In this video, Dr. Celucien L. Joseph, President of Hope for Today Outreach, shares five biblical principles about social outreach.
The vision statement of Hope for Today Outreach is based on five biblical principles and mandates that reflect God’s character and active participation in the human drama, and the overarching message of the Bible. God is most glorified in us when we love intentionally, serve and give sacrificially, and share the good news of Christ intentionally.
1) God’s Righteousness and Heart for Justice:
“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked” (Ps. 146:7-9).
2) Care for the hungry and afflicted is a public demonstration of living out the justice of God:
“If you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame” (Isaiah 58:10-11).
3) Jesus Calls Us to do Social Outreach:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me”(Matthew 25:35-36).
4) Care for the poor is a fundamental Christian practice and a public demonstration of the love of Christ:
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them” (Luke 7:22).
5) The Imperative of Faith in Action:
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless” (James 2:14-17).