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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Sa­ved to ser­ve our neigh­bor

Vieraskieliset / In-english
15.2.2019 10.28

Bib­li­cal faith is still vi­tal for all pe­op­le. Wit­hout faith it is im­pos­sib­le to ple­a­se God (Heb. 11:6).

Faith opens the way to ever­las­ting life, and this faith is born through the he­a­ring of the mes­sa­ge of God’s king­dom. This is why life’s gre­a­test tre­a­su­re for a be­lie­ver is God’s holy gos­pel.

The re­demp­ti­on and ato­ne­ment of sin-fal­len man has re­qui­red the gre­a­test sac­ri­fi­ce of all: the Son of God has comp­le­te­ly gi­ven up eve­ryt­hing of him­self, gi­ven us His all, le­a­ving not­hing for him­self (Lar­ge Ca­tec­hism).

Li­ving faith brings forth the fruits of the Spi­rit (Gal. 5:22). It gi­ves the will and strength to ser­ve God and our neigh­bor. Faith will not le­a­ve a be­lie­ver id­le, be­cau­se God’s love opens our ey­es to see our neigh­bor in need of help.

A be­lie­ver li­ves for Christ and for his neigh­bor: for Christ in faith and for his neigh­bor in love (Mar­tin Lut­her).

The Bib­le and his­to­ry te­ach us what God’s love can ac­comp­lish. Love does not cal­cu­la­te or eva­lu­a­te what a per­son will them­sel­ves be get­ting in exc­han­ge for their deeds.

The ba­sis for acts of love is not a good per­son’s glory or re­pu­ta­ti­on. They are not re­cor­ded.

Paul sta­tes the prin­cip­le for Chris­ti­an de­a­con work: “Each one must give as he has de­ci­ded in his he­art, not re­luc­tant­ly or un­der com­pul­si­on, for God lo­ves a cheer­ful gi­ver.” (2 Cor. 9:7)

Sac­ri­fi­ces in be­half of our neigh­bor and for the work of the gos­pel can ac­comp­lish much when God gi­ves His bles­sing.

The Chris­ti­an Doct­ri­ne sums up the en­ti­re life of a be­lie­ver as fol­lows: When God through His grace for­gi­ves our sins, this brings forth love, thank­ful­ness, and obe­dien­ce of faith in our he­arts. These prompt us to ser­ve God and our neigh­bor (CD 1948: 85).

The Bib­le tel­ls of si­tu­a­ti­ons in which the Chris­ti­ans stop­ped to dis­cuss how they could help those who are in need. An examp­le of this is the de­pic­ti­on in the Acts of the Apost­les, in which the de­a­con work of the ear­ly church was plan­ned and or­ga­ni­zed (Acts 6:1–4).

Ser­ving our neigh­bor ari­ses from Bib­li­cal hu­man va­lue and res­pon­si­bi­li­ty, which inc­lu­de di­men­si­ons of spi­ri­tu­al, men­tal and tem­po­ral sup­port.

Je­sus, who did not come to be ser­ved, but to ser­ve, con­fir­med the dual com­mand­ment of love (Mat. 22:37–39). With His own examp­le He taught how we should treat our neigh­bor. The most pre­ci­ous way of ser­ving one anot­her is to keep the gos­pel re­a­di­ly avai­lab­le.

Text: Ju­ha­ni Liuk­ko­nen

Trans­la­tor: An­ge­la Hän­ni­nen

Pub­lis­hed in Sii­o­nin Lä­he­tys­leh­ti, June 20, 2018