127 Worldwide is committed to gospel-centrality as our primary motivation. It’s our first distinctive and arguably the one that shapes all the rest. We like to say we’re motivated from the gospel and for the gospel. Our justice work is both the result of what we’ve received ourselves and for the sake of what the gospel offers to the world.
From the Gospel
First, 127’s work springs forth from the gospel because Christ died and rose from the grave so that we who were once enslaved can be freed from the bondage of sin. We have found salvation from our brokenness that propels us into action. The gospel isn’t only good news for the afterlife; it offers real solutions for brokenness today. Our care for the vulnerable is driven by what has already been accomplished on our behalf through Christ’s work. Because our greatest need has been met in Christ, we join God himself in bringing relief to the afflicted and justice to the oppressed.
It’s amazing to consider that God extends himself to alleviate the suffering we endure as a result of our own sin. In Genesis 3, God pronounces a string of consequences for human rebellion, culminating in their banishment from his garden. Yet even before he sends them away, he promises that one day he will reverse the curse. A seed will come from Adam and Eve who will crush the head of his enemy. God promised to alter the course of history by slaying his own Son so that we who were condemned to die might live abundantly.
But his mercy on sinners doesn’t stop there. The Bible says that God is “our present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1), the supreme advocate of the orphan and the widow, the defender of the oppressed and marginalized. The truth sinks in like opening an unexpected gift too good to be true– our God acts to relieve the consequences we experience today. His restoration of all things includes the brokenness and injustice we see in the world around us. He has remedied sin’s eternal effects and commissioned his church to proclaim that news and join the work of alleviating its present effects today.
If the One most offended by sin cares about the world’s present suffering, how can we do any less? As sinners turned saints, we know more than anyone that Jesus Christ restores hope to the hopeless. With the gospel as our base, we launch from it into a life of caring for the vulnerable right alongside our God.
For the Gospel
Second, we engage in justice work for the advancement of the gospel.
Justice work is inherently an announcement to the world that “the kingdom is coming.” By ministering to the needy and oppressed, we make the diagnosis clear: this is not the way life is supposed to be, and our King will make it right. He cares for the wounds that afflict you now, and by his own wounds he has secured an eternal flourishing for you. We want to lean into that announcement so that by caring for the vulnerable today, lives are changed through the proclamation of the gospel for eternity.
Further, the way we care for the immediate needs of people shows what we believe about who people are. People made in God’s image are more than consumers who need material resources; they’re spiritual beings whose flourishing is intimately tied to whom they worship. Our solutions to brokenness like poverty, fatherlessness, and widowhood therefore must address people as whole beings. By engaging in mercy ministry and preaching the gospel in tandem, we display the truth that apart from a right relationship to the Creator, our lives on earth will always mirror the disordered and broken results of the Fall. Our work is lacking if we aren’t angled toward creating citizens of that heavenly kingdom. So, like our God, we labor to both meet immediate, physical needs and to announce that Jesus is the answer to our greatest need forever.
At 127 Worldwide, we invest in local leaders doing kingdom work among vulnerable communities ultimately so that these places can be transformed by the renewing power of the gospel. We are convinced that only through faith in Jesus can hope truly be restored. We long to see churches planted and future justice-seekers discipled so that generations after us continue to care for the needy among them and proclaim the coming kingdom.
We are unapologetically from the gospel and for the gospel. The gospel is the ground on which we stand and the vision for which we fight. With our voices and with our lives, we echo the cry “let justice roll down like waters” (Amos 5:24). Justice today, and justice forever.