Saturday, April 2, 2011
Last week I wrote about how Christians need to be careful that works don't take the place of faith in God as a route to salvation. The natural progression, then, is to write this week about why Christians need to do works. The importance of service is found in numerous places throughout the Bible, starting way back in the beginning of the Old Testament and continuing through Jesus' time. In the Old Testament, a lot of the service is directed towards taking care of widows and orphans. In the New Testament, we find Jesus saying "whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). He was speaking in response to a question asked about serving the poor, hungry, and strangers.
For a more modern (and abstract - Luther is tough to read) take, Martin Luther says that these works serve the purpose of disciplining the body and purifying it of evil desires. In a broader sense, Luther also says that these works should be done out of service to your neighbors, in a spirit of love, so that we may yield to God in our service.
But what sort of service should one be doing? This can vary greatly from person to person, and the determining factor is really what you're good at. I wrote a couple weeks ago about spiritual gifts - this is where they come into play. Discover what you do best, then go out and do it as a service to your neighbors, but most of all as a service of love to God.
Posted by MattHaugen at 10:31 PM