One of the strangest disparities of history lies between the sense of abundance felt by older and simpler societies and the sense of scarcity felt by the ostensibly richer societies of today.
— Richard Weaver
I remember only too well the first time I met Francis Schaeffer. In 1979 I was puttering around in one of my favorite used bookstores — on Locust Street, just a couple of blocks from the beautiful and magnificent Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis. The cathedral is a vivid reminder of the remarkable flowering of creativity and beauty that the Gospel has always provoked through the ages.
Just out of sight of the great Easter pinnacle is a little row of quirky stores and businesses. There are a couple of musty antique dealers, a disreputable-looking chili restaurant, a jaunty coffee shop, a boutique specializing in platform shoes from the seventies, and, of course, the bookstore — stocking a rather eccentric jumble of old magazines, cheap paperbacks, and fine first editions arranged in no apparent order.
I had just discovered a good hardback copy of Scott’s Ivanhoe and a wonderful turn-of-the-century pocket edition of Ruskin’s Seven Lamps of Architecture — both for less than the cost of new paperback copies — when I rounded a corner and bumped into Dr. Schaeffer. Literally.
I had been reading his books since the late sixties and looked to him as my spiritual and intellectual mentor. Not only did he express his orthodox Reformed faith in a clear and thoughtful fashion, his appreciation for the great heritage of Christendom’s art, music, and ideas and his commitment to practical justice and true spirituality made him a beacon light of hope to me. In 1948, he had gone to live in the Swiss Alps just below Villars. There, in a little mountain chalet, he established a unique missionary outreach to all who might find their way to his door.
Over the years, thousands of students, skeptics, and searchers found their way to that door. He named the ministry L’Abri — a French word meaning shelter — an apt description for the function it served to the rootless generation of the Cold War era. It had always seemed to me that L’Abri was precisely the kind of witness that the church at the end of the twentieth century desperately needed.
I’d like to say that as I stood face-to-face with my hero, I was able to articulate my appreciation for all that he had done for my faith and my walk with Christ. I’d like to say that I was able to express my gratitude and then perhaps strike up a stimulating conversation about, say, epistemological self-consciousness. I’d like to say that as providence afforded me the opportunity I was able to think of all the questions I’d always wanted answered.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. Instead, the first thought that sprang into my mind was: “Oh my, he’s short!” My second thought was: “What a haircut!” My third thought was: “And what’s the deal with the knickers?”
In shock, I realized that I couldn’t think of a single intelligent thing to say. I had fallen epistemologically unconscious.
Evidently, Dr. Schaeffer could read the awkward consternation in my eyes. He chuckled, introduced himself to me, and struck up a conversation. Amidst my embarrassed befuddlement he was cheerfully gracious and kind. He commended me on my selections and then showed me a couple other books he thought I might like — a fine paperback copy of Van Til’s The Calvinistic Concept Of Culture and a rare edition of Schaff’s The Principle of Protestantism.
Here was one of the brightest minds of our generation giving his time and attention to a gawky young Christian who couldn’t even string together a coherent sentence. I later discovered that this was typical of him. Though he was often passionate, stubborn, and irascible, his life was suffused with a clear sense of calling — a calling to serve others. He demonstrated that calling on a daily basis — not just through heroic feats of sacrifice but through the quiet virtue of ordinary kindness. He believed that the Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers was best portrayed in the beauty of caring human relationships. And so he listened. He cared. He gave. He put into motion Christ’s tender mercies through the simplest acts of humble service.
I came away from that first brief encounter with Dr. Schaeffer with an entirely new understanding of biblical mercy. With a servant’s heart, he treated me as if I mattered. He treated me the way we are all to treat one another.
Service is a much ballyhooed concept these days. The literature of business success and personal management tosses it about rather profligately.
We are told, for instance, that our industrial economy has been almost completely transformed into a service economy by the advent of the information age. The service factor is the new by-word for success in the crowded global marketplace. Good service guarantees customer loyalty, management efficiency, and employee morale. It provides a competitive edge for companies in an increasingly cut-throat business environment. It is the means toward empowerment, flexibility, and innovation at a time when those qualities are essential for business survival. It prepares ordinary men and women to out-sell, out-manage, out-motivate, and out-negotiate their competition. It enables them to “swim with the sharks without being eaten alive.” 1
According to Jack Eckerd and Chuck Colson, service on the job and in the workplace can mean many things: “Valuing workers. Managing from the trenches. Communicating. Inspiring excellence. Training. Using profits to motivate.” 2
Virtually all the corporate prognosticators, strategic forecasters, motivational pundits, and management consultants agree — from Tom Peters, John Naisbitt, and Stephen Covey to Richard Foster, Michael Gerber, and Zig Ziglar. They all say that service is an indispensable key to success in business or success in life.
According to these analysts, service in business is essentially a complex combination of common courtesy, customer satisfaction, and the “spirit of enterprise.” It is simply realizing that the customer is always right and then going the extra mile. It is a principle-centered approach to human relationships and community responsibilities. It is putting first things first. [3
This new emphasis on service is not just confined to the corporate world. It has also suddenly reappeared as a stock-in-trade public virtue in the discourse of politics. Candidates now offer themselves for public service rather than to merely run for office. They invoke cheery images of community service, military service and civic service as evidence of their suitability to govern the affairs of state. Once in office they initiate vast federal programs for national service. They charge the lumbering government bureaucracy with the task of domestic service. And they offer special recognition for citizens who have performed exemplary volunteer service.
Again, service is defined rather broadly in a series of happy platitudes as an expansive sense of public-spiritedness, good neighborliness, community-mindedness, or big-hearted cooperativeness.
All of these things are certainly admirable. They are fine and good as far as they go. But they are not at all what the Bible has in mind when it speaks of service — as Francis Schaeffer would no doubt have readily attested.
Biblical service isn’t a tactic designed to boost profit margins, protect market shares, keep customers happy, or improve employee relations. It isn’t a strategy designed to inculcate patriotism, strengthen community relations, or attract more investments. It is not a technique to pad resumes, garner votes, or patronize constituents. It isn’t a style of leadership, a personality bent, or a habit of highly effective people.
Instead, biblical service is a priestly function of mercy. The Hebrew word often used for service in the Old Testament is sharath. It literally means “to minister” or “to treat with affection.” Similarly, in the New Testament the Greek word diakoneo is often used. It literally means “to care for” or to “offer relief.” In both cases, the priestly connotations and the merciful intentions of service are quite evident. In both cases, the emphasis is on the interpersonal dimension rather than the institutional dimension, on mercy rather than management, on true righteousness rather than mere rightness. Biblical service is far more concerned about taking care of souls than about taking care of business.
This distinction between the ministry of service and the business of service is like the difference between faith in God and faith in faith. 4
Doing Unto Others
God is merciful and just.
He works righteousness and justice for all. Morning by morning, He dispenses His justice without fail and without partiality. All his ways are just, so that injustice is an abomination to Him.
Thus, He is adamant about ensuring the cause of the abused, the meek, and the weak. Time after time, Scripture stresses this important attribute of God:
The Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, and He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:7–9 NASB)
“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the Lord. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” (Psalm 12:5)
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalm 68:5–6)
God cares for the needy. And His people are to do likewise. If God has comforted us, then we are to comfort others. If God has forgiven us, then we are to forgive others. If God has loved us, then we are to love others. If He has taught us, then we are to teach others. If He has borne witness to us, then we are to bear witness to others. If He has laid down His life for us, then we are to lay down our lives for one another. 5
Whenever God commanded the priestly nation of Israel to imitate Him in ensuring justice for the wandering homeless, the alien, and the sojourner, He reminded them that they were once despised, rejected, and homeless themselves. It was only by the grace and mercy of God that they had been redeemed from that low estate. Thus they were to exercise compassion to the brokenhearted and the dispossessed. They were to serve.
Priestly privilege brings priestly responsibility. If Israel refused to take up that responsibility, then God would revoke their privilege. If they refused to exercise reciprocal mercy, then God would rise up in His anger to visit the land with His wrath and displeasure, expelling them into the howling wilderness once again. On the other hand, if they fulfilled their calling to live lives of merciful service, then they would ever be blessed. 6
The principle still holds true. Those of us who have received the compassion of the Lord on High are to demonstrate tenderness in kind to all those around us. This is precisely the lesson Jesus was driving at in the parable of the unmerciful slave (Matthew 18:23–35).
The moral of the parable is clear. The needy around us are living symbols of our own former helplessness and privation. We are therefore to be living symbols of God’s justice, mercy, and compassion. We are to do as He has done. God has set the pattern by His gracious working in our lives. We are to follow that pattern by serving others in the power of the indwelling Spirit.
In other words, the Gospel calls us to live daily as if people really matter. It calls us to live lives of selfless concern. We are to pay attention to the needs of others. In both word and deed, in both thought and action we are to weave ordinary kindness into the very fabric of our lives.
But this kind of ingrained mercy goes far beyond mere politeness. We are to demonstrate concern for the poor. We are to show pity toward the weak. We are to rescue the afflicted from violence. We are to familiarize ourselves with the case of the helpless, give of our wealth, and share of our sustenance. We are to put on “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). We are to take up “the case of the stranger” (Job 29:16). We are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) and “rescue those being led away to death” (Proverbs 24:11–12).
According to the Scriptures, this kind of comprehensive servanthood emphasis is, in fact, a primary indication of the authenticity of our faith: “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” (James 1:27).
We are called to do “righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19 NASB). We are to be ministers of God’s peace, instruments of His love, and ambassadors of His kingdom. We are to care for the helpless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the prisoner, and protect the innocent. We are to live lives of merciful service.
In writing to Titus, the young pastor of Crete’s pioneer church, the apostle Paul pressed home this fundamental truth with a clear sense of persistence and urgency. The task before Titus was not an easy one. Cretan culture was terribly worldly. It was marked by deceit, ungodliness, sloth, and gluttony (Titus 1: 12). Thus, Paul’s instructions were precise. Titus was to preach the glories of grace, but he was also to make good deeds evident. Priestly mercy and selfless servanthood were to be central priorities in his new work:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:11–14 NASB)
Paul tells Titus he should build his entire fledgling ministry around works of mercy: He was to be an example of good deeds (Titus 2:7). He was to teach the people to watch for chances to do good (3:1). They were all to “learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they might provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives” (3:14). Some within the church professed to know God, “but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good” (1:16). Titus was to “rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith” (1:13).
As a pastor, Titus had innumerable tasks that he was responsible to fulfill. He had administrative duties, doctrinal duties, discipling duties, preaching duties, counseling duties, and arbitrating duties. But intertwined with them all, fundamental to them all, were his servanthood duties.
To the Uttermost
Paul called himself a servant (Galatians 1:10). Similarly, James, Peter, Epaphroditus, Timothy, Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel were all called servants. 7 In fact, even before they were called “Christians,” all of the first century believers were called “servants” (1 Corinthians 7:22).
Whenever and wherever the Gospel has gone out, the faithful have emphasized the priority of good works, especially works of compassion toward the needy. Every great revival in the history of the church, from Paul’s missionary journeys to the Reformation, from the Alexandrian outreach of Athanasius to the Great Awakening in America, has been accompanied by an explosion of priestly service. Hospitals were established. Orphanages were founded. Rescue missions were started. Almshouses were built. Soup kitchens were begun. Charitable societies were incorporated. The hungry were fed, the naked clothed, and the unwanted rescued. Word was wed to deeds. 8
This fact has always proven to be the bane of the church’s enemies. Unbelievers can argue theology. They can dispute philosophy. They can subvert history. And they can undermine character. But they are helpless in the face of extraordinary feats of selfless compassion. 9
Thus, Martin Luther said: “Where there are no good works, there is no faith. If works and love do not blossom forth, it is not genuine faith, the Gospel has not yet gained a foothold, and Christ is not yet rightly known.” 10
Likewise, the Westminster Confession asserted:
Good works, done in obedience to God’s commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel, stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God whose workmanship they are. 11
All too often in our own day though, we have tended to decline those priestly responsibilities — yielding the work of service to government bureaucrats or professional philanthropists. Grave societal dilemmas that have always busied the church before — like defending the sanctity of life, caring for the aged, and protecting the helpless — have been mentally and practically separated from our other “spiritual” responsibilities. They have been relegated to the status of “issues,” even declared “political” and put on the other side of the fence from us in “the separation of church and state.”
From a biblical perspective, though, these things are not “issues”; they cannot be separated from our tasks as believer-priests. They are our tasks as believer-priests. They are central to our purpose and calling in the world.
Many Christians have observed — only partly in jest — that if God doesn’t judge America soon, He’s probably going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. That may well be true — but not for the reason that we think. God did not judge Sodom and Gomorrah because of their rampant greed, perversity, and corruption. He judged them because, those who were charged with serving didn’t (Ezekiel 16:49–50). If God’s wrath ever does utterly consume America, it will be for precisely the same reason. When biblical service is replaced by its worldly counterfeits, the effects go far beyond rising taxes, bloated bureaucracies, welfare graft, urban blight, and sundered families. When we fail to do the priestly work of mercy and compassion, judgment becomes inevitable.
Sava of Trnova, writing at the end of the seventh century, said:
The chief spiritual works in the world are sevenfold: to admonish sinners, to instruct the ignorant, to counsel the doubtful, to comfort the sorrowful, to suffer wrongs patiently, to forgive injuries, and to pray for all men at all times. Thus, we are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to ransom the captives, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, and to rescue the perishing, for only in these corporal acts of service may this world of carnality be guarded from the full consequences of judgment. 12
The Bible tells us that if we will obey the command to be generous to the poor, we ourselves will taste joy. If we will serve the needy, God will preserve us. If we will offer priestly mercy to the afflicted, we ourselves will be spared. We will prosper, our desires will be satisfied, and we will even be raised up from beds of sorrow and suffering. 13 God will ordain peace for us, authenticate our faith, and bless our witness to the world. 14 But only if we will serve.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great Victorian pastor, not only was a masterful pulpiteer, administrator, writer, and evangelist, he was a determined champion of the deprived and the rejected. He gave more than half of his incredibly busy schedule to one or another of the sixty organizations or institutions he founded for their care and comfort. Explaining his furious activity on behalf of the poor and needy, Spurgeon said:
God’s intent in endowing any person with more substance than he needs is that he may have the pleasurable office, or rather the delightful privilege, of relieving want and woe. Alas, how many there are who consider that store which God has put into their hands on purpose for the poor and needy, to be only so much provision for their excessive luxury, a luxury which pampers them but yields them neither benefit nor pleasure. 15
Wherever committed Christians have gone, throughout Europe, into the darkest depths of Africa, to the outer reaches of China, along the edges of the American frontier, and beyond to the Australian outback, selfless care for the needy has been in evidence. In fact, most of the church’s greatest heroes are those who willingly gave the best of their lives to the less fortunate. Service was their hallmark. Mercy was their emblem.
A Life of Service
According to the majority of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century historians, the most remarkable event during America’s founding era did not take place on a battlefield. It did not occur during the course of the constitutional debates. It was not recorded during the great diplomatic negotiations with France, Spain, or Holland. It did not take place at sea, or in the assemblies of the states, or in the counsels of war.
In a humble demonstration of servanthood, the field commander of the continental armies surrendered his commission to the congressional authorities at Annapolis.
At the time, he was the idol of the country and his soldiers. The army was unpaid, and the veteran troops, well-armed and fresh from their victory at Yorktown, were eager to have him take control of the disordered country. Some wanted to crown him king. Others thought to make him a dictator — rather like Cromwell had been a century earlier in England.
With the loyal support of the army and the enthusiasm of the populace, it would have been easy enough for him to have made himself the ruler of the new nation. But instead, General George Washington resigned his officer’s commission. He appeared before President Thomas Mifflin and his cabinet and submitted himself to their governance.
Though he had often wrangled in disagreement with his superiors over matters of military strategy, pay schedules, supply shipments, troop deployment, and the overlap of civil and martial responsibilities, there was never any question of his ultimate loyalty or allegiance. In the end, he always submitted himself to the authority God had placed over him.
And that was no mean feat.
Washington had faithfully served under eleven different American presidents at a time of severest crisis. The first two held office prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence — Peyton Randolph of Virginia and Henry Middleton of South Carolina. The next six held office between the time of the Declaration and the ratification of the first constitution — John Hancock of Massachusetts, Henry Laurens of South Carolina, John Jay of New York, Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, Samuel Johnson of North Carolina, and Thomas McKean of Delaware. The last three held office under the Articles of Confederation — John Hanson of Maryland, Elias Budinot of New Jersey, and finally, Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania. Another four presidents would hold office during Washington’s short interlude away from public life prior to the ratification of the current constitution — Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts, Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania, and Cyrus Griffin of Virginia. During all those trying days, under each of those varied men, General Washington gave himself wholeheartedly to the loyal task of selfless service.
He obeyed orders. He rendered due respect. He yielded to the authority of lawful office and jurisdiction. He met the needs of the hour. He set aside personal ambition, preference, security, and at times, personal opinion in order to serve.
“His true greatness was evidenced,” said the pundit Henry Adams, “in the fact that he never sought greatness, but rather service.” 16 The dean of American historians, Francis Parkman, concurred that it was this “remarkable spirit of the servant” that ultimately “elevated him even higher in his countrymen’s estimations than he already was.” 17
George Washington lived a life of service. He practiced what we today call servant-leadership. He would settle for nothing less. He would strive for nothing more. And he left the disposition of the matter of his life and fortune in the hands of God.
Though we generally think of mercy more in terms of charity or philanthropy, Washington’s balanced and selfless perspective actually comes closer to the biblical ideal. Kindness, helpfulness, compassion, and care are the natural outgrowths of a servant’s heart. Where personal ambition and a lust for self-fulfillment are subdued, true mercy is sure to follow.
The prophet Micah condemned the people of his day for their heartless defrauding and victimizing of the needy (Micah 2:1–2). He asserted that the imminent judgment of their land was due to their tolerance of sin, their blatant selfishness, and their refusal to undertake their servanthood responsibilities (3:2–4). Instead, they were concerned only with their own comforts and pleasures (2:8–11). They were intent on their own personal peace and affluence, often at the cost of oppression and exploitation (3:5–11). They had thus violated the covenant (5:10–15).
Where there is no mercy there is no hope.
Thus, the Micah Mandate was not only a call to the people to repent and to return to the path of righteousness, it was a proclamation of reconciliation and healing. It was a promise of better things to come. The prophet asserted that the remnant would be regathered (Micah 4:6). The shame of affliction would be lifted (4:7). And the lost fortunes of the land would be restored (4:8).
Where there is mercy there is hope.
Therefore let us too be “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14 NASB).
Zealous for Good Deeds
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”(Micah 6:8).
Through the ages, the great heroes of the faith were notable as much for their charity and kindness as they were for their doctrinal fidelity. They were invariably men and women of mercy who lived lives of selfless service. Examples abound:
Not only did John Wyclif (1329–84) revive interest in the Scriptures during a particularly dismal and degenerate era with his translation of the New Testament into English, he also unleashed a grassroots movement of lay preachers and relief workers that brought hope to the poor for the first time since the peasants’ land had been taken more than two generations before. Those common Lollards — as they were most often called — carried Wyclif’s determined message of grace and mercy to the entire kingdom, laying the foundations for the Reformation in England more than a century and a half later.
John Calvin (1509–64) established Geneva as the epicenter of the Reformation with his profound theological insight and his rich devotional piety. His careful and systematic codification of the biblical foundations for Reform was like a magnet for the best and brightest throughout Christendom. The city quickly became an island of intellectual integrity and economic prosperity. In addition, though, it became renowned for its charitable compassion. It was a kind of safe haven for all of Europe’s poor and persecuted, dispossessed and distressed. There they found that Calvin had not only instructed the people in such things as the providence of God, but he had also taught them the importance of mercy in balancing the Christian life.
Dwight L. Moody (1837–99) was America’s foremost evangelist throughout the difficult days that immediately followed the cataclysm of the War Between the States and disruption of Reconstruction. Literally thousands came to know Christ because the former shoe salesman faithfully proclaimed the Gospel wherever and whenever he had opportunity — pioneering the methods of both modern crusade evangelism and Sunday-school outreach. But in addition to preaching to the masses, he cared for the masses. He was responsible for the establishment of some one hundred and fifty schools, street missions, soup kitchens, clinics, colportage societies, and other charitable organizations. He believed it was essential that Christians proclaim the Gospel in both word and deed. As a result, his impact on the nation is still felt through many of those institutions that continue their vital work — nearly a century after his death.
Dozens of others could be cited throughout the wide span of history: Polycarp (d. 155), Ambrose (d. 397), Angelica of Brescia (d. 1540), Edmund Arrowsmith (d. 1628) David Brainerd (d. 1747), George Mueller (d. 1898), and Florence Nightingale (d. 1910). Each made the priestly message of their lips manifest by the servanthood message of their hands. Thus, each became an emblem of mercy in this often merciless world.
Do a Good Turn Daily
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
An entire catalog of Scriptural exhorts us to act mercifully to those around us. 18 Do a brief concordance study — looking up the verses that deal with mercy, kindness, and compassion — to get a good overview of the subject. Try to make a list — from memory, if possible — of all the saints and heroes of the past whose stories of mercy, service, and compassion you have heard in sermons, Sunday school, missions conferences, Bible studies, or devotions. What does your list tell you about the importance and impact of mercy ministry on the overall history of the church? There are needs all around us. It doesn’t matter what section of the country we live in. It doesn’t matter what kind of neighborhood we call home. Single mothers silently struggle to make ends meet. Elderly couples try to get by on fixed incomes. Young families are stymied by debt, underemployment, illiteracy, physical handicaps, or prejudice. There are undernourished and poorly clothed children, third- and fourth-generation welfare dependents. There are hurting, lonely, desperate people. They may be right next door, down the street, around the block, across the tracks, or on the other side of town. But they are there. Stop. Look. Listen. See if you can’t develop new eyes to see those needs where they are. Now, get busy. You may not have abundant resources or even much time to spare, but none of us is too strapped to care about — and then do something about — the needs of others.
- Exodus 22:25
- Leviticus 19:10
- Leviticus 23:22
- Leviticus 25:35–37
- Numbers 18:24
- Deuteronomy 14:29
- Deuteronomy 15:1–2
- Deuteronomy 24:19–21
- Ruth 2:1–23
- Ruth 4:1–12
- Psalm 41:1–3
- Proverbs 11:25
- Proverbs 14:21
- Proverbs 14:31
- Proverbs 17:5
- Proverbs 21:13
- Proverbs 22:9
- Proverbs 28:27
- Proverbs 29:7
- Proverbs 31:8–9
- Isaiah 1:10–17
- Isaiah 10:1–2
- Isaiah 32:6–8
- Isaiah 58:1–12
- Amos 5:1–27
- Matthew 5:16
- Matthew 7:12
- Matthew 10:8
- Matthew 25:31–46
- Mark 12:44
- Luke 3:11
- Luke 6:38
- Luke 9:48
- Luke 10:30–37
- Luke 11:41
- Luke 12:33–34
- Acts 20:35
- Romans 12:8–20
- 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
- 2 Corinthians 8:1–24
- 2 Corinthians 9:7
- Galatians 5:6 – Galatians 6:2
- Galatians 6:9–10
- Ephesians 2:8–10
- Ephesians 5:2
- 2 Thessalonians 3:6–10
- 1 Timothy 5:8
- 1 Timothy 6:18–19
- Titus 2:11–14
- Titus 3:1
- Titus 3:8
- Titus 3:14
- Hebrews 13:16
- James 2:14–26
- 1 John 3:17
- Houston Chronicle, 18 May 1986; Forbes, 14 September 1992; Forbes, 9 September 1993; Wall Street Journal, 16 April 1992; Harvey Mackay, Swim with the Sharks (New York: William Morrow, 1988), 1.
- Chuck Colson and Jack Eckerd, Why America Doesn’t Work (Dallas: Word, 1991), 168.
- George Gilder, The Spirit of Enterprise (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984); Michael Gerber, Power Point (New York: HarperCollins, 1991); Tom Peters, Thriving on Chaos (New York: Knopf, 1987); Stephen Covey, Roger Merrill, and Rebecca Merrill, First Things First (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994).
- Faith in God is personal and objective. Faith in faith is impersonal and subjective. Faith in God transcends self-interest and self-fulfillment. Faith in faith descends into self-reliance and self-assurance. Faith in God is a belief in Someone who has revealed Himself to man “at many times and in various ways” (Hebrews 1: 1). Faith in faith is simply “a belief” in something or any thing (James 2:19).
- To see these principles demonstrated in Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 4:11; Matthew 28:20; John 15:26–27; 1 John 3:16.
- See Isaiah 1:11–17; Exodus 22:24; Psalm 41:1–2.
- James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Colossians 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:24; Psalm 105:42; Nehemiah 9:14; Psalm 89:3; Romans 6:20.
- George Grant, Bringing in the Sheaves: Transforming Poverty into Productivity (Brentwood, Tenn.: Wolgernuth and Hyatt, 1985).
- George Grant, Third Time Around (Brentwood, Tenn.: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1990).
- John Dillenberger, ed., Martin Luther (New York: Doubleday, 1961), 18.
- Confession, XVIII:2.
- Terra Ecalivat, VI: 82.
- Proverbs 14:21; Psalm 41:1–2; Proverbs 28:27; Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 11:25; Psalm 41:3.
- Isaiah 26:12; James 2:14–26; Isaiah 58:6–12.
- George H. Neville, Good Works (Edinburgh, UK: McGavock, 1956), 202.
- B.L. Cartwright, Washington (Boston: Little, Brown, 1924), 166.
- The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it may provide you with a good starting place for personal study. [Please refer to chart.]
Copyright © 1995 Reproduction Rights granted by Moody Press.