译文:国会山浸信会信仰告白

博主按:

其实大多数教会的信仰告白大同小异,但为什么我要翻译这篇呢?因为我特别欣赏国会山浸信会将信仰告白嵌入到会员课程中(慢慢翻译),而且他们的信仰告白既不像很多福音派教会那么简单(一般都是六点:圣经论、神论、人论、救恩论、教会论、末世论),也不像我的母会那么复杂(我们的是我抄来的,几乎可以做要理问答课程了)。太过简单的信条会留下太多模糊空间给很多似是而非的教导,而太过复杂的信条就几乎没有人看。其实我对国会山浸信会的信仰告白也不太满意,因为里面没有包含圣灵论,教会论中漏掉了长老的职分,但因为教会的浸信会传统而未得以修正。与这份信仰告白类似的还有美南浸信会的信仰告白,以及他们的复杂版:伦敦浸信会宣言。我个人认为,信仰告白最好还是分成会员版(简单易记)和事工版(清晰回应教义性分歧)。

原文按:

自从使徒时代直至如今,基督徒都写下教义、信条和定义性的宣告。作为认识神的人,我们认为很有必要为教会基于圣经定下一个简明的真理标准作为房角石。我们的信仰告白总结了核心的基督徒信仰,展示了基督里的合一,且保护教会免予错谬。

所有加入国会山浸信会作为会员的人,都需要确认本教会基于1853年新罕布什尔信仰告白修订而来的信仰告白。这个信仰告白宣告了我们的信仰是连结与历史上的基督教、福音派基督教、信徒受洗和会众制体制的。一旦接受了这个信仰告白,我们就有责任相信它和根据它而生活。

译文:

I. 圣经:我们相信圣经是在人受到神圣启示下所写成,也是神对人启示其自己的记录。它是神圣教导的完美宝库。它以神为其作者,救赎为其目的,无误真理为其内容。它把神审判世人的原则启示出来,因此,无论现在或至将来,它必永存至世界的末了,也是基督徒合一的真正中心,并人类行为、信条和观念所应努力符合的最高标准。

II. 真神:我们相信永活和真实的神是独一的。祂是自有永有的、智慧的灵,祂的名为耶和华。祂是这个宇宙的创造主、救赎主、保存者和统治者。神在其自己的圣洁和各种完美上是无限的。祂配得一切的尊荣、信靠和爱戴。这位永恒的上主,虽然在本性、本质及存在上无分别,却以圣父、圣子、圣灵三个不同的位格在合一中同存,在伟大的救赎工作中以不同的职分合一的启示自己。

III. 堕落:我们相信人是造物主本于自己形像的创造。起初,人是清白无罪的,他运用其自由抉择从最初的圣洁与喜乐中堕落,并为人类带来了罪恶。自此以后,所有人都成为罪人,并不是被迫乃是自愿,在本性上拒绝和抵挡神的律法所要求的圣洁,积极的倾向犯罪的本性和环境。因此,人将在神公义的审判中得着永远的毁灭。

IV. 拯救:我们相信罪人得拯救是全然的恩典,这拯救是透过神儿子作为中保而完成的。神的儿子因圣父的差遣,变成我们的样式,但却没有罪,因着顺服而遵从神圣的律法,并透过受死成为我们罪完全的赎价。祂已经从死里复活,祂升至天上的宝座,现在被高举在神的右边,在那裡成为世人的中保。在祂里面有对人性温柔的同理心和神性的完美。因此,祂是我们最合适的、充满怜悯的且是完全足够的救主。

V. 称义:我们相信基督所确保的福音带来最大的祝福就是一切愿意接受耶稣基督作为主和救主的人都得以被称为义。称义是罪得赦免和得着按着神公义原则的永生之应许。称义是被神所授予的,不是因为我们曾经做下的任何善行,而是单单透过对救主宝血的信心。也正是透过这种纯全的信心,神白白的算我们为义。称义把信徒带进与神建立和平与喜悦的关係,也确保我们接受其他与今生永恒有关的祝福。

VI. 白白的救恩:我们相信救恩的祝福是透过福音白白的赐下的,我们相信所有人都有透过诚恳、悔过和顺服的信心回应福音的责任,并且我们相信除了人完全堕落的本性和因此而选择拒绝福音之外,没有其他因素能拦阻罪人得着救恩。而这种对福音的拒绝将导致人受更重的审判。

VII. 重生的恩典:我们相信若要得救,罪人必须重生,或称得着新生。重生给我们的性情带来对神圣的渴慕,是透过圣灵超越我们的理解的工作而带来的,是与神圣的真理相连结的,以确保我们对福音甘愿的顺服。我们相信重生的果效会在悔改、信心和更新的生命中作为神圣的果子表现出来。

VIII. 悔改与信心:我们相信悔改与信心是神圣的责任,也是不可分的对恩典的经验,因着从神而来重生的灵而写在我们的心上。因着对我们的罪、面临的危机和无助的深深信服,也因着基督的救赎之路,我们带着真实的悔悟、忏悔和对怜悯的恳求从罪转向神,同时发自内心的接受耶稣基督为我们的先知、祭司和君王,并单单依靠他作为我们独一和充分的救主。

IX. 神对恩典的目的:我们相信拣选是神恩惠的旨意,祂藉此来重生、圣化,和拯救罪人。拣选与人作为一个自主的个体是一致的,并洞悉一切关乎达至目的的手段。拣选是神最高善的荣耀展示,又是无限的智慧、神圣和不变的。拣选排除骄夸,促进谦卑,且促使我们的谦卑、爱心、祷告、赞美、信靠和效法祂的怜悯。这激励我们在各样事上尽最大的努力,使神的拣选在因着它的果效在一切真心相信福音的人身上显明出来而得着确据。我们相信拣选是基督徒救恩确据的基础,但也需要和配得我们尽力摆上最大的勤勉。

X. 成圣:我们相信成圣是因着神的旨意,我们在祂的圣洁中有份的过程。成圣是一个渐进性的工作, 自重生开始,并且藉着圣灵——盖印者和保惠师——内住于信徒中的同在与能力,透过神所预备的方式而进行的。这些方式包括神的话语、自我省察、钉死老我、警醒和祷告。

XI. 圣徒蒙保守:我们相信真信徒都会忍耐到底。他们对基督至死的忠心是将他们与肤浅的认信者区别开来的重要标记。我们相信神有特别的保守看顾他们的福祉,他们必会为神的大能所保守,藉着信进入拯救中。

XII. 福音与律法:我们相信神的律法是祂道德律永恒不变的旨意,律法是圣洁的、公义的,也是好的。我们也相信圣经所描述的堕落的人因着对罪的迷恋而不能行出律法的要求,圣经也同样告诉我们福音的伟大目的就是将人从这种罪的捆绑中释放出来,并透过中保,也透过与有形教会的连结所带来的恩典途径,恢复我们对神圣律法的真诚顺服。

XIII. 福音的教会:我们相信一间属于主耶稣基督的有形教会,是一群已接受浸礼的信徒,在信仰的约和福音的团契上被连系着的一个地区群体。他们遵行着基督的礼仪,委身于祂的教训,并行使他们藉着基督圣言所获赐的恩赐、权利和特权。她按圣经设立的职事是牧师和执事,他们的资格、条件和职责都在写给提摩太和提多的使徒书信中。

XIV. 浸礼与主餐:我们相信基督徒的浸礼是为信徒而施行的,是奉父、子、圣灵的名把全身浸入水裡面的礼仪。这是一个顺服的行动,象徵着信徒信仰那位受难、被埋葬和复活的救主,也表明了信徒向罪死,旧我的生命已被埋葬,并在基督耶稣裡复活,行在新生命中。它是信徒相信最后从死亡中复活的见证。它作为教会的一项礼仪,是信徒得以获得教会的会藉,并与信徒同守主餐的一个先决条件。主餐乃是一象徵顺服的行动,藉此教会会友可以透过分享饼和葡萄酒,自我省察,记念救主因着爱而为我们死。

XV. 基督徒的安息日:我们相信每个星期的第一天被定为主日,或称为基督徒的安息日。这日应当为着信仰的目的被分别为圣,并应作为个人的或公众的崇拜与灵修的实践。主日是为着为神子民所存留的安息所预备的。

XVI. 民事政府:我们相信民事政府是神所设立的,为的是人类社会的益处和秩序。我们应当为民事官员祷告,尊敬他们,并且顺服他们。唯有当政府的法令与我们的主耶稣基督的意旨相违背时,我们无需顺服。基督是良知的主,并是万王之王。

XVII. 义人与罪人:我们相信义人与罪人有根本和本质的区别。我们相信唯有因主耶稣的名透过信心而称义、被圣灵所成圣的人才是神眼中的义人,而那些继续顽梗不信的人是神眼中的恶人,且是被咒诅的。这种区别在生前和死后都存在。

XVIII. 世界的结局:我们相信世界的结局近了。我们相信在末后的日子,基督将从天降临,并复活坟墓中的死人以带来最终的报应。庄严的区别将要发生:恶人将被定罪要受永远的刑罚,义人将接受赏赐想手永远的福乐。这样的审判是基于公义的原则,且对天堂和地狱中的人而言是存到永远的状态。

原文:

I. The Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

II. Of The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

III. Of The Fall Of Man
We believe that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

IV. Of The Way Of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen from the dead he is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.

V. Of Justification
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.

VI. Of The Freeness Of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth, but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

VII. Of Grace In Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.

VIII. Of Repentance And Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.

IX. Of God’s Purpose Of Grace
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.

X. Of Sanctification
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, – especially, the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer.

XI. Of The Perseverance Of Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

XII. Of The Harmony Of The Law And The Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin: to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church.

XIII. Of A Gospel Church
We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its only scriptural officers are Bishops or Pastors, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV. Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

XV. Of The Christian Sabbath
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God.

XVI. Of Civil Government
We believe that Civil Government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.

XVII. Of The Righteous And The Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death.

XVIII. Of The World To Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness.

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