1st Baptist Church 5th July 2009
“Any gospel that does not deal with the need of the community is in reality no gospel at all.”
John Stott’s “Missions in Modern Times”: • Social Service is a mean of Evangelism • Social Service is a manifestation of Evangelism • Social Service is a partner of Evangelism • Social Service is the result of Evangelism
James 1:27 Another facet of social service: It is an act of worship!
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look afterorphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
1. Religion that is pure and faultless: “Religion”: World’s definition: Christian’s limited definition: NT’s: James’ outward expression: inward expression:
Proverbs 14:31: “ He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours (literally – worship) God.”
2. The poor: 2 Hebrew concepts: a. the destitute – without money – economically deprived ‘in distress’ b. the oppressed – without power (weak) – no rights - being ignored
c. The Bible speaks of another group of ‘the poor’ in very positive terms:- - the spiritually poor! (those who are spiritually meek and dependent on God)
The prophet Zephaniah: (3:12) ‘the meek and humble who trusts in the Lord’ The prophet Isaiah: (66:2) ‘the humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at the Word of God’ The Lord Jesus: (Mt. 5:3,5) ‘the poor in spirit and the meek’
3. Looking after….. “To look after” – very loaded statement in the NT 1. It is like Docas in Acts 9:35 - always doing good and helping the poor and the needy
Pau Pi of Agape Child’s Development Home of Myanmar
2. Like the Lord to John on the Cross: John 19:25-27 examples 1. working with the orphans in Cambodia 2. Dawn Win Win Aye
The call to the Church of Malaysia….. from being middle class to a caring class
Both the OT and NT saw poverty as social evil that must be abolished not tolerated… and social injustice must be challenged and God’s people must champion the destitute and the oppressed!
Illustration: The Ministry of O2F
Therefore Christians must …. • Be authentic • Practice the Biblical values of ‘giving and receiving’ • Love the poor – “loving is hard work” • Set up a mission to the poor • Work in partnership with Christian agencies and other churches who are in the frontlines of ministry among the poor.
The promises as seen in Proverbs: • 14:21 • 19:17 • 21:13 • 22:2,9