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
Raamatun mukaan jokainen Jumalan valtakunnan jäsen on avoin lähetyskirje omassa toimintaympäristössään (2. Kor. 3:2–3). Tämä asia voi olla kipupiste uskovaiselle ihmiselle, sillä henkilökohtaisesta uskosta puhumiselle on korkea kynnys nyky-yhteiskunnassa.