要坚忍

希伯来书12:1-4

1我们既有这许多的见证人,如同云彩围着我们,就当放下各样的重担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,

2仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。他因那摆在前头的喜乐,就轻看羞辱,忍受了十字架的苦难,便坐在神宝座的右边。

3那忍受罪人这样顶撞的,你们要思想,免得疲倦灰心。你们与罪恶相争,还没有抵挡到留血的地步。

导论

两个问题:第一,圣经所说的“忍耐”与中国传统文化中的“忍耐”有何不同?俗话说,“忍字心头一把刀”,中国文化中有很多有关“忍耐”的做人道理。比如说,西汉名将韩信,忍受恶少的胯下之辱,终成大器;孙膑装疯卖傻,最后收拾了庞涓;越王勾践卧薪尝胆,东山再起,成为一代霸主,“忍”成为一种被教育的美德,成为中华文化非常推崇的观念。是不是说基督徒也要这样“忍”?第二,圣经中有一个重要的教义,就是“一次得救,永远得救”(once saved, always saved),既然横竖都得救,忍不忍有那么重要吗?

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神使用完全降伏的人

路加福音5:1-11

vv.1-7 耶稣站在革尼撒勒湖边,众人拥挤他,要听神的道。他见有两只船湾在湖边。打鱼的人却离开船,洗网去了。有一只船,是西门的,耶稣就上去,请他把船撑开,稍微离岸,就坐下,从船上教训众人。讲完了,对西门说,把船开到水深之处,下网打鱼。西门说,夫子,我们整夜劳力,并没有打着什么。但依从你的话,我就下网。他们下了网,就圈住许多鱼,网险些裂开。便招呼那只船上的同伴来帮助。他们就来把鱼装满了两只船,甚至船要沉下去。

vv.8-9 西门彼得看见,就俯伏在耶稣膝前,说,主阿,离开我,我是个罪人。他和一切同在的人,都惊讶这一网所打的鱼。

vv.10-11 他的夥伴西庇太的儿子,雅各,约翰,也是这样。耶稣对西门说,不要怕,从今以后,你要得人了。他们把两只船拢了岸,就撇下所有的跟从了耶稣。

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汉字真是圣经中的神对中国人的启示吗?

“汉字是上帝对中国人的启示”启示并不是新鲜的观点,而是在1980年代兴起,经《神州》电视系列片而广为传播的一种说法。本文是我在宣教课上的一个作业,但并不是旨在完全推翻或者反对这一理论,只是对这一理论提出质疑;作为基督徒,也并不是我“胳膊肘往外拐”,而是对“求真”的追求。试想,如果这一理论并不成立,那么宣传它或者靠它传福音岂不是自取其辱吗?

我并不是语言文字专业的,所以只能提出一些疑问,但不能解答这些疑问。有疏漏错谬之处,请多多指教。

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作神的儿女

约翰福音1:9-14

9那光是真光,照亮一切生在世上的人。他在世界,世界也是藉着他造的,世界却不认识他。他到自己的地方来,自己的人倒不接待他。

12凡接待他的,就是信他名的人,他就赐他们权柄,作神的儿女。这等人不是从血气生的,不是从情欲生的,也不是从人意生的,乃是从神生的。

14道成了肉身住在我们中间,充充满满的有恩典有真理。我们也见过他的荣光,正是父独生子的荣光。

引言

今天这一个特别的聚会是为着即将到来的圣诞节而举行的,而刚才我们所读的这段经文是约翰福音中有关圣诞给我们带来什么的一段重要论述。圣诞之所以成为“圣诞”,而不是“耶稣诞辰”,是因为我们纪念的这位耶稣基督是“圣”的,这种“圣”不是天主教所说的“圣徒”或是“天使”,也不是儒家所说的“至圣先师”那种“圣”,而是真正的、创造天地的神在地上的降生。有很多儒家的学者主张将“圣诞节”改称“耶诞节”,鲁迅也是这种主张,因为他们并不认为耶稣是神,而是将他看作普通的人,这也是基督教信仰与犹太教和伊斯兰教等其他宗教的一个巨大差别。我在美国所住的地方靠近附近的一个犹太人社区,在几乎所有的家庭都在圣诞期间张灯结彩装饰自己的院子时,进入犹太社区的街道却会发现那里是黑暗而又冷清的,因为他们并不认为耶稣是他们所信奉的那位神的儿子,更不愿意与耶稣基督有任何的关系。

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《赞美诗选编1050首》中的101首传统圣诗

1050cover

江苏省两会曾出版《赞美诗选编1050首》,起初印数不多,但今日在教会中流通的绿皮歌本数量一定远远超过爱德的印数,也因此衍生出了多个不同的版本(如1250首,1500首等等)。由于容易获得(可以从淘宝上买到),在网上也很容易找到对应的简谱、MIDI甚至MP3,甚至还有人做好了全套的歌词PPT,所以在中国教会中得到比较多的使用。

但是我不得不指出,1050首当中有相当多的诗歌来自《迦南诗歌》,也有很多的现代敬拜赞美短歌,而敬拜主席在选诗歌时,往往会选择那些自己会唱的、或是在网上能找到MP3的,而这样的诗歌往往是现代短歌。我无意于在这里评判现代短歌中的缺点和错误,但教会的敬拜确实塑造信仰的深度。传统圣诗中歌词所传递的信息,以及圣诗在数百年传承中所经历的挑选与淘汰,作者的属灵生命,都能给我们带来更多更好的反思。

我们曾在两年前对绿皮诗歌本做了一些挑选,将其与宣道会出版社的《生命圣诗》相对照,发现绿皮歌本中大约有101首诗歌是与《生命圣诗》中的传统圣诗重合的。我们不反对教会在敬拜中使用现代诗歌,但是我们更要强调和熟悉历世历代圣徒的珍贵宝藏,帮助弟兄姊妹首先学习和熟悉这些传统圣诗。

注1:很多传统圣诗有不同的译文。《生命圣诗》因为是香港的教会编写,所以译文韵脚多考虑广东话发音。内地教会多采用《普天颂赞》译文或聚会处所用《选本诗歌》译文,这两种译文也有很大不同。

注2:若有遗漏,请点击这里添砖加瓦。

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Discussion on Mark 15:21

An assignment for New Testament Survey

In Mark 15:21, when Jesus was led to the place where he was going to be crucified, the soldiers forced a passerby named Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross for Jesus. It is also recorded in other two synoptic gospels, Matthew 27:32 and Luke 23:26. I was asked several times by some believers in the church on the significance of this person. I also found different interpretations on the figure of Simon. Some even explain that this insertion indicates that sometimes strangers need to sacrifice because of the persecution to Christians, while some claim that Simon’s act is a deed of sympathetic magnanimity.[1]

So we fist need to know why Simon took the cross over from Jesus. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:41) Jesus says “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” According to many commentary books, the Roman rule over Israel of the 1st century was a very oppressive and dominating government. Craig Keener says in his commentary on the situation: “Because tax revenues did not cover all the Roman army’s needs, soldiers could requisition what they required. Romans could legally demand local inhabitants to provide forced labor if they wanted and were known to abuse this privilege.”[2] In the same way, Simon was forced by a Roman soldier to help carry the cross that crucified Christ. Betz notes that “the victim of such a despicable request was legally obliged to comply.”[3]

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Christian Unity

注:这是《讲道学》第二次英文讲道作业逐字稿,A-

Prayer

Our heavenly father, thank you for gathering us and being with us again in this afternoon. Your word is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged swords. I pray that this afternoon you can use your word to prick into our hearts. Help us to realize our sin and change our mind in order to be used by you. I also pray that you would use me to preach your word, and bless my tongue to speak English fluently. I pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Introduction:

I believe most of us have experienced a kind of disunity in the church. There are different levels of disunity in the church. The result of some disunities caused believers holding different opinions to feel angry against each other, or maybe they won’t talk to each other any more in the church. If they have to talk, they will speak with eyes staring at another object. Some disunity will cause some leaders to leave and join or start another church. We usually call it “unexpected church planting”. The most serious disunity I have ever seen is that one side not only left church but also wrote articles on Internet criticize another side as “heresy” and “false church”. These are sad stories that not only hurt God’s people, but also brought shame to God’s name. However, it’s easy to criticize others who cause the disunity, but have you ever thought one day you will be one of those “troublemakers”?

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Christ-Centered Thanksgiving

注:这是第一次英文讲道逐字稿,B+

Please open your Bible and turn to 1 Corinthians, chapter 1 verse 4 to 9. Listen to my reading of English Standard Version:

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (ESV)

4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray:

Our heavenly father, thank you for this precious opportunity that we can study your word together. I pray that you will help me to speak what you want me to speak from this passage, and overcome the difficulty of the language and culture. And I also pray that Holy Spirit will work here so that your words will touch and change our hearts. Please help us to understand and put your words into our daily life. I pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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