2020-1-22

馬太福音9:1-38

9:1-8
或說:「你的罪赦了」,或說:「你起來行走」,哪一個容易呢?
醫生可以治病,但誰能赦罪呢?只有神才有赦罪的權柄,在這個場景中,耶穌透過醫治癱子,說明了自己的身份,「但要叫你們知道,人子在地上有赦罪的權柄。」(只有神才有赦罪的權柄)而祂來到世上,是要拯救世人,脫離罪的轄制與捆鎖,使人可以回到神的面前,與神和好。

9:9-13
召罪人?召義人?
耶穌說:「我來本不是召義人,乃是召罪人。」多麼奇怪的宣告與呼召!
按人的標準與喜歡,是要找最好的員工、學生、老師、丈夫、最好的學區房,一切都是要找最好的。
但聖經說,耶穌來本不是召義人,乃是召罪人。
是的,世上沒有一個義人,只有謙卑來到耶穌面前,承認自己是罪人,並且悔改,像馬太一樣。
馬太雖然是猶太人所痛恨的稅吏,在猶太人眼中,馬太是罪人,令人厭惡的人,但當他謙卑的立刻回應耶穌的呼召,立刻跟隨耶穌,他的生命也立刻改變、被提升。
「稅吏馬太」成為「使徒馬太」,成為「新約聖經的作者」,萬古流芳。
我們也會像馬太經歷生命真實改變後的美好。
唯有謙卑認罪悔改的人才能得到那最大、最豐富的屬天的福氣。
除了耶穌基督以外,別無拯救;因為在天下人間,沒有賜下別的名,我們可以靠著得救。

9:14-17
哀慟禁食?靠主喜樂?
有很多基督徒很容易陷入哀慟,為這個時代哀慟,透過各樣的苦行,顯出自己多麽愛神,愛人。是的,我們面對不敬虔的時代,是要儆醒禱告。
這段經文提醒,耶穌說:「新郎和陪伴之人同在的時候,陪伴之人豈能哀慟呢?」
耶穌正與我們同在,聖靈正內住我們裡面。因著耶穌基督復活大能的新生命在我裡面,我們就應該要把那「喜樂、得勝、榮耀的生命」活出來,在這個時代,高舉救恩的杯,為主作見證。
「禁食」,並不是像法利賽人那樣,藉以表顯自己是如何謹守律法而自義的作為。
耶穌說:「但日子將到,新郎要離開他們,那時候他們就要禁食。」
如果,一個基督徒理解到自己離神越來越遠的時候,信心越來越軟弱的時候,就該要禁食了。
因為禁食是為了禱告,是迫切的禱告,是悔罪的禱告,是委身的禱告,是把自己生命主權交託給主的禱告。
耶穌這樣的真理教導,對舊約時代的遵行律法作了全新的詮釋。
「唯獨把新酒裝在新皮袋裡,兩樣就都保全了。」

9:18-34
在乎神的權柄? 還是耶穌醫治的方式?
在第9章中,耶穌用各種不同方式醫治人,耶穌用說的,醫治癱子;用按手在死去的女子,讓她復活;患了12年的血漏病人,摸了耶穌的衣裳得醫治;耶穌用手摸瞎子的眼晴,治好他們,我們看到耶穌用各樣的方式來醫治病人。
這段經文不是在強調耶穌醫病的方式,而是讓我們知道上帝是全知全能,祂有絕對的權柄。
另外 還有一個關鍵的句子,不斷出現,非常提醒了我。
幾次提到「你的信救了你」,「照著你們的信給你們成全了」,「主啊,我們信你」。
聖經清楚明白的記載,這裡有一個最重要的關鍵,是「神有權柄,神掌管一切,神是權能的主」。
另外一個很重要的提醒,神喜悅我們對神有信心,這是人得醫治,得拯救的條件。

9:35-38
自省~
耶穌走遍各城各鄉在會堂裡教訓人,「宣講」天國的福音,又醫治各樣的病症,祂看見許多的人就「憐憫」他們,因為他們困苦流離,如同羊沒有牧人一 般。
耶穌是最好的榜樣,耶穌宣講福音,教導神的話,更是有憐憫失喪靈魂的心。
反思我們自己,是否只是滿腦子的神學知識,卻沒有行動去宣講,也沒有憐憫之心,更沒有那看到失喪靈魂而心痛的牧者的心腸呢?
求主幫助我們,效法基督,渴慕耶穌,追求在基督裡生命的成長。          —- Ruth Liu

2020-1-21

诗篇60:1-12

这是一篇 “前情提要” 比较长的诗篇,与撒母耳记下 8:13,列王纪上11:15,历代志上 18:12所记载的大卫与以东人的争战相关。
乍看之下彷佛与生在和平年代的我们毫无关系,但是诗篇的宝贵之处就在于它所表达的丰富情感是任何时代,任何人都有可能经历到的。虽然今日的我们不需要去争战,但是今日的我们多多少少都已尝过那种彷佛是被神 “丢弃” 的滋味,那种几近绝望的黑暗能让最坚强的人失去力量,日夜难安。
在那样的境况中,唯有学习诗人大卫,来到神的面前,诚实的倾倒所有的疑惑和痛苦,迫切地求神搭救,紧紧抓住神的应许,相信祂是那一位把旌旗赐给敬畏祂之人的神,看到人的帮助是枉然的,唯有依靠神,才能真正的得胜。
这一诗篇的小字中有提到,“大卫作这金诗,叫人学习。”今日的我们实在需要学习这样的祷告,得以在绝望中不失去盼望,可以如同大卫一样带着心灵和诚实来到神的面前,切切地恳求神开出路,使我们得胜! 

马太福音8:1-34

在这一章里我看到了哪些人?又看到了怎样的一位救主?

这一章里出现了很多人物和小片段的历史。
有虔心来求医治的痲瘋病人(v.1-4),有信心坚定的百夫长(v.5-13),有彼得的岳母(v.14-15),许多被鬼附的人(v.16-17),有想要做耶稣门徒的文士(v.18-20),有跟随了耶稣却想要 “先”回家去的门徒(v.21-22),以及惊慌小信的门徒们(23-27),有被鬼附的两个住在坟茔里的人(v.28-33),有害怕耶稣能力央求他离开他们的群众(v.34)。

这些人都带着某种需要来到主耶稣的面前,他们有的带着信心,有的带着疑惑和害怕,有的小信。各人心里的光景如何,都因着各样的难处和自己无法解决的事情显明了。在这些人里,我彷佛也看到了自己的影子。有时我也是带着满心的罪恶污秽来到主的面前求主洁净我,有时我也是小信如同门徒,明明有耶稣在船上与我同在,还是惊慌失措地以为自己必死无疑了求主救命,有时疾病缠绕只求主能医治我……,而慈爱的耶稣,祂从来都没有拒绝诚心来到祂面前的人。

对被人隔离的痲瘋病人,主耶稣说: “我肯,你洁净了吧;”
对满怀信心的百夫长,主耶稣说:“你回去吧,照你的信心,给你成全了;”
对门徒彼得的岳母以及许多病人,主耶稣一句话一个触摸就医好了他们;
对心怀大志要追随到底的文士,主耶稣说 “狐狸有洞,天空的飞鸟有窝,人子却没有枕头的地方。”
对手扶着犁却向后看的人,主耶稣说:任凭死人埋葬他们的死人,你跟从我吧。
对惊慌呼救的门徒,主耶稣说:“你们这小信的人哪!为什么胆怯呢?” 并且斥责了风和海,风和海就大大地平静了。
对被鬼附的可怜人,主耶稣赶出了恶鬼们使他们得以自由。

主耶稣的慈爱,包容,忍耐,爱中的责备与教导都随着这些历史片段浮现在我们眼前。对于软弱的人,祂满了慈爱与怜悯;对于想要跟随祂的人,祂也明确的告知他们做门徒的代价;对于小信的,祂责备,也安慰;对于不信的,恐惧的,祂忍耐也尊重。
这样一位奇妙的救主,就是我们所信的基督。而照着神的应许,这位奇妙救主的生命竟然在我这微不足道的心里活着,只因着祂所赐下的信心,祂的慈爱与拯救实在奇妙!

  祷告:亲爱的天父,谢谢祢差派独生爱子耶稣给黑暗的心灵带来莫大的救赎和安慰。谢谢祢赐下基督的生命在我们里面,真是有福!求祢帮助我们天天活出祢荣耀的生命,每一天都能更像主耶稣。这样的祷告,是奉耶稣基督的圣名,阿门。          —- Lois Ling

  诗歌:340《主,我愿像你》“O, To Be Like Thee”

 

 

 

 

2020-1-20

登山宝训——作主门徒ABC

马太福音第七章

Scroll down for English edition

    在前两章的教导中,主耶稣论述了门徒的个人特点、社会影响、属天公义、敬虔生活等等。在第七章,他强调门徒的七个关系:1)与弟兄;2)与“猪狗”;3)与天父;4)与公众;5)与路人;6)与假先知;7)与教导真理并要求我们恪守与遵行的主耶稣基督。

与弟兄的关系(1-5)—— 福音书中,最有能耐论断人的,恐怕非(文士和)法利赛人莫属,他们连耶稣基督也论断。大概因为这些属灵贵族乐此不疲地动辄论断人,社会上,彼此论断也蔚然成风,蒙呼召初成为门徒的各位,自也不能免俗。因此主耶稣“你这假冒为善的人,先去掉自己眼中的樑木,然后才能看得清楚,去掉你弟兄眼中的刺”的教导,使用的是第二人称“你们”,“不可效法他们”爱论断的德行。间接地,法利赛人再次被用作反面教材。

与猪狗的关系(6)—— “不要把圣物给狗,也不要把你们的珍珠丢在猪前,恐怕它践踏了珍珠,转过来咬你们。” 这教导只有一节经文,各版本甚至没有为这节经文加上小题。又猪又狗的,乍看令人摸不着头脑。查犹太文化中,猪和狗既是不洁、下贱之类,对这节经文流行的解读是:传福音,不要与顶撞回来的榆木脑瓜们争辩,如果他们选择不信,你就是争赢了,他们还是有一万条理由不信,是为猪狗——下贱不洁。但果真如此,我们下次碰到这些“猪狗”们,还传福音不?我们当中许多热心传福音的,不是拒绝、顶撞了多少次才信么……?等等问题,让我们不得安息。于是我们祈求。赞美主,果如应许,他给我们、让我们寻见、开门让我们看见真理的霞光万丈。这一节经文中的猪狗,直指假冒为善的法利赛人和与法利赛人狼狈为奸的祭司阶级。

与天父的关系(7-11)—— 主耶稣告诉门徒们不要再追随假先知假冒为善的宗教贵族。他们该跟随谁呢?如果我们把小题放在一边,运用上下文的解经原则,主的心意立即光明剔透:你们追随真理。七到十一节是第六节的反向对比。相对假冒为善,主的应许是,到我这里来就光,寻求真理。“你们祈求,就给你们。寻找,就寻见。叩门,就给你们开门。为什么? “因为凡祈求的,就得着。寻找的,就寻见。叩门的,就给他开门。” 这是喷薄于千百年阴霾遮掩中的灿烂光华。主呼应“饥渴慕义的人有福了,因为他们必承受地土”(5:6)的应许,因为现在主明明说,“他将他的道指示雅各,将他的律例典章指示以色列。”(诗147:19)

与公众的关系(7:12)也是一节经文,西方社会通称为“金科玉律”(The Golden Rule),可见即便是芸芸众生,对登山宝训的教导也是赞赏有加。我们必须留意,这节经文本身不是独立的。它以协调连词“所以”(ou=n)开始,指这节经文与上面的教导直接相关。世人把这节经文与“己所不欲勿施于人”比较,但仔细看,却发现主耶稣说的却是“己所欲施于人”。 “所以无论何事,你们愿意人怎样待你们,你们也要怎样待人。因为这就是律法和先知的道理。” 运用以经解经的方法,解经之钥,在最后一句“律法和先知的道理”,那么,律法和先知的道理,敢问又是何物?最权威的回答是太22:37-40, “耶稣对他说,你要尽心,尽性,尽意,爱主你的神。这是诫命中的第一,且是最大的。其次也相仿,就是要爱人如己。这两条诫命,是律法和先知一切道理的总纲。” 据此我们可以说,7:12教导门徒一个全方位的关系。

与路的关系(13-14)—— 脱离假先知的捆锁,门徒们奔走天路。那时节,太平罗马Pax Romana,交通网路,四通八达,平直宽敞,可谓一时两无,主耶稣却要求门徒走天国的窄路。主带领我们走的是小路,进的是天国的窄门,这条路和门,“找着的人也少”。找,要求我们付上代价和努力。救恩是神白白的恩典,他是我们信心的创始者和成终者(来12:2)。但不是说,成圣的过程,不需我们付出,不必我们下功夫。“天国是努力进入的,努力的人就得着了。“(太11:12)

与假先知的关系(15-23)—— 除了5:20主直接提到假先知法利赛人外,主一直间接地用他们作为门徒生命的主要反面教材。现在,主直接提醒门徒,“你们要防备假先知。他们到你们这里来,外面披着羊皮,里面却是残暴的狼。”他们的负能量极大,因为假先知、假使徒“行事诡诈,装作基督使徒的模样。”(林后11:13)虽然,羊皮让他们看来似是,但果子轻而易举地让他们露出狐狸尾巴来。这些果子是:加1:7要把基督的福音更改;彼后2:1引进陷害人的异端、连买他们的主他们也不承认(c.f.约壹4:3, 犹1:4等); 犹1:11走了该隐的道路,又为利往巴兰的错谬里直奔;腓3:19专以地上的事为念,等等。

与基督自己的关系(24-27)—— 这是登山宝训的总结。作主门徒,应当与主亲密无间。门徒与主亲密无间,表达在他们不但百折不回地不但听主的道,而且行主的道。主称这种人门徒为“聪明人”。他们的信心和好行为,建立在坚固的磐石上,这样,他们的生命就可以不断地发光,不断地让人们看见,不断地把荣耀归给天上的父。就像但以理书12:3说, “智慧人必发光如同天上的光。那使多人归义的,必发光如星,直到永永远远。” 我们跟随主,让生命在永恒中发光荣耀他。         —- David Yip

请浏览网上更详细分享。https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/

   

Sermon on the Mount — Discipleship ABC

Matthew Chapter 7

    In the previous two chapters, the Lord’s teaching included such aspects of disciple’s life as Christian’s character, influence, righteousness, piety and ambition. Continued in chapter 7, his emphasis is now on seven relationships: 1) to our brothers; 2) to “dogs” and “pigs”; 3) to our heavenly Father to whom we come in prayer; 4) to the general public; 5) to the paths and gates; 6) to false prophets; and 7) to Lord Jesus himself.

To our brothers (1-5) — in the Gospels, the ones who are found to be very good at being judgmental are the Pharisees, they are so courageous that they judge Jesus. From what these spiritual elites have been doing the perhaps forms a social environment. People love to be judgmental. Those who have been called to be disciples are not immune. Therefore, the Lord warns: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Take note that the Lord announces in second person plural, demanding them “do not be like them” of their judgmental mindset. Indirectly, we see that the Pharisees are once again used as a negative example. 

To “dogs” and “pigs” (6) — “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”  This single verse is not long. The translations do not even bother to add a subtitle for it. Indeed the “dogs” and “pigs” are not easy for us to take it in. In the Jewish culture, dogs and pigs are considered unclean cheap. A popular interpretation to this verse is about sharing the good news: if the listener chooses to reject, do not argue with him, just walk away. For even if your superbly strong reasoning can overcome his mind, still he has ten thousand excuses to reject and fight. This theory implies that people like this are the dogs and pigs. It triggers us to wonder, however, that if we should persist to share the gospel with him if we come across him again. In fact, many of us who are zealous in preaching the gospel were once the stubborn-minded listeners and we had the same experience resisting the gospel. My opinion, according to Scripture, is that the dogs and pigs in this verse point to the hypocritic Pharisees and the howling priests.

To our heavenly Father (7-11) — Lord Jesus to his apostles not to continue in their following to the hypocritic religious elites. Now what new direction should they go for? If we put aside the subtitle, a fluent trace appears immediately. Jesus says: follow me. Verses 7 to 11 counter revolves verse 6. The Lord announces: come to me. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.“ Why? “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” This is a morning radiance breaking out of the darkness of long. 

To the General Public (7:12) — This is widely known, including the pagan general public, as The Golden Rule. However, by the coordinate conjunction “so” (or “therefore” ask in NKJV), we have to connect this verse to its preceding vv. 10-11. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”  Employing the hermeneutics principle, the key to understanding v. 12 is found to be the last clause. What, then, is the Law and the Prophets? The most authoritative answer comes from Matt 22:37-40. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” With what is reveled, we conclude that 7:12 teaches about a full dimensional relationship of the disciple. 

To the Pedestrians (13-14) — Liberated from the boundary of the false teachers, the disciples are heaven bound. At that time, the Pax Romana is boastful of her infrastructures, wide and flat, Jesus however directs the disciples to enter through the small gate and narrow road. This depicts two pedestrian streams on two completely opposite directions. The narrow way and small gate, on the other hand, leads to eternity. “and only a few find it.” The word “find” tells us that we pay effort and price for it. “The kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing. The forceful men lay hold of it.” Thus says the Lord in Matt 11:12. In the original language the participles “enter” in v. 13 and “find” in v. 14 are both in present continuous tense and middle voice. The former tells us that to enter and to find are out of our continuous efforts. 

To False Prophets (13-14) — The Lord mentioned Pharisees the false prophet only once prior to this point, and he used them as negative examples indirectly. Now, in a straight forward manner, he warns the disciples: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” They possess tremendous negative energy, because false prophets are “deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.” (II Cor 11:13) They are certainly deceitful by sheep’s clothing, but their fruit discloses their identity as anti-Christ. The fruits are: they are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ; (Gal 1:7) they secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves; (II Pet 2:1) They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion; (Jud 1:11) Their mind is on earthly things. (Phil 3:19) etc.

To Christ himself (24-27) — This is arranged in the ending section of the Sermon. Christ expects us to be in an intimate relationship with him. The expression of this intimacy is our obedience to his word. The Lord calls this kind of disciple “wise man”, because his faith and good deeds are build upon the rock of ages and his life shows forth the heavenly light, just as what Dan 12:3 says: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”             —- David Yip

Please visit https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/ for more details

 

 

 

2020-1-18

登山宝训——作主门徒ABC
Scroll Down for English edition

马太福音第六章

施舍(6:1-4)—— 通过第五章的教导,门徒们开始明白主期许他们什么,希望他们行出什么。这些好行为(5:3-12)都带着天国子民的模式,圣灵的印记,自然格外引人注目。

主却提醒他们:这些好行为,不是为个人卖弄,以哗众取宠,以藉此而出人头地。“你们要小心,不可将善事行在人的面前,故意叫他们看见。若是这样,就不能得你们天父的赏赐了。”这是最简单不过、人却最容易忘记的赏赐原理,为个人出人头地,你的赏赐就是自己挣的出人头地;明天、后天、犯不着多久,出人头地可以变成声名狼藉。但若为天父的荣耀,赏赐自天父来,未必立即兑现,却绝对可靠,就如属灵先贤们“从远处望见,且欢喜迎接”(来11:23)主耶稣勉励门徒们选择后者。

祷告(6:5-15)—— 第六章共有34节经文,主耶稣教导门徒祷告的经文几乎占了一半。而论祷告的位置,处于五、六、七三章的中间。不应看作偶然。马太福音的初始读者对象是犹太人,犹太文学作品的高潮营造,处在作品篇幅的中间而非前后。所以,论祷告其实正是登山宝训中的顶峰之作。这提醒我们,作为主的门徒,我们属灵生活的中心是:祷告。

9-13节通常被不正确地称作 “主祷文”。根据内容,这应被译为“主示范祷告”。主教导我们如何祷告。祷告第一要紧的,是位份的确立,如此,我们晓得谁在诉说,谁在垂听。原文中,“天上”一字uvranoi/j 是众数。仅此一样,我们就当俯伏敬拜。人知一个天,以此便夜郎自大;天父却无所不在于天外天,九重天,不知几层天!

“愿你的国降临,愿你的旨意行在地上,如同行在天上”,是表达我们愿意完全顺服,神的国(完全掌管)降临在我们的生命中。

“我们日用的饮食,今日赐给我们”。然后,我们是不是到了为牛油面包祷告的时候?路德认为:日用的饮食,指维持生命所需各样,如食物、健康、阳光空气、房屋家居、妻小,乃至健全的政府与和平环境。

“免我们的债,如同我们免了人的债”。这祷告与5:44-48 关于爱仇敌的教导相关,仇敌一定欠我们的债,但因为我们爱仇敌,为他们祷告,我们免了仇敌的债,就如主耶稣免了我们的债一般(罗5:8)。

“不叫我们遇见试探,(并且)救我们脱离凶恶”(其中“并且”据原文加上)是和合本圣经中由对原文透彻理解而来的上佳翻译。各位如果有兴趣,请阅读本文英文部分的分析。 “因为国度,权柄,荣耀,全是你的,直到永远。阿们。”祷告以最高赞美结束。

禁食(16-18)—— 今天的教会不怎强调禁食祷告。究竟禁食祷告有什么意义呢?原来,禁食让我们把身体所需先放下来,藉拒绝身体所需,我们从“所需”的奴仆成为“所需”的主人,实现全身心灵的专注在祷告神这单一的要务上。

积财宝在天(19-24)—— 时下社会,奉“双赢”作事业、为人、处事等的最高境界,不想主耶稣时代,犹太人社会的聪明人就已晓得“双赢”。主耶稣却说:不!“一个人不能事奉两个主。不是恶这个爱那个,就是重这个轻那个。你们不能又事奉神,又事奉玛门。” 我们努力工作,努力奉献,也把财宝积攒在天上。

不要忧虑(25-34)—— 请再次注意25节的“所以”。这一段,其实是上一段的继续。在地上拼命积攒财宝,反映人的忧虑。有一次与一对爱主的年轻夫妇交谈,他们坦诚地表示没有遵守十一奉献。“穷怕了”。

主耶稣以万有主宰之尊,要门徒们不要为生命的吃喝、身体的衣着忧虑。他列举天上的飞鸟和野地的花作例子。它们无忧虑,完全遵从天父安排,所以天父所赐给他们的天香国色,比所罗门的绫罗绸缎更高贵。飞鸟和花的顺服,让它们成为天父信实和慈爱的活见证。只有人会为明天忧虑。如果我们也加入到外邦人忧虑的行列,就连飞鸟和百合花都不如了。主应许说:“你们要先求他的国和他的义。这些东西都要加给你们了。”

什么是天父的国?广义上说,是神对天地万物朝代迭更的主权和管治。什么是天父的义?广义上说,绝对公义是天父无限的完美属性之一(除此还有他其实我们的慈爱、永恒、全知、全能、全善……,等等)。我们只管在神的国和义中,尽心尽性尽意尽力爱神、信靠神、顺服神、敬拜神,不必作小人的怀土之忧,说,吃什么?喝什么?穿什么?爱我们的父坐拥万有。忧些甚?

限于篇幅,这是一些简单分享。更详尽的查考,请访问网址: https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/      —- David Yip

Sermon on the Mount — Discipleship ABC

Matthew Chapter 6

Giving to the Needy (1-4) — In chapter 5 the Lord pronounced to his disciples of his expectation to them, their new life, their new mindset, and their good works and deeds. They carry the hallmark of the citizens of heavenly kingdom and the birthmark of the Holy Spirit. All these will be looked afresh to the conservative social environment and everyone’s attention drawn.

The Lord anxiously warns them about the potential danger: this is not done for surprises to attract people and to boost your fame.  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” A simple truth, but people are often ignorant about this. Working for one’s own fame, you might earn but what you want, sooner or later what you’ve earned will fade away. But if our good work is for the glory of our heavenly Father, He will surely reward us. It may not be instant. Sooner or later, regardless, for sure He will bestow. The Lord tells us to choose to the latter.

Prayer (6:5-15) — There are totally 34 verses in chapter 6, out of them the Lord’s teaching in prayer occupies almost half. Moreover, this section is physically located in the middle of chapters 5, 6, and 7 combined. Not a coincident, note that the original readers of the Gospel are Jewish, and the Jewish literature arranges the summit of the writings in the middle part of it. Therefore, the teaching of prayer is arranged as the center of all the teachings in Sermon on the Mount, remining us that the center of our spiritual life is: PRAYER.

Verses 9-13 is labeled as The Lord’s Prayer but is unfortunately off what it really is.  According to the content, this should be called “The Lord Teaches Us in the Topic of Prayer”, or something alike. One is advised to pay attention to the coordinate conjunction “therefore” which starts the teaching on the topic of prayer. This shows us that our Lord’s teaching is against the main stream culture,which takes prayer as a media for personal show off or as the practice of the pagan theology (5-8) The two main persons in our prayer are the Father and us, and the Father is always the center of our prayer. Therefore, we must be careful to not put ourselves to be the focal point. Instead, the Father is.

Fasting (16-18) — Not often churches today practice fasting. Why do we fast? Fasting helps us to lay aside our natural physical needs which petition us to satisfy. In that relationship we are slaves. Now with fasting, we become masters. In turn we are the slaves of our heavenly Master and we focus on him while we pray.

Treasures in Heaven (19-24) — Nowadays the world often provokes the so-called win-win strategy, not knowing that the clever Jewish knew about this strategy in the N.T. period. The Lord, however, rebukes it. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” So let’s work hard to earn, and work hard to give to the Lord. Our treasures in heaven will increase.

Do not Worry (25-34) — Notice the “therefore” in v.25, this makes the teaching an expansion of the previous. To store up treasures on earth reflects one’s worry.

The Lord concludes: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Certainly, we are familiar with this teaching. But what is the kingdom of God, and what is the righteousness of God? Macroscopically, we maintain that represents God’s sovereignty and in charge of the physical heaven and earth and the metaphysical eras in human history. And likewise, the absolute righteousness is one of the infinitely many perfect attributes of God. In God’s kingdom and righteousness, we adore him by “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” We do not do what the pagans do.

A more focused study is presented on the webpage and you are welcome to visit.

https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/      —- David Yip

 

 

 

2020-1-17

登山宝训——作主门徒ABC
Scroll Down for English edition

登山宝训是马太福音第五、六、七章中主耶稣最为人熟知的教训,可惜大概也是人最不愿明白、也最疏于遵守的教训。登山宝训(太5、6、7)犹如一篇天国宣言,教导基督的门徒以天国的准则,天国八福(5:3-11)是宣言中的八个大纲。从5:12开始,直到7:24-27的总结,主耶稣的教导完全遵循着天国八福展开。

登山宝训可能令读者困惑,甚至有圣经学者猜想,使徒马太道听途说主耶稣教导的一堆片言只语,然后东拼西凑地记载在马太福音中,于是成其为“登山宝训“云云,这绝对是不正确的。我们马上会看得一清二楚,登山宝训深入浅出,逻辑严密,是神的子民天国生活的入门指引。

圣经教导的技巧之一,是使用反面教材,旧约中繁多的假先知、假神、甚至圣徒、选民的软弱和失足,都让读者看到小信或不信神的恶果。拉比主耶稣在登山宝训中使用相同的教导技巧。我们必须牢牢把握住一条贯串的纲领:外邦人虽被主耶稣点评,但在登山宝训中,主要的反面教材是假冒为善的法利赛人。而登山宝训的核心经文是:“你们不可效法他们“(6:8,或译”你们决不可与他们混为一体。“),包括不可效法当时的宗教贵族法利赛人和不认识真神的外邦人。主耶稣其实在重新强调一条古旧的诫命: ”你们从前住的埃及地,那里人的行为,你们不可效法。“(利18:3)抓紧这条线,我们可以更好明白登山宝训。

登山宝训的背景是:受浸礼、驱撒旦之后,主耶稣开始了他在地上的事奉。他呼召门徒,治病赶鬼,这位拉比一时名声鹊起,前无古人(可1:27),人们于是从四面八方来跟随他(4:25)。不过,根据5:1以及路6:20,登山宝训并不是孔夫子的“有教无类”。宝训完全是为基督的门徒而作,即是说,只有主的门徒,方有特权能从登山宝训受教,这是何等荣耀!世间不少哲人智者其实对登山宝训称许有加,但仅仅如此而已。世界行不出登山宝训来,因为他们不是基督的门徒。主耶稣对受教的门徒们总结登山宝训,说:“所以凡听见我这话就去行的,好比一个聪明人,把房子盖在磐石上,雨淋,水冲,风吹,撞着那房子,房子总不倒塌。因为根基立在磐石上。凡听见我这话不去行的,好比一个无知的人,把房子盖在沙土上,雨淋,水冲,风吹,撞着那房子,房子就倒塌了。并且倒塌得很大。“(7:24-27)我们作主的门徒,必须把房子盖在磐石上,否则我们与世界没有分别。

天国八福(太5:3-12)

有人以为,天国八福不过是八条乏味的教条,他们与一座宝藏失诸交臂。八福是门徒生命成长的八个阶段,由自觉一个贫乏的灵魂(“灵里贫乏”是原文直译,和合本的“虚心”未能完全呈现原文含义)而哀恸,因生命改变而温柔、而饥渴慕义;成长到如基督般怜恤失丧灵魂,同时心灵洁净澄澈,进而愿委身为福音的使者叫罪人与神和好,为此甘愿面对世界的逼迫和击打。我们看到一个门徒满有基督长成的身量,是主耶稣对门徒生命成长的殷切期盼,他并且应许来自天上的祝福。

欣切期望 (太5:13-16)

主赐给门徒尊贵的位份:“你们永远是世上的盐……你们永远是世上的光……”(根据原文再译,和合本无“永远”)。盐有调味和防腐的作用。如果不是教会的存在,这世界将会是何等乏味和腐败;而光驱散黑暗,主耶稣是真光,带给黑暗中的人盼望和出路,他期望门徒们也成为世上的光,叫世人“看见你们的好行为,便将荣耀归给你们在天上的父。” 这些好行为列举在八福中(3-12)。只有靠主活出八福的新生命,才能作世上的盐和光,把荣耀归给天上的父。这也是主呼召、造就门徒的目的。而假冒为善的宗教贵族披着律法的外衣,这种生命不能发光。

基督与律法,新约与旧约(太5:17-20)

新约时代,旧约的价值是什么?基督来了,律法(旧约)还有甚价值没有?主耶稣振聋发聩,有千古一答。他高举律法的永恒价值,并且由他自己成全律法所有关于公义和圣洁的要求。在这一点上,只有一个人能够做到,就是道成肉身的人子耶稣;其他人,包括你我,无一不一败涂地。

拨乱反正(太5:21-48)

这段经文中,主耶稣列举六个曲解律法的典型例子作拨乱反正:杀人、奸淫、休妻、起誓、以眼还眼、爱仇敌。在主耶稣之前,这些论题都被犹太拉比们把其中的准则随意扩大和缩减,圣经的原意因此消失。主耶稣大刀阔斧地把谬误肃清,把圣经的权威重新放在人间的宗教权贵之上。

正确理解登山宝训的要求,往往需要运用严谨的释经法(其实这是理解圣经的基本要求),以免陷入“一叶障目,不见泰山”之弊。上列“灵里贫乏”与“虚心”的对比就是一个例子。而对于休妻(31-32)的正确理解,甚至可以防止对教会合一造成完全没有必要的破坏。篇幅所限,不能在此一一列举。各位何妨访问星光点点网址https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/ 阅读更详细的中、英文分享。

Sermon on the Mount — The Disciples’ ABC

Lord Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5-7 is sometimes entitled as Sermon on the Mount. Sermon on the Mount is probably the best-known part of the teaching of Jesus, though it is the least understood, and arguably it is the least-obeyed. ☹ This is a heavenly declaration of the guidelines of the kingdom of God. The so-called Beatitudes are the different titles. From 5:12 to 7:23, the development of Jesus’ teachings follows the Beatitudes.

The beginners may be frustrated when they start to study Sermon on the Mount. A few Bible scholars have even argued that the apostle Matthew heard about some segments of Jesus’ teachings, and he recorded them. With the popularization of the Gospel it became Sermon on the Mount. This is, however, entirely baseless. Soon we will see that Sermon on the Mount is a heavenly Exhortation that is logical and well-prepared. It is a wisely arranged sermon preached systematically. It is the guideline for the people of God for their kingdom live.

One of the teaching techniques in Scripture is the generous uses of the negative examples. The various false prophets and gods, and even the infirmities and stumbling of the saints and the chosen people in the O.T., all of them serves as negative examples for us to learn vivid lessons. Rabi Jesus also employs such. We have to hold firm for such a fact that throughout the Gospels, out of many, the major negative example is but the Pharisees. A careful survey to Sermon on the Mount, which is in Matt 5-7, reveals that the main theme of Jesus’ teaching is found in 6:8, “Do not be like them.” (can be translated according to the Greek original: “Absolutely thou shalt not blend thyself into them.”) This includes the Pharisees as the religious elites back then and the gentiles as well. Laying hold of this will help us understand Sermon on the Mount. Note that the Lord merely refreshes an O.T. commandment: “You must not do as they do in Egypt…” (Lev 18:3)

The social background is that Jesus soon became famous after he started his ministry. “Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.” (4:25). He called a small group of people to be his disciples. According to 5:1 and Luke 6:20, Sermon on the Mount is exclusively for the disciples who are privileged to be the pupils of the Lord. What a honor we as the disciples of the Lord have! The teaching is also well populated and admired by many in the world, but they are not able to practice. For they are not disciples of Christ. Therefore, in his summary Lord Jesus challenges his disciples, saying, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (7:24-27) We as disciples of Christ should set our spiritual foundation on the rock, or we would be no different then the world, from which we were purchased and freed with the pressures blood of Lord Jesus.

The Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12)

If you, like many others, think that the Beatitudes is just a bunch of boring dogmas, you miss a priceless treasure. The eight elements in the Beatitudes represent the eight different stages that the Lord wants his disciples to go through. Starting from one realizing his poverty in spirit, he then mourns for it. His mournful heart is comforted, and he repents and returns to God, his is now meek. Also, he hungers and thirsts for righteousness. He starts to be merciful and pure hearted, and he is willing to share the gospel of Christ to sinners, wanting them to reconciliate with God. Now he is ready to endure persecution with a joyful heart for righteousness, for there is a great reward from heaven promised.

The Great Expectation (Matt 5:13-16)

The noble status the Lord gives to his disciples: “You always are the salt of the earth… You always are the light of the world…” (according to the Greek text). Salt adds flavor and is an antiseptic agent, one can imagine how tasteless and corrupt this world would be if without the existence of the Church. Light, on the other hand, drives out darkness, Being the true light, Lord Jesus also expects his disciples to be the light: “that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” What good deed is the Lord talking about? All are highlighted in the Beatitudes (3-12) prior to this section. Only those whose lives shine with the Beatitudes can be the salt and light if the world and to glorify the heavenly Father. This is the purpose that we are called and edified. Although, on the other hand, the religious elites put on the law as their outer cover, they failed to shine the light with their hypocritical lives.

Christ and the Law, the N.T. and the O.T.

Is the Mosaic law still valid after the coming of Christ? Yes. Jesus says. Not only that he upholds the law, but he announces that he is the fulfillment of it. Only one man in the entire human history can do it, and this man is Jesus Christ. All others fail miserably.

The Restoration of Truth (Matt 5:21-48)

In the following teachings the Lord posts six cases in which the law was erroneously taught, e.g. murder, adultery, divorce, oath, an eye for an eye, and love for enemies. These are the topics taught for a long time, but the spirit of the commandments was distorted. Lord Jesus slashes the erroneous teaching and restores the authority of the word of God above the human religious elites.

It is crucial to yield sound understandings from Sermon on the Mount by employing correct hermeneutic method, or we might head for wrong spiritual directions because of our misunderstanding. Sermon on the Mount was given two thousand some years ago in a far away place call Asian Minor by a Jewish Rabbi. We have to admit that our geographical, religious, and culture environments are so distant that a simple glance of these three chapters are insufficient for a satisfactory understanding. With prayer, a more detail material can be found at the link https://shinelikesta.blogspot.com/ for you to visit. With the progress I will continue to post more material to share. Sola Deo Gloria.          —- David Yip

2020-1-16

马太福音4:1-11

耶稣被圣灵充满之后,被圣灵引导旷野,受魔鬼的试探(食物、神迹、万国的荣耀)。魔鬼用完了各样的试探,就暂时离开耶稣,耶稣更充满了圣灵的能力。

第一个试探,让我们知道生命中最重要的是遵守神的道,而不是仅仅满足肉体、赚取生活,或以属灵的资源来满足身体需要。
道成肉身的耶稣靠着神的话胜过试探,为人作榜样,证明人若靠着神的能力,也可以得胜。
当我们肉体会有疲累、需要的時候,要留心这些需要往往容易成为仇敌攻击我们的破口。

第二个试探,是关于对神的信赖。要记住耶稣的话:“不可试探主你的神”。不要投机取巧,追求成功。有些人买超过自己经济能力的物品,然后说要靠“信心”,主会供给的,就是试探主。

第三个试探,是透过便捷方式来完成神交托的事情和行神的旨意。这是一个很普遍的试探,这是逃避应行的路来达到目的。换句话说,为求达到目的可以不择手段。
可是,神有祂选择的途径来完成在你身上的计划,那需要你绝对的委身和服从祂。但撒旦总爱提供便捷方法。

诗篇第一篇将我们比喻成一颗树,栽在溪水旁,而我们的成长,也有不同的“季节”。
有栽种的季节,有浇灌的季节,有收成的季节,有凋零的季节。就像苹果树要等枝干成为强壮,才能承受成熟的果实。

如果我们不知道基督徒的成长有不同阶段,我们会有问题。
我们必须在一个阶段成熟之后,才能进入到下一个阶段。
而要进入下一阶段,我们除了领受恩典与真理,还需要经过时间的成长。我们成长的模范是我们的救主耶稣。
耶稣知道祂必须经过受苦和时间的考验,我们也必须经过受苦,经过旷野,经过时间的考验。
感谢主,把我们从恶者手下拯救出来,脱离罪恶和人生各样的苦痛,享受神的平安喜乐,这就是住在耶稣里的丰盛。
因着祂为我们立下了胜过世界的榜样,所以我们是有盼望的,我们不丧胆,外体虽然毁坏,内心却可以一天新似一天。感谢主!          —- Lusheng

 

 

 

2020-1-15

馬太福音 3:1-17

「天國近了,你們應當悔改!」
「你們要結出果子來,與悔改的心相稱。」
施浸約翰的事奉,是在耶穌基督之前,為耶穌開道的事奉。
他宣揚的信息,是認罪、悔改,並且要結出果子來。
但他知道,他可以傳道呼籲人悔改,施洗帶領人悔改,卻不能讓人「結出果子」,於是,他再宣揚:
「那在我以後來的,…… 他要用聖靈與火給你們施洗。」
唯有在聖靈裡重生,從聖靈得新生命,才能結出聖靈的果子。
也唯有相信主耶穌基督,向主認罪悔改,領受基督的救贖恩典,背起自己的十字架,矢志跟隨耶穌,遵行神的真理、主的教訓,才是得救、重生,有基督復活的生命在我們裡面,從而活出生命的果子。

在「兩約之間」的四百年,是神的啟示的沉默時期。
但在這期間,神的選民—-以色列民,卻特別尊崇神的律法,特別強調要謹守遵行神律法。以至發展出「律法主義」的法利賽人、撒都該人。
回顧歷史,以色列民—-神的選民遭到亡國之痛,就是因為悖離了神,棄絕了神的律法。
當他們從被擄之地歸回以後,痛定思痛,就緊緊的敬畏神,深深的尊崇神旨意,嚴嚴的謹守律例典章誡命,走向另一個極端。
此中還有一個社群,是愛色尼人,他們敬畏神,尊崇律法,過敬虔簡樸的生活,遠離世俗,形似修道士。
「這約翰身穿駱駝毛的衣服,腰束皮帶,吃的是蝗蟲、野蜜。」施浸約翰可能就是這個社群的成員。
愛色尼人對神敬虔,對律法尊崇與保護,他們抄寫神的話語,妥慎的保存,直到二千年以後,死海古卷被發現,他們的史實才被世人得知,而他們的貢獻,更是曠世珍寶!

與愛色尼人相對的,是法利賽人、撒都該人,說是謹守律法,實是挾律法以自義。
神所頒行的律法,是要人「遵行」的,不是要人「手抓律法藉以指責人」的。
因此,施浸約翰大聲斥責他們是「毒蛇的種類」。毒蛇就是撒旦,他們看似敬虔,謹守律法,卻是撒旦的種類。因為,他們沒有「結出果子」。

主耶穌基督是神的道成肉身,是義的,是沒有罪的,是不需要「悔改」的,但祂願意接受浸禮作為榜樣,讓我們明白,人人都當認罪悔改,都當領受主耶穌基督的救恩,成為新造的人,承受永生。

求主幫助我們,尊崇神、敬畏神、遵行神的旨意、儆醒跟隨主耶穌基督、謹守聖靈內住我心的引導,渴慕與主親近,活出基督的生命,結出生命果子,成為合神心意能見證神聖潔榮耀的人。          —- Solomon Liu