教會論與教會生活-林慈信(41集) - 8 - 《教會論與教會生活》林慈信博士 -第8講

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Living in Christ’s Church
session 8
The apostle Peter writes to
the gentile church in Asia Minor:
使徒彼得向亞西亞的
外邦人的教會
這樣寫信說:
“Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for
God’s own possession … ” (1 Pet. 2:9).
彼得前書第二章9節
你們是被揀選的族類,是有君尊的祭司
是聖潔的國度,是屬神的
(或是上帝親自擁有的)子民
Coming from Peter, the Apostle
of the Circumcision (Gal. 2:8),
this is an astounding statement.
彼得—受割禮之人的使徒
這樣子寫,是令人驚訝的
參考加拉太書第二章8節
Not only does Peter use
Old Testament language
to describe the New Testament church
彼得不僅僅用了舊約的詞彙
來描述新約的教會
(the terms are drawn from
Exodus 19:5, 6 and Isaiah 43:20, 21),
這些名詞是來自
出埃及記十九章5~6節
還有以賽亞書第四十三章20和21節
he also uses the language
to make a contrast
between the believing church of Christ
and the unbelieving Jewish people
who have rejected Jesus.
彼得再進一步地用這些的詞彙
來對照基督信徒的教會
和那些不信基督、拒絕耶穌的猶太人
To be God’s chosen people
was the great distinction of Israel
(Deut. 7:6);
作為上帝的子民
是以色列人最獨特的地方
but now Peter calls the church by the
very titles that were so precious to Israel.
但現在彼得用這些對以色列人
那麼寶貴的頭銜
來稱呼教會
Moreover
不但如此
he gives these titles to a church
made up principally of Gentiles,
他用這些頭銜來稱呼一個
主要是由外邦人組成的教會
(cf 1 Pet. 1:18; 4:3, 4).
Indeed, he goes even further:
誠然,彼得再進一步地說:
speaking of the disobedience of unbelieving
Israel to the gospel Peter says,
“whereunto also they were appointed.”
對那些不信的以色列人
不信福音的
以色列人的不信和不順服,彼得說:
他們就是這樣子被預定的
Gentiles have been shown
to be the elect of God
聖經,或者彼得顯示
外邦人是上帝的選民
while unbelieving Israel is seen
to be reprobate.
而不信的以色列
現在被顯示是不被揀選的
被遺棄的
The last have been made first
and the first last (Luke 13:30).
後頭的現在成為前面的
前面的,現在是後頭的
(Luke 13:30)
路加福音十三章30節
If Peter’s words are difficult for us
think of how difficult they were for Peter.
假如彼得的話
對我們來說難以理解的話
思想一下,對彼得來說
是多麼地難以理解
Imagine how Peter felt when he heard
the crowds shouting, “Crucify him!”
想像一下當群眾喊叫說:
「把他釘十字架」的時候
彼得的感受是如何
Yet, like Paul, Peter had to
come to terms with the fact
hat most of the nation of Israel
were rejecting Christ
even as Gentiles were receiving him.
可是彼得需要面對一個事實,就是
以色列國大部分的國民
拒絕了基督
就是在外邦人開始接受祂的時候
With Paul, Peter sees in this
the fulfillment of prophecy
and the sovereign purpose of God.
與保羅一樣
在這件事情上
彼得看見預言應驗了
也看見上帝主權的計畫
The builders have rejected
God’s chosen stone
as the Scripture said they would
匠人拒絕了上帝所揀選的石頭
正如聖經所說
and their rejection has already been determined
by God(1 Pet. 2:7, Acts 2:23; 4:28).
而他們這樣的拒絕
是由上帝事先決定的
彼得前書二章7節
使徒行傳二章23節
使徒行傳四章28節
To understand something
of the glory and the solemnity
of the calling of the church
as God’s chosen people
we need to look back
to the Old Testament.
若要瞭解教會是上帝的選民
這方面的呼召的榮耀和嚴肅性
我們需要回到舊約聖經
What did it mean that Israel
was God’s chosen people?
以色列是上帝的選民
是什麼意思?
How do the prophets present this theme
as they point to the coming of Christ?
當先知們指向基督的來臨的時候
他們又如何表達這個主題呢?
In the Old Testament we find that
both the patriarchs
and the nation of Israel
were chosen by God.
在舊約聖經我們讀到
先祖們
就是亞伯拉罕、以撒、雅各
和以色列國
都是上帝所揀選的
God’s choosing the nation flows out
of his choosing the patriarchs:
上帝揀選以色列國
是來自祂對先祖們的揀選
“And because he loved thy fathers, therefore
he chose their seed after them . . . ” (Deut. 4:37).
In choosing the nation of Israel
God was keeping the promise
he made to Abraham,
for he made his covenant with Abraham
and with his descendants
(the seed of Abraham).
當上帝揀選以色列這個國家的時候
上帝是在守祂向亞伯拉罕所賜的應許
因為祂是與亞伯拉罕
和亞伯拉罕的後裔
設立祂的約的
But we may still ask:
可是我們仍然可以問:
“Why did he make the promise
in the first place?”
那為什麼祂要做這個應許呢?
The answer God gives is
the answer of love.
上帝給的回答就是:愛
Look again at Deuteronomy 7:6-8.
我們再一次讀
申命記第七章6~8節
The Lord chose Israel
from all the nations on earth.
上帝從地上一切的國民
選了以色列
Why? 為什麼?
Certainly not because they were the largest
and most important nation on earth
肯定不是因為以色列是
地上最大或者最重要的國家
God chose them as the fewest
of all peoples.
上帝揀選他們
他們原來是萬民中最少的
Neither did God choose them
because they were the wisest
or the most faithful
or the most talented in religion.
上帝也沒有因為他們是最有智慧的
最忠誠的
在宗教信仰上最有才幹的
因此揀選他們
不是的
Why, then, were they chosen by God?
那麼,上帝為什麼揀選他們呢?
The passage in Deuteronomy
gives a surprising answer:
申命記的經文給了一個令我們
驚奇的答案
“The LORD set his love upon you …
because the LORD loves you.”
耶和華專愛你們
因為耶和華愛你們
It might seem that
such a statement is meaningless.
我們乍看起來
這樣的說法是沒有意義的
What information does it give?
它提供了什麼樣的資訊呢?
Simply that the Lord loves us
because he loves us.
就是:耶和華祂愛我們,
因為祂愛我們
Love has a language of its own, however.
可是,愛有愛獨特的語言的
A young woman asks her suitor,
“Why do you love me?”
一個青年的女子問追求她的男性說:
你為什麼愛我?
He gives the question some thought
and replies,
這個男子想了一下
然後回答:
“Darling, I love you because,
of all the women I have ever met,
you are the best suited for my purposes.”
親愛的,我愛妳因為
在我所有遇見的女士中
妳是最符合我的計畫的
His answer may be eminently logical,
這個男子的答案,是最符合邏輯的
but somehow we would not expect it
to win an enthusiastic response,
not to speak of the heart
of the young lady.
可是我們大概不會期待
這種答覆會贏得一個
很興奮的回應
更不用說贏得這個女子的心
But suppose the man says,
但是假如這個男子這樣說:
“Darling, I love you because … I love you!”
親愛的,我愛妳就是因為…我愛妳
That answer is low
in information content
but scores 10 in communication.
這個答案在資訊的內容上
是非常少的
可是在溝通上,是得滿分的
If in our experience of human love
we sense
that love should be its own explanation,
how infinitely more true
this is of the love of God!
假如在我們人類的愛情的經驗中
我們感覺到
「愛」就是「愛」自己的解釋
那麼,上帝的愛
豈不是無限度地更加如此嗎?
Indeed, true human love
that reaches out, not to take
but to give, reflects, however dimly,
the divine love that is infinitely self-giving.
誠然的
人類真正的愛
外展的愛
不是要拿,乃是給予的愛
就反映出上帝的愛
因為上帝的愛是無限度的給予的
雖然人類的愛只能夠很黯淡的
來反映出上帝的愛
但是仍然是一種的反映
God loves us not because
we are lovable
but because God is love.
上帝愛我們,不是因我們可愛
乃是因為上帝就是愛
Some have blunted the force
of the electing love of God
by teaching that God chooses us
only for service.
有些人或者神學家想要沖淡
上帝揀選的愛的意思
他們就教導說
上帝揀選我們只是為了服事
This idea has been developed into
the theology of the “servant church.”
這個概念已經發展成為
所謂「僕人教會」的神學
The church, it is said, is called
not to status
but to service.
這些神學家說
上帝呼召教會不是為了它
得著的地位
乃是為了它能夠服事
Calling to status, we are told,
would build pride-
we might think that
we were God’s elite-
but calling to service leads to humility.
這些神學家告訴我們
上帝若是呼召我們佔有某一個地位
那個就讓我們更加地傲慢
我們會想到自己是上帝的菁英份子
但是若是上帝呼召我們服事
那就帶來謙卑的
Pious as this may sound,
雖然聽起來非常地敬虔
it is not Biblical
這個是不符合聖經的
and really implies the opposite
of what it claims.
這種的「僕人教會」觀念
就暗示了
與聖經所講的相反的概念
If service is the basic ground
of our calling
假如上帝呼召我們的
基本的根據是服事
then God must choose us for our
serviceability, our potential performance.
那麼上帝必須是
按照我們是否能夠服事
我們在表現中的潛質
來揀選我們才對
You will remember how the apostle Paul
reacts to that suggestion (1 Cor. 1:26-31).
你會記得
使徒保羅對這種的說法
他的反應是什麼
God does not choose the wise,
strong and noble.
上帝並不揀選那些
智慧的、強壯的、和尊貴的人
He chooses the foolish,
weak and despised;
上帝揀選那些愚拙的
軟弱的、被人藐視的
yes, the nothings, the zeroes,
是的,就是那些什麼都沒有的人
“that no flesh should glory
before God” (1 Cor. 1:29).
好叫一切血氣的或者屬肉體的
在上帝面前一點都不能自誇
God calls us not to use us
but to make us his.
上帝呼召我們,不是要用我們
乃是要我們屬於祂
We are called to be a people
for God’s own possession.
上帝呼召我們作為一個子民
作為祂親自所擁有的
The term suggests that we are
called to be God’s own treasure,
dear to his heart.
這個名詞的含意是
上帝呼召我們
作為祂自己的寶貝
是祂心中所親愛的
God calls his people
to be his children
or, in another figure, his bride
(Hos. 1:10; 11:1, Ezek. 16:6).
祂呼召我們作為祂的兒女
或者用另外一個比喻:
祂的新婦
Hos. 1:10; 11:1
上帝的兒女
上帝的新婦
The service that God first desires
is the “service” of worship,
the response of his redeemed people
to his grace and love.
上帝最首要喜悅的事奉
就是敬拜的所謂事奉
就是祂的子民,被贖的子民
對祂恩典和祂的愛的回應
When God says, “Let my son go
that he may serve me,”
it is this service that is in view
(Ex. 4:22, 23).
上帝心目中的事奉
就是這種敬拜的事奉
To be sure, God does
call his people to witness.
沒有錯,上帝的確呼召祂的子民
要作祂的見證人
God’s call of Abraham
includes the promise that all the
nations will be blessed in him (Gen. 12:1-3),
上帝呼召亞伯拉罕的時候
祂的呼召就包含了一個應許:
地上的萬國都因為亞伯拉罕
在亞伯拉罕裡面
必蒙福的
創世記第十二章1~3節
but that is not God’s first
or only purpose.
但是這個不是上帝唯一個計畫
甚至不是祂首要的計畫
God also promises to bless Abraham,
whose witness to the nations begins
with the blessing he receives
as a friend of God
上帝也應許要賜福給亞伯拉罕
亞伯拉罕對萬國萬民的見證
是以這個為開始的
就是因為他是上帝的朋友
而得到的福氣
是從這裡開始作為萬國的福份的
我們下一講繼續講
上帝出於祂的主權的愛
揀選了祂的子民
然後第二段呢
就要講到上帝揀選的計畫
是否挫敗呢?
還有第三段
被揀選的餘民
剩下來的餘民

林慈信


Living in Christ's church: Edmund P Clowney

林慈信博士在台灣錄製《教會論與教會生活》系列,這專題是林牧師特別為教會中的平信徒、長老、與執事預備的,是對教會的建造有益的。這專題是出於威敏斯特神學院,克羅尼院長的著作。克羅尼院長也曾是林牧師的老師。《教會論與教會生活》Living in Christ’s Church (Great Commission Publications)這本書是眾多成人主日學教科書之一,由PCA(美國改革宗長老會)與OPC(信正長老會)兩宗派合辦的主日學教材出版社所出版的書,也是專為平信徒而寫的書。


林慈信 Just Smile

林慈信博士,西敏神學院神學碩士,天普大學歷史系哲學博士,加州洛杉磯「中華展望 China Horizon」創辦人。致力於護教與神學信仰的工作,在神學、宣道學、及歷史學等都有相當的造詣。林牧師不僅著力於出版歸正信仰的書籍,並且發表至少500篇的論文。著重系統神學、護教學、清教徒的成聖神學與聖經輔導學等;同時任教於美國國際神學院、西敏神學院、聖約神學院等校。推動聖經輔導不遺餘力。

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