How Justice Organizes Community

The social contract brings together two important concepts. Personal rights and community. Without the social contract, we all are individuals with God given personal rights, but we can never become a people group.

What allows us to be brought together is called justice! The Bible says that the Kingdom of God is not food nor drink but righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit. That word righteousness means judicial verdict or justice! This means that for there to be a Kingdom or community, there must first be justice or at least a concept of justice that brings forth joy and peace. Let's study about how justice organizes the Kingdom of God together.

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" Romans 14:17

Justice and Truth

Justice for a community is what truth is to the individual. Each person governs themselves by what they believe is true. No one walks under what they understand to be a lie. Although there are some who live in a lie believing it is true! The truth is a governmental power for humans and we actually fall into huge crisis when what we believe to be true is found to be false. Walking according to truth is the essence of belief.

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17

Justice can then be seen as truth in relation to others. The truth that governs us will lead us to either manifest justice or injustice. Justice is the communal truth that governs how we all live. We all follow the rules of a given community or Kingdom we belong to. To disobey these rules is to be acting unjustly. This is what the social contract has been saying. Humans need an institution of justice to either establish or protect the result of joy and peace. But having a system of justice is not the only thing Christians should care for.

Judging Justice

In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls writes the following:

"A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if untrue, likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust"

Following the analogy, if we must change our theories when they are untrue, we should change our justice systems when they are unjust. We must look at laws and institutions of our societal and ecclesial systems to see if they are just. So many questions arise from such an inspection-

  1. What exactly is justice?
  2. Is having this justice the only reason for the system?
  3. Is what the system of justice promoting actually right in a moral perspective?


Each Kingdom has a judicial system. In it there are many aspects of stabilizing injustice, promoting particular behavior of its members, and giving its members rights. Where ever we live we should remember that we are first and foremostly citizens of heaven.

That Kingdom has unfortunately been corrupted by the ideas of justice and organization from the Kosmos, the spirit of this age or kingdoms of man. If we can understand the Kingdom and its justice system, we will understand our rights and duties as well as understand what principles of truth govern us.

"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son" Colossians 1:13