Go, and Do Thou Likewise

(The following account is a narrative of the parable told by Jesus in Luke 10:25-37 KJV).

Beaten and bloodied, a Jewish man was sprawled, half dead, on the dusty road that led from Jerusalem to Jericho. Robbed of his possessions and stripped of his clothes, the flies swarmed around his wounds as the sun beat down on the exposed flesh. Incapable of helping himself, his body grew weaker and weaker.

A ray of hope shone through the fog of pain and semi-consciousness as he sensed someone approaching. Help was on its way. A priest, a professed servant of God, passed by; but upon seeing the man in need, he walked to the other side of the road, not wanting to be hindered in his journey with an unpleasant task. He walked away, studiously ignoring the dying man. Shortly thereafter a Levite passed. He stopped and looked at the wounded man, seeing his horrific condition. With a grimace, the Levite crossed the road and continued his journey.Read more

The Power of Charity

Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. —Matthew 25:40

Jesus separated the sheep from the goats, the saved from the unsaved, on the merits of their charitable works. While not negating the necessity of salvation, Christ demonstrated the importance of charitable, humanitarian work. How, as God’s people, can so many discount the power of charity? What is the power of faith or the holiness of modesty if there is no love that brings sacrifice for the destitute and downtrodden?Read more

Deeds of Charity—Bible Study

Scripture Reading:

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  —James 2:15-17

Summary:

Acts of benevolence and charity are foundational to the life of a Christian. True godly love and religious faith are demonstrated through sacrifice in ministering to the needy and less fortunate.

I. Love is Shown Through Practical Deeds of Kindness

A. Matthew 22:37-40 Foundation of love.
B. Luke 10:25-37 Good Samaritan.
C. 1 John 3:17-18 Love in deed.Read more

Questions Regarding Charitable Works

Will people who dedicate their lives to helping the impoverished go to heaven?

Not necessarily. Giving and sacrificing for others is an outcome of salvation; but does not save them. All have sinned and need to repent and be forgiven though the power of Jesus Christ.

Am I required to give to every needy person I see?

No. As with every area of life, we must be led by the Spirit of God. While we must do charitable deeds, we are to be good stewards of what God has entrusted in our care.Read more

Church Fathers on Acts of Charity

Quotes from three early church fathers/writers concerning works of charity:

And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. —The Apologist Aristides, 125 AD

We know many among us have who have given [sold] themselves into bondage, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, that with the price which they received for themselves, they might provide food for others.  —Clement of Rome, 96 AD

On that day in which you fast, you shall taste nothing except bread and water.  Of the foods which you were going to eat, reckon how much the food of that day when you fast was going to cost, and give the amount to a widow or orphan or one in need.  —Hermas of Rome, (c. 90-140)