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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Important realization

Vieraskieliset / In-english
13.7.2020 15.40

Juttua muokattu:

13.7. 15:42

I start wri­ting this blog post half­way through the Epip­ha­ny ser­vi­ces of Hel­sin­ki rau­ha­nyh­dis­tys. There was a dis­cus­si­on that made me want to write.

I have at­ten­ded ser­vi­ces even sin­ce I was a child and have lis­te­ned to, or at le­ast he­ard, count­less ser­mons. Still, there have been things that I have ne­ver pro­per­ly un­ders­tood.

The to­pic of the int­ro­duc­ti­on was “watc­hing in faith”. Not very many pe­op­le went up to speak af­ter the int­ro­duc­ti­on, but eve­ry time so­me­o­ne fi­nis­hed, there was so­me­o­ne el­se who wan­ted to say so­met­hing. And when there were no more pe­op­le wil­ling to take their turn, the mo­de­ra­tor as­ked the per­son who had kept the int­ro­duc­ti­on to give his clo­sing com­ments wit­hout un­du­ly pro­lon­ging the dis­cus­si­on. I was gra­te­ful for that. We al­re­a­dy had a lot of food for thought.

It was a dis­cus­si­on about the third use of the law. That me­ans a doct­ri­ne which main­tains that the law al­so be­longs to Chris­ti­ans. It be­ca­me ob­vi­ous du­ring the dis­cus­si­on that this no­ti­on is not bib­li­cal. Ac­cor­ding to the Bib­le, Chris­ti­ans live un­der God’s grace, not un­der the law. The Holy Spi­rit and God’s grace gui­de each Chris­ti­an to live as a be­lie­ver.

What, then, are the first and se­cond uses of the law? The first use of the law sets the ba­sis for tem­po­ral law, the way we or­der and re­gu­la­te our eve­ry­day life. The se­cond use of the law ma­kes un­be­lie­ving pe­op­le see their sin­ful­ness be­fo­re God and the­re­by awa­kens pe­ni­ten­ce in them.

A per­son who has his or her sins for­gi­ven fal­ls in­to the ten­der care of God’s grace through the ato­ne­ment ac­hie­ved by Christ. The grace that car­ries and ca­res for him or her is the most pre­ci­ous thing in hu­man life. Yet, God’s grace en­cou­ra­ges us to en­de­a­vor in faith and to live in a way that res­pects the va­lue of the gos­pel.

Alt­hough no hu­man being can ever ful­fil the law, Chris­ti­ans want and try to obey God’s will. This is the ef­fect of grace, as is shown in the let­ter to Ti­tus: ”For the grace of God has ap­pe­a­red that of­fers sal­va­ti­on to all pe­op­le. It te­ac­hes us to say “No” to un­god­li­ness and world­ly pas­si­ons, and to live self-cont­rol­led, up­right and god­ly li­ves in this pre­sent age.” (Tit. 2:11–12).

It is com­for­ting to know that we can, at all ti­mes, trust in God’s care and be­lie­ve our wrong choi­ces for­gi­ven. We make bad and er­ro­ne­ous choi­ces, even though we want to live in ac­cor­dan­ce with God’s will.

Du­ring the int­ro­duc­ti­on and the dis­cus­si­on that fol­lo­wed I fi­nal­ly un­ders­tood so­met­hing of what is me­ant by the third use of the law. It is ac­tu­al­ly stran­ge that I have li­ved to such ad­van­ced age wit­hin Chris­ti­a­ni­ty, being fa­mi­li­ar with that exp­res­si­on but not un­ders­tan­ding its con­tent.

I could ver­ba­li­ze my re­a­li­za­ti­on like this: as be­lie­vers, we do not PER­FORM faith but rat­her LIVE of faith. The Bib­le is not a book of law that could be used to find pre­ci­se ans­wers to spe­ci­fic prob­le­ma­tic si­tu­a­ti­ons. A Bib­le like that would be me­re­ly a law book. For be­lie­vers, ho­we­ver, the Bib­le is first and fo­re­most tes­ti­mo­ny of Christ.

Now, so­me­o­ne may quick­ly read through this blog post, roll their ey­es, and ask wha­te­ver is new in that – that is how it has al­wa­ys been. Ma­y­be that re­a­der has un­ders­tood things more quick­ly than I.

I so­me­ti­mes need a long time and many re­pe­ti­ti­ons to un­ders­tand, but when I fi­nal­ly do un­ders­tand, it is a jo­y­ful ex­pe­rien­ce. That is why it is good for me to come to ser­vi­ces over and over again, alt­hough the spe­a­kers may pre­ach about the same texts and give the same exp­la­na­ti­ons, and alt­hough I may miss parts of the ser­mon be­cau­se I am hard of he­a­ring, have thoughts that tend to wan­der, and may even doze off for while.

Text: Kirs­ti Wal­le­nius-Rii­hi­mä­ki

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal blog post here.


Herra, sinä olet laupias, muista minua, osoita ikiaikaista hyvyyttäsi. Ps. 25:6

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