Fasting

Report
Youth Discussion Topic
“Fasting”
Why the topic of fasting?
• Our youth are faced with myriads of challenges. It
could be in the communities where they live, at
schools, or in the institutions of higher learning,
or even among communities of faith.
• During the time of academic examinations some
youth who do not belong to our faith would want
to convince others to “fast” in order for them to
do well in their examinations. Fasting in this
instance is seen as a certain expression of faith in
order to attract success or prosperity.
What is the Biblical view of
fasting?
Fasting in the Old Testament
• The Day of Atonement (Hebrew, Yom Kippur) is
the only fast prescribed by the Old Testament.
• After the Exile, additional fasts were introduced.
• In addition, there were individual and corporate
fasts. Fasting was also an expression of grief and
penitence. It was a way by which people could
humble themselves or as a way to secure
guidance and help from God.
• The prophets declared that without right conduct
fasting was in vain (Isaiah 58:5-12; Jeremiah
14:11-12).
Fasting in the New Testament
• In the New Testament, fasting is also recognised as an act of piety.
• Fasting in the New Testament is neither prescribed nor prohibited.
In the Bible, however, fasting with “ulterior motives” is
condemned. Positively, fasting is often associated with prayer, and
is primarily aimed at deepening our relationship with God, or to
build the church.
• In the New Testament, we have also come to know more about
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the living God, who brought
grace and understanding of God’s love to mankind.
• The rebirth out of water and the Holy Spirit is the foundation for
our being children of God and we demonstrate our worthiness
through corresponding conduct.
What is the New Apostolic
position on fasting?
The New Apostolic position on fasting
• We recognise profound teaching from our various
Chief Apostles and their remarks on the topic.
Spiritually, fasting refers to:
• Exercising restraint in relation to many spiritual
offers of our time;
• Abstaining from activities, thoughts and attitudes
which are displeasing to God;
• Abstaining from things which originate from a
different spiritual source.
• Showing kindness to one’s neighbour in need (cf.
Matthew 25:34-46)
The New Apostolic position on fasting
• In conclusion, our youth is advised to adhere to the
common tradition of our faith by obeying and aligning
their good conduct with the teaching of Jesus Christ as
per the guidance from our various Chief Apostles.
Fasting and spiritual acts of piety should not be abused
for natural gain.
• What is very important is that we utilize the
opportunity of grace found during the absolution in
divine services in order to attract divine favour from
God. Such an attitude will lead us confidently to a
fulfilled life and towards the Day of the Lord.

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