Out of conviction

I spread the good news out of conviction (campaign: 42 days for my friends)

Service (Campaign: 42 Days for My Friends), , , automatically translated , Evangelical Free Church congregation Leichlingen

Introduction

Last week we talked about our conviction. I almost like the term "conviction" better than the word "faith".

If the word "belief" is used by anyone in the company, e.g. in the context of "I believe that's how it works", then very often the saying "belief is not knowledge! very often the saying: "Belief does not mean knowledge!

It upsets me a bit, because as a Christian you are naturally more sensitive to the word "faith".

One could reply to this, it occurred to me during the preparation: "Knowing is often just believing!" Because in order to really know, you have to have you have to have all the background information, and most of the time you don't have that. Knowledge is acquired from books, the media, from other people, and you have to and sometimes you just have to believe them.

But one clearly notices that faith is often only seen as an imprecise knowledge, quasi a preliminary stage to knowledge. I believe in a higher being, hm could be that there is something there, etc.

This wrong view of faith is already widespread and partly even justified. In the past, people did not understand things and explained them to themselves religiously. The weather was bad, so they made themselves unpopular with some god. The fact that a volcano They had no way of knowing that it might have been caused by a volcano far away that threw dust up into the stratosphere.

I once saw in a documentary about a primitive people that someone had made a small statue in the shape of an aeroplane. He saw the planes and couldn't explain them, so he made an idol of them. Too little knowledge became a religion here.

Some people also accuse us Christians of this. At university I had to listen to the basic lecture for my minor subject of biology and there was also a part on evolution. part about evolution. At the beginning, the professor was very contemptuous about people who don't believe in the theory of evolution.

I went up to him afterwards and asked him about it and he asked me if I was a Creationist. I had never heard this word before I had never heard this word before, and I deduced from the root word "creativ, creieren" that he probably meant whether I believed in the doctrine of creation. in the doctrine of creation. I answered in the affirmative and then he waved me off: "You only believe, but I am a scientist!

This professor saw it that way: Faith below knowledge, inferior to knowledge. One believes only when one cannot or do not want to.

Actually, the word "faith" is a kind of tea kettle. I suppose you remember this children's game. Two children secretly agree on a word that has two meanings, e.g. plaster. And then both children explain their word to the group without using it. "Out of my little teapot made." And the second child then says: "You need my teakettle when you get a piece of the first teakettle on your head."

And the word "faith" is also a kind of tea kettle.

You can see this clearly in an example. Imagine your spouse or your child wants to start a business. And you now say:

"I think you'll be fine."

As a comparison:

"I think it's ten o'clock."

That is a clear difference. The second "belief" only means this inaccurate knowledge of what we had just considered.

But what is the first "faith"? I trust that you will make it, I bet on it, I am convinced that you will make it, I believe in you. in you.

And what about our faith in Jesus Christ?

Is it this confidence, this conviction? Or is it rather a "maybe", a "could be"? Perhaps there is a higher being?

What does the Bible say about faith at all?

Faith in the Bible

There is a very beautiful definition of this in the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:1,2; NGÜ):

1 What then is faith? It is a counting on the fulfilment of what one hopes for, a conviction of the reality of unseen things. 2 Because our ancestors had this faith, God gives them a good testimony in the Scriptures.

So faith means that one expects one's hopes to be fulfilled. And one is convinced of the reality of invisible things.

On the one hand, this is a very general definition, independent of the Christian faith, but on the other hand it goes far beyond "I somehow believe in a God".

Let's start with the hopes. What are our hopes?

Depending on our age, we hope for a good job or a good pension. We hope that we will get along well with our parents, with our children, with our spouse, or that we will first find a spouse. We hope that our economic existence will somehow last until we retire and, if possible, beyond.

We hope that we in the congregation will not feel alienated in the future. We hope that we will still get enough nourishment in the get enough nourishment. We hope that we still get along well with everyone - or most everyone - in the congregation. And much more...

How sustainable is a faith based on the fulfilment of these hopes?

Is it not often the case that we expect God to fulfil these hopes? I start with God and then my earthly problems are solved. and if that doesn't happen, what then? What remains then? I have worked so hard for God and yet so much goes wrong. Am I not important, are my worries, my needs and hopes not important?

Yes, you are, I am. At such points I find it difficult to simply argue with biblical passages, because when hopes fail, it often goes very deep and the person concerned usually has to go through a deep valley.

Nevertheless, I would like to look at a few biblical passages, but more as a possible hint. I don't know who is in a deep valley and where he or she is. valley and where he or she is. Perhaps this biblical passage has already been dealt with or perhaps it does not it doesn't fit after all.

Start with us

Let's start with the classic on this (Matthew 6:31-34; NGÜ):

31 So do not worry! Ask not: What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? 32 For these things are the concern of the Gentiles 'who do not know God'. But your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33 Let God's kingdom and God's righteousness be your first concern, and then all the rest will be given to you. 34 Do not worry about the next day. The next day will take care of itself. It is enough that each day brings its own burden."

That sounds simple now. Food, drink, clothing, the most basic needs are met, if you really put your back into it in the kingdom of God. in the kingdom of God. I don't think that's what it means.

The kingdom of God begins first in ourselves. What is my life like? Do I bring my problems and sins to Jesus? Am I cleaning things up? That is what it means that God's justice is at work in my life. Actually, every Christian has to deal with this every now and then, not just people in crisis.

And some life crises are also triggered by the fact that one's own life is not in order before God. But that does not apply to all crises, We have to be clear about that. Just as everyone is not the architect of his own happiness, everyone is not the cause of his own failure.

But you still have to ask yourself: Where do I stand in the way of God's kingdom and his justice in my life and my environment? No one can take this questioning away from you.

What hopes?

And then you have to deal with the hopes that we have. The things I listed earlier: Hope for economic existence, relationships with relatives, the community, etc. are all hopes that are completely normal, that all people at all times have had and still have. and have at all times.

If you enter the word "hope" into a Bible search engine, you will find many passages in the Psalms that deal with a deeper hope. hope, e.g. in Psalm 39:8; NGÜ:

What then shall I put my hope in, Lord? My waiting and hoping is for you alone!

Or Psalm 71:5; NGÜ

For my hope is in you, O LORD, my confidence from my youth.

The first Psalm, Psalm 39, is about earthly transience, ultimately about the fear of it, and the second Psalm, Psalm 71, is about a review of life and the awareness that God has always accompanied the psalmist, Psalm 71, is about a review of life and the awareness that God has always accompanied the psalmist.

This hope goes deeper than the hopes listed at the beginning. The Psalm writers certainly did not want to live in poverty, they certainly also wanted to certainly also wanted to get along well with their family and they certainly also wanted to feel comfortable in the temple. But that was not the basis of their of their faith. They put their hope in God, come what may.

And if we return to the Bible verse from the Letter to the Hebrews, it also makes sense somehow:

Faith is counting on the fulfilment of what one hopes for, a conviction of the reality of invisible things.

We count on Jesus Christ being there. For example, he said in Matthew 28:20 that he is with us all the days. And that's where the second part of the verse comes in. part of the verse comes into play. We are convinced of the reality of invisible things. We cannot see Jesus. You can't take photos and so prove his existence watertight.

But we are convinced that he is there and that is what makes the right faith.

Unfortunately, our earthly hopes can sometimes be dashed by misfortune, illness or human imperfection, but Jesus is always there. always there. And he is also there in the deep valley and also helps when we have to find our way in the labyrinth of our failure.

The others are doing well

Now we have dealt with our faith and conviction for a long time. What about the others now? Am I convinced that the others also need Jesus?

For this purpose, take a look at the following Bible passage (Job 21:7-15; SLAUGHTER):

7 Why then do the wicked live, and grow old, and great, and strong? 8 Their seed flourisheth before their face, round about them; and their offspring are before their eyes. 9 Their houses have peace, no fear; the rod of God smiteth them not. 10 His bull sprinkles, and not in vain; his heifer calves without miscarriage. 11 They let their young go out like a flock of sheep, and their children leap about. 12 They sing aloud to the timbrel and lute, and are merry at the sound of the shawm. 13 They spend their days in well-doing, and in a moment go down to the realm of the dead. 14 And yet they say to God, "Depart from us; for the knowledge of your ways we ask not! 15 What is the Almighty that we should serve him, and what profit is it to us to call upon him?"

In this text, I spent quite a long time on the word "ungodly". Other translations write "wicked" here.

Today it is difficult to see those who believe in God as the good guys and the others as the bad guys. In the past and even today, there were and still are, unfortunately, enough people who say they believe in God and yet still objectively do evil.

I would like to stay with the word "ungodly" and define such people as they are described in verses 14 and 15:

"Depart from us; for the knowledge of thy ways we ask not! What is the Almighty that we should serve him, and what profit is it to us to call upon him?"

Translated into modern terms, "I want to live as a good person, but God doesn't interest me." This, I believe, many would sign and not take it as an insult, whereas equating the godless with the wicked would already be taken as an insult by most atheists.

Well, what good does it do me to call on God? Such thoughts can come to mind from time to time. When I walk through our settlement and see noble cars and mobile homes in front of cars and camper vans parked in front of houses, and then the finely manicured front garden with the perfectly laid driveway, then I could start to think about our driveway. I might start to wonder when I compare this with our driveway and our cars. One consolation, of course, is that burglars are more likely to break into the into each other's houses.

But the question remains: Do people who are doing so well really need Jesus Christ?

Obviously, the answer to this question is yes. After all, all people have the same hopes as we do. OK, maybe not the longing for a church where you get spiritual nourishment and feel good, but the longing for friends, for a social environment where you feel good, of course all people have that.

And a life without God ultimately means a reckoning with the fulfilment of earthly hopes and if one is already beyond that, a bitter, disillusioned life of lamenting over failed hopes. This can be the result when the hopes have hopes have vanished into thin air. And the reality of invisible things is denied or sought elsewhere, where they are not reality. are.

With Jesus Christ, one has a hope that goes beyond that. He helps us to classify our lives correctly, to deal with our earthly hopes, with failure as well as with success. He helps us to deal with our earthly hopes, with failure as well as with success. And Jesus means well with us, that is the invisible reality of which I am convinced.

So it makes sense that people of all kinds hear about Jesus Christ.

The campaign impulses state on the fifth day:

Specifically
"Invite a fellow Christian and take a half-hour prayer walk through the neighbourhood together. prayer walk through the neighbourhood. Bless the people in the houses Pray that they will come to know Jesus soon!

I don't know if it's necessary to walk through the settlement in pairs, but to walk through the settlement praying and blessing your neighbours. and pray for them to get to know Jesus, why not?

Summary

I come to the conclusion: