The articles in this paper speak about repentance and mercy. Both are very important in Christianity. They became especially significant to me about ten years ago. I had grown in a believing home, but had fallen away into unbelief because of my sins.
God awakened my conscience, and I understood that I should become a child of God again. God’s word spoke to me and showed that I had sinned and should have my sins forgiven. I began to seek God’s forgiveness.
God guided my steps to a believing person who preached all my sins forgiven based on the salvation by Jesus. My heart was filled with joy and peace. I had been re-born as a child of God, and I now had the hope of eternal life in my heart. I wanted to gather together with other believers to hear God’s word in His congregation.
Jesus sent His congregation to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all nations (Luke 24:47). Martin Luther taught, in accordance with the Bible, that repentance is very simple. There are two parts to it: first, penitence for sin, and second, belief in absolution, which means that the sin has been forgiven through the merit of Jesus.
The gospel reveals to us God’s miraculous grace: everybody can believe their sins forgiven in repentance. God does not deny forgiveness from anybody. On the contrary, He offers it to all people (Acts 17:30). The people in God’s congregation are still calling those who are lost in the darkness of sin: repent and believe the gospel.
Whoever believes the gospel receives the Holy Spirit into His heart and becomes a member of God’s kingdom. In that kingdom we feel divine peace and joy even in the midst of life’s turmoil (Rom. 14:17). In baptism God makes with the believing person a covenant of grace, whereby He will nurture his faith with the gospel and keep him on the way to heaven.
Text: Pekka Aittakumpu
Translation: S.-L. L.
Julkaistu englanninkielisessä numerossa 10.5.2017
Kristillisyytemme toiminnan eräs perusarvo on vapaaehtoisuuden vaaliminen. Toiminta on vapaaehtoista myös taloudellisesta näkökulmasta, sillä se pohjautuu lahjoitusvaroihin. Toiminnan organisoiminen auttaa tehtävien ja vastuun jakamisessa. Jotta rauhanyhdistys toimii, se edellyttää jäsenten sitoutumista, vastuun ottamista ja luottamusta.