policy. Yet even as it is written on the conscience, the Great Commandment and the institutions God established in creation retain their divine authorization.