In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul refers to himself as a “prisoner for Christ”. Does this sound strange? “Being a prisoner” normally comes with the stigma of “a bad guy”. It also means to suffer from distrust and humiliation.
Usually people would thus not refer to themselves “as a prisoner”. Rather, people typically rely on their power, authority, and relationship. For example, they present themselves as a respected leader, as a beloved husband/wife, etc. But Paul used the expression of “a prisoner fro Christ” to show that he himself has no power and authority, but God does.
Paul asked his fellow people and Christians today “to live a life worthy of the calling they have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Such a life in the footsteps of Jesus is characterised by humilty, gentleness, and patience:
In the Greek culture humility was associated with slaves, so it refers to being completely humble. The greatest example of being completely humble is Jesus Christ, as in Philippians 2:6-8. Humility and pride are at different poles. Being a humble person brings unity with the other, but pride destroys it. So, humility is putting Christ first, others second, and oneself at the last.
Gentleness is sometimes written as meekness. Gentleness is mostly associated with being weak and “without anger or disputing” (1 Timothy 2:8). Jesus describes Himself, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus, however, became quite angry when some people turned the Temple of God into a market to deceive others (Matthew 21:12-17). Gentleness is a mark of the Christian character (1 Timothy 6:11). Gentleness is about compassion and exerting power – but under control.
In Greek patience refers to a long time before getting angry, of not giving way to anger. Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The greatest example for patience is demonstrated by God, who patiently waits for sinners to repent (Romans 2:4). All believers already experienced God’s patience that brings them to salvation.
By promoting these three attitudes, we bring unity among Christians. God always shows this by example and also “walks the talk” in an exemplary way. Walking in unity is not about walking on the same path. It is about having intertwined minds among believers to live with God. (Hany Ferdinando)
Jesus says: “Let the children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14). Check the Sunday School schedule to see on which Sundays there will be activities for children and young people during OIEF’s worship service.
The Sunday School is usually held in the congregation hall and organised by volunteers with a background and/or interest in education and ministering to children and young people. Our volunteers prepare fun activities and hands-on lessons about faith and following Jesus.
Welcome along! N.B.! For the time being, safety measures apply due to the Covid-19 situation. (BF)
Have you ever taken part in a treasure hunt? You know the game? A treasure hunt! You alone or your team gets clues or written directions, based on which you hunt for a treasure, which is usually hidden somewhere? It’s fun, isn’t it? According to the Bible, we may also think about hunting for treasures, but for treasures in heaven. In fact, Jesus calls his followers to store up treasures in heaven, instead of going after earthly riches only for ourselves (Matthew 6:19-21). On Sunday, 5 July, we gathered at St. Luke’s Chapel and then went outdoors for a heavenly treasure hunt in small groups. We explored and then shared seven ways of storing up heavenly treasures. Before we set out, we started with the first and most important way – Jesus, the only way to heaven, given to us freely as a heavenly gift and treasure. We also learned that putting our earthly treasures in use for God’s kingdom is also a way of storing up treasures in heaven – the main point being that we should become rich towards God, and serve the church and our societies with our God-given resources throughout our life on earth. Feel free to check the seven ways we explored during our heavenly treasure hunt: 1) Overview 2) Handout with Bible verses for further reflection (BF).
Have you ever seen how a foundation is laid? How much care must be applied to prepare it? How it is eventually completed, including blocks of stone and other material, skillfully arranged in relation to each other? And how such a foundation provides a safe structure lasting for more than a lifetime? In his sermon on 21 June 2020, Helmuth Garoeb shared his insights on laying the foundation of a building in his family. We then studied 1 Peter 2:1-12 and came to see that, as Christian believers, our lives rest on Jesus alone. If we believe in Jesus, we can rest on him as the sure foundation and cornerstone of our lives. Beyond that, Helmuth showed us that – according to the Bible – we are precious and regarded as living stones. Moreover, we are joined together and are being built into God’s spiritual house. Helmuth also challenged us to think about our personal and corporate relationship to Christ, to see where and how we are placed or fitting in God’s building. Helmuth encouraged us to be living stones, building our faith on and in Christ, helping each other and inviting others to join this building project. Learn more by reading up the sermon (BF).
We had cancelled face-to-face worship services and gatherings at OIEF during 17 March and 31 May due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All of us had to keep a distance to others, and most stay at home. But many of our activities in relation to others and God could still take place, though in different ways. We shared and posted activities in your (faith) life that had not been cancelled at padlet. See the results as a PDF file. Post updated 28 November. Consult www.oief.fi/covid-19 for up-to-date information, safety measures and recommendations. (BF)
The Bible states about Christian believers that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). What reasons and implications does this statement suggest for the earthly lives of Jesus’ followers? Read up more from Bastian’s sermon “Dual Citizenship” (BF)
Please note that on 13 March at 20.15 it was decided to cancel the “Encouragement Days” (26 – 29 March) due to the current coronavirus situation. (BF)
New Wine (https://newwine.fi, https://www.new-wine.org) cancelled its ”Encouragement Days” in English in March by means of Rev. Richard Thomas, Stephen Broadie and Dan Allen from the UK, see below.
Organised in English (interpretation into Finnish) by Oulu Free Church (Vapaakirkko, Kirkkokatu 34) and the Cathedral Parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oulu (Keskustan srk-talo, central congragation hall, Isokatu 17):
Thu 26.3. at 19 Gospel Evening (Vapaakirkko) – cancelled!
Fri 27.3. at 19 Helmi Young People Evening (Vapaakirkko) – cancelled!
Sat 28.3. at 10-17 Encouragement Day (Keskustan srk-talo) – cancelled!
Encouraging and motivating teaching to strengthen faith. In addition, prayer and praise.
– How does God call me/you?
– The work of the Holy Spirit and human incompleteness – towards a more healthy spirituality
– The congregation and me – renewal and growth in and as a community of faith
Free entry. Coffee/tea 4 EUR in cash. Lunch at own cost in restaurants downtown Oulu 12-13.30.
Sun 29.3. at 10 Worship Service, Richard Thomas (St. Luke’s Chapel)
Sun 29.3. at 11 Morning Service (Vapaakirkko)
More detailed programme to be published in Rauhan Tervehdys (BF)
The Bible is a great source of stories showing us our brokenness, and how Jesus heals us and cares for our needs. Think about the woman at the well (John 4:5-26). She is drawing water every day, alone and heartbroken. She is not only looking for water to still her thirst, but also for love that could truly fulfil her needs. She meets Jesus at the well. During their conversation, Jesus reveals himself to be the true Source of love. Read up more from Ari Savuoja’s sermon “Living Water” held on Sunday, 19.1.2020 (BF)
Open on certain Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm:
16.1., 30.1., 13.2., 27.2., 5.3., 19.3., 2.4., 9.4., 16.4., 30.4. and 7.5.
Tuira church (Myllytie 5)
Entrance from parking lot side.
Come, meet others and spend time together. Tea for free!
Arranged by Tuira Parish of The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Finland (BF)