Keskiviikko 26.9.2018
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Jos me elämme Hengen varassa, meidän on myös seurattava Hengen johdatusta. Emme saa tavoitella turhaa kunniaa emmekä ärsyttää ja kadehtia toisiamme. Gal. 5:25-26

Editorial: God opens His salvation through His word

in English 2.4.2014 00:00 | Siionin Lähetyslehti
The motto for the Pudasjärvi Summer Services quoted words spoken to Jesus by Thomas, his disciple: “My Lord and my God”. When doubting Thomas saw the wounds in the Saviour’s hands, his eyes opened to see the redemption prepared by God. Jesus’ response reflects the essence of faith: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).
We could imagine that Thomas found it easy to believe because he was able to see Jesus, listen to His instruction, and even touch His hands that had been nailed to the cross. While preaching and performing miracles in His home town, however, Jesus concluded: “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” (Mark. 6:4). Although many people knew Jesus, they did not see that He was the Son of God because they lacked faith.

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1). Human reason can never comprehend God’s promises, which are only comprehensible through faith. Luther said: “I believe that I cannot believe in Jesus Christ out of my own reason and power, nor come to him, but that I have been called by the Holy Spirit via the gospel” (Small Catechism).

Faith is a work of God. It can only be possessed by belief and trust in God and His word, not by any temporal characteristics. As a consequence of the Fall, human beings are prone to doubts and sin. Even those who possess the gift of faith have this tendency. We can lose faith because of sin. Sin draws us away from God and breaks our trusting relationship with Him.

Apostle Peter preached the gospel of Christ in Cornelius’ home: “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.” Many people received the grace of repentance in those services. Peter’s sermon was testimony of the death and resurrection of Christ. Luke tells us about the impact of that sermon like this: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.” (Acts 10:44).

A person listening to God’s word is looking into a mirror which shows their faults and errors. A repentant sinner is able to hear the comforting gospel of Christ, the words of forgiveness which cleanse them of all sins. God’s word comforts, strengthens and nurtures us. It also gives us the power to change our lifestyle. It engenders love and gratitude.

The gospel of God’s kingdom is meant for all people. Those who have received the gift of faith wish to bring this joyful message to others. God has His own time for the work of the gospel. He gives a time of searching, when He awakens the person and allows His kingdom to approach that person. At that time it is possible to repent and to believe the gospel.

Olli Lohi
Translation: S.-L. L.

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