When speaking about justice, some people will claim it’s of secondary importance. Some feel there is a split between sharing the gospel and engaging in the work of biblical justice. Concern for the eternal destination of a person only matters, and problems such as racism, poverty or crime that impact the lives of people are irrelevant. The only way somebody can believe that is when they don’t understand the two-fold nature of the gospel.
The content of the gospel points to the subjects contained within it. It is limited, meaning that Scripture has given us all the elements of the gospel—Jesus’ death for our sins, His burial, resurrection and appearance to witnesses. Scripture is clear that the gospel brings salvation. Personal faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross brings people forgiveness of sins, a reconciled relationship with God, and eternal life.
But the scope of the gospel is further reaching and includes the area of sanctification, or growing in holiness. The content points to salvation, and the scope points to sanctification, but both are tied to the gospel. We must learn to address a person’s eternal destination (content), as well as their physical problems (scope). We must deliver the content of the gospel so that people can be reconciled back to God, but we must also live out the scope of the gospel so people can witness our walk and growth with the Lord. We must imitate Jesus who gives us the perfect example of how to navigate both the content and the scope of the gospel.