Recently, a pastor in northern China shared through Bible verses why Christians should behave out of love, encouraging them to help those in need so as to live out the gospel.
The pastor quoted from the peace offering in Hebrews 13:10-16 as a way to exhort Christians to do good works. The peace offering, also called the thanksgiving offering, is to thank God for His blessing, salvation, or guidance in our lives. The lamb offered at the peace offering is not burned up but shared with neighbors. This means that the Christians’ thanksgiving to God is not just lip service, but is offered to God and to share with others. In practical applications, we must behave like the apostle said: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews13:15-16 NIV)
He exhorted that Christians should not only love their fellow members in the Lord but also love everyone, according to 2 Peter 1:3-7.
"In fact, it is easier for the Chinese to love their friends and relatives and not care about those they are not familiar with. It is basically impossible by human nature to love all people, but we can love all people when we participate in the divine nature, and that is also God's idea,” he said.
Citing Luke 10:29-37, the pastor urged Christians to be others' neighbors.
"It is more important for us to be others' neighbors than think about 'who is our neighbor?' You must always be the neighbors of those in need, to love, care and help them whether they are your neighbors or not. This is the real practice of the commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself."
The pastor added, "The core of the gospel is the righteousness of God. Charity is the righteousness we have to live out. Obey the Holy Spirit and God's words to live out the righteousness revealed in the gospel. In short, we live the life of the gospel by doing good and sharing with others.”
He concluded that Christians should not merely listen to the word but deceive themselves because godliness should be presented by practical actions.
- Translated by Wylie Sun