In our diverse American societal melting pot, believers are largely shielded from overt ridicule or persecution in the workplace and community, especially when compared other times and places throughout history where believers have been openly vilified, imprisoned or even killed because of their faith. I, personally, cannot think of any time my faith has been called into question, or ever being mistreated for believing. However, outward freedom does not release us from inner misgivings or doubts.
When we live simply according to faith, our speech, choices and actions can pique the interest of those around us in everyday life. As believers, at different times we find ourselves in situations where we need to explain or defend our actions or opinions. Sometimes these interactions are confrontational or awkward, but usually the conversation is polite and respectful. Our classmates, coworkers, or neighbors may wonder about our faith and lifestyle choices. Questions typically arise out of genuine curiosity, and most people don’t aim to cause discomfort or doubt by asking them. Nevertheless, some may have malicious intent. But any question, no matter the source, can cause doubts to surface. Is it easy to quickly explain why we haven’t made plans for how many total children we’ll have, or to come up with a reason for why we avoid gossip and foul language? When considering a question, the enemy of souls, our flesh and our common sense all respond and work within us, and can make us squirm.
We’re not able to answer every time. However, feeling like we have to repeatedly explain ourselves can wear us down, and stir doubts up. A few water drops on the head are no problem, but a constant drip is distressing. But no matter the situation, we always can simply and humbly tell others about the foundation of our faith, our reason for hope. This is often is the most powerful sermon. As Peter writes, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).
We oftentimes find that our rational mind seems to conflict with our cause for hope. I remember once reading in a story that “faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” Our human ability to reason is a great gift, and it serves us well in everyday life. We can nurture this gift as much any other gift we’ve been given, developing and exercising it by studying, creating, conversing and contributing. We can be thankful for it. But we also need to remember that our ability to reason will not carry us to heaven. Simple faith, which is the grace-gift of God, is the only thing that brings us eternal life. As Paul writes, our daily walk of faith involves “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
I have to remind myself over and over that the purpose of faith is to get to heaven, and that faith is not just a guide for wholesome living here on earth. I have to remind myself that my ability to understand will not open heaven’s gate for me. Faith opens the gate. I’ve had to remember that many temporal ideas and issues seem at odds with believing, and that one day in heaven everything will be made clear. And each day God gives strength to speak, choose and act according to simple living faith.
Opistovuosi-koulutuksen valtakunnallisten opetussuunnitelman perusteiden mukaan oppivelvollisille tarkoitetun kansanopistokoulutuksen tavoitteena on edistää opiskelijan omaehtoista oppimista, auttaa häntä löytämään oma opiskelutyylinsä ja antaa valmiudet opintojen jatkamiseen perusopetuksen jälkeisessä koulutuksessa.
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.