Keep on in Hope (Part 2), By Mrs. W.S.
July 1, 2018
In a recent issue, we received a letter from one of our readers. We had many responses to this letter. The letter from W.S. is reprinted here, with some of the responses below:
Amish Voice: Why do you call your paper the Amish Voice? You know that some of the things you are trying to preach aren’t in the Old Order Amish beliefs! The main thing I have an issue with is this new belief of knowing one is saved! We read a lot of die Hoffnung and know that we have to “Keep on in die Hoffnung (hope)!”
I don’t think this is the way you were taught either. Stay in the way you were taught, we read. Why is it that when people want to be worldly and have worldly stuff, they think they can have it and still serve God? So many think they finally found the right faith. It just doesn’t all measure up in the Testament.
—Mrs. W. S.
I wish that every Christian would know the joy and confidence that comes from knowing for sure that Christ's work on the cross was sufficient, but it can be presented in such an offensive way that no one is persuaded.
It is not a "new belief" (neue Glabe). It is as old as 1 Jn. 5:13: These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
It is also as old as the early Anabaptists. When I was at my cousin's funeral, the preacher quoted from her dad's Ausbund. He had been a preacher in this same church. He quoted from verse 34 of song 125 (page 744), sung to the tune of, "Es Sind Zween Weg":
"Das WISSEN alle Gottes Kind
Daß sie von Gott gebohren sind,"
("Every child of God KNOWS
That he is born of God.")
He read this verse as he preached, and then he looked up and simply said, "Maybe our forefathers had more assurance than we give them credit for."
Having assurance of salvation according to the Bible changed my life. —J.S.
Have we as Anabaptists become so steeped in tradition that we have forgotten what it is to live by faith? One of the first Anabaptists wrote about what it means to live "our faith." If you find any truth at all in the following, you cannot remain totally apart from the world. You must live to go out into the world and help others to find "their faith."
“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love;
1. it dies to flesh and blood;
2. it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires;
3. it seeks, serves, and fears God in its inmost soul;
4. it clothes the naked; 5. it feeds the hungry;
6. it comforts the sorrowful;
7. it shelters the destitute;
8. it aids and consoles the sad;
9. it does good to those who do it harm;
10. it serves those that harm it;
11. it prays for those who persecute it;
12. it teaches, admonishes, and judges us with the Word of the Lord;
13. it seeks those who are lost;
14. it binds up what is wounded;
15. it heals the sick;
16. it saves what is strong (sound);
17. it becomes all things to all people.
The persecution, suffering, and anguish that come to it for the sake of the Lord’s truth have become a glorious joy and comfort to it.”
I hope that we will not just look to our forefathers and learn from their words, but I hope that we will even more look to our Father in heaven and live according to His Word.
— D. L.
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