The agenda of the gospel is not social and structural reform. The Gospel is about reconciling mankind to God, not to one another.
It is through reconciliation to God by the finished work of the cross that reconciliation happens between people groups. This simply means works produced by faith cannot be had without genuine faith. This seems like stating the obvious, but with all of the assumptions on what is of “first importance” today, it must be stated, and restated because it is becoming less and less clear to those who consider themselves faithful Christians.
Sure faith without works is dead but those works will bring love, joy, peace, righteousness, kindness, goodness and mercy. We will do all that we can to be at peace with all men because we are at peace with God. The gospel of individual salvation must always be in the place of “first importance“.
The early church adhered unflinchingly to the refusal to use violence. It is part of the critical power of the gospel that this summons to freedom – which also means freedom from the inner law of violence – is still heard today. is in fact once again being heard more clearly. … Reflection on the message of Jesus against the background of the unimaginable brutality and injustice of his age could help us today better to understand the gospel, that is, Jesus’ summons to freedom, and to act accordingly.
“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; James 2:21
“Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.“ James 3:17-18