Hope for the Poor – Gospel in Life

Hope for the Poor

Tim Keller |  October 4, 2009

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  • Purpose and Calling
  • Mercy & Justice
1 John 3:1-3, 14-20
RS 316-02


There are some churches that care about evangelism but not about serving the poor. Other churches will eagerly serve the poor but they dont care about proclaiming the Gospel. But churches arent meant to do one or the other; they must do both. In fact, the two are linked. When non-Christians see Christians sacrificially serving the needy, it displays the beauty of God to them and becomes an aid to evangelism. Separately, serving the poor doesnt just help others, but helps ourselves. One of the signs that we have truly experienced Gods love is that we can love others in word and in deed. In this passage, we learn three things about serving the poor. 1) Its crucial to the mission God gives us; 2) Its a sign we belong to Jesus; 3) It requires a peculiar and particular kind of power.

1 John 3:1–3, 14–20

Hope is a big deal in Christianity. It’s tied to the idea of showing love through what we do, not just what we say. Part of being a Christian is helping people who are struggling or don’t have much. This helps us understand our mission from God better.

1. The mission

When John repeats the command from Deuteronomy 15, he’s saying it’s really important to take care of people who are poor. This shows what God is like. This rule was first given to Israel, but it also applies to us now. Peter calls us a chosen people and a royal priesthood. The story of the Good Samaritan shows us that we’re living God’s way when we help all people, especially those who are often overlooked.

2. The sign

We can figure out if we’re really following Jesus based on three tests from 1 John. The first test is if we believe that Jesus is God’s Son, not just a good teacher. The second test looks at whether we’re living the way He taught us to. The last test checks if we’re really showing love by helping others, especially those who need it. This shows that we really understand who Jesus is.

3. The power

It’s important to help others and show love, but not because we want to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we might feel guilty or like we’re not doing enough, but those feelings don’t help us do better. Instead, we should be motivated by how much Jesus loves us and how He gave up everything for us. Knowing this helps us to help and love others without feeling guilty or like we’re not enough.



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In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.