Our acts to redeem the brokenness of culture are not always an actual reform. Sometimes it is simply responding with love to sin or bad events in people lives (Matt 5:43-48). We show compassion for and care for those that have sinned and are suffering from sin. Either their own or someone else’s. Their lives are broken, and need redeeming. This could include helping unwed mothers or soon to be single mothers with caring for their children.
Can we redeem the act of sex outside of marriage that led to their situation? No. Not in the same way that Christ has on the cross by removing and forgiving the sin. But, we can bring about a form of redemption by loving them and helping to press them on towards the object of saving faith, that is Christ.
Paul tells us about our responsibility as part of the body of Christ is to be communicators of Christ’ reconciliation. He says that the new creation that we are in Christ is,
“From God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Just as Christ has brought us to God, we now bring others to Christ. We are to live our lives as a reflection of Christ. Systems of sin, like pornography and prostitution, need one thing: the redemption that only comes through Christ Jesus. We, therefore, do our part in redemption by bringing them to the One that can forgive them of their sins.
But we do not need to wait until someone has come to know Christ before we can act out our own reconciliation to others. If we have been brought to God through Christ, then we have been changed by His Spirit. We not only stop doing actions that are in opposition to the gospel, but we also go out of our way to do good for the gospel. By doing good we show that we have been reconciled.
In the book of Isaiah, God urges his people to take care of the poor, the needy, and the widows. Israel is continually indicted because they do not have a compassionate heart (1:15-17,23). Christ, in the story of the Good Samaritan tells his audience to, “go and do likewise.” We are not to just love those who are our neighbor, but to be the neighbor.
We act out Christ’s reconciliation when we go out of our way to love others. When we play with a small child, sit with and talk with the homeless, help a widow with housework, write a letter, or tell someone about Christ. How are you going to actively live out Christ’s reconciliation in your life?