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用救赎历史传福音

(2011-06-16 17:05:10)
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杂谈

分类: 圣经神学
 
用救赎历史传福音
Redemptive History
作者:Richard Phillips /诚之译
by Richard Phillips
英文原文载于:http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/redemptive-history/

即使对圣经不熟的人也知道圣经可以分成两部分:旧约与新约。对圣经稍微熟悉的人知道圣经的第一部分是摩西五经,然后是历史书,诗歌,以及先知书。新约有福音书,使徒行传,使徒书信,以及启示录。这是教会对圣经条理所作的安排。但是圣经是否提出她自己的架构,来帮助我们明白救恩的信息呢?改革宗神学家很早就注意到,圣经的确提供了一个架构,就是我们所说的“圣约神学”。透过这些圣约,上帝在救赎历史中行动。圣约神学不只是改革宗认识圣经的方法,也是圣经自己展示救恩的方式。
Even those casually familiar with the Bible know its basic contents: the Old Testament in front and the New Testament in back. Those more familiar know its contents more deeply. First is the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), followed by the histories, the poetic books, and the prophets. In the New Testament, we find the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. This describes how the church has organized the canon of the Bible’s books. But does Scripture present its own structure for understanding its message of salvation? As Reformed theologians have long observed, the Bible does provide such a framework, which we call “covenant theology.” It is through His covenants that God has acted in redemptive history. Covenant theology is not merely a Reformed approach to Scripture, but the Bible’s own approach in presenting salvation.

神和祂子民的故事
A History of God and His People

如果要讲述美国历史,我们会选择一些可行的方案。我们也许会把美国的战争作为架构,以了解美国如何在国际强权下诞生。或者我们会考虑美国的总统政治,祂令人惊讶的发明记录,或者个人自由的扩张。这些框架都可以把美国历史的资料整合成一部历史。
If we were to tell the story of American history, we might choose a number of possible approaches. We might recount America’s wars as a framework for understanding our national ascent to global power. Or we might consider presidential politics, the record of amazing inventions, or the expansion of personal liberties. Such frameworks would serve to integrate the data of American history into one story.

那么,圣经呢?它如何展开神和祂子民的历史?我最近有一趟空中旅行,有机会回答这个问题。一位年轻的犹太妇女坐在我旁边,问道:“基督徒相信什么?”这真是令人兴奋的机会!我大可以用许多教义来回答,用圣经来解释创造,罪,审判,救赎,和永生的问题。这种方式是很正确的,也可能会很有效。但是我用了另一种方法,就是把圣经所述说的故事加以展开。换句话说,我是用圣约神学来教她。用这个方法部分的原因是可以把她的犹太人身份和基督徒信仰连在一起。另一个原因是这是神所用的方法。在圣经中,祂就是用这种方式把救恩的信息传递出来。
What about the Bible? How does it unfold the story of God and His people? During a recent flight, I had an opportunity to answer this. A young Jewish woman sitting next to me asked, “What do Christians believe?” What an exciting opportunity! I may have responded with various doctrines, giving Bible answers about creation, sin, judgment, redemption, and eternal life. Such an approach would have been sound and perhaps effective. But I took a different approach, instead unfolding the story told in the Bible. In other words, I taught her covenant theology. I took this approach, in part, to connect her Jewish identity to the Christian faith. But I also did so because it is the approach God took when He communicated His message of salvation in the Bible.

首先,让我们先认识什么是圣约。圣约是神为人的生命和祝福所设立的契约(合同)。当一对男女走入圣约,要在婚姻的祝福下一同生活,他们就设立的一个合同——一个正式的、具约束性的协议——即我们所称的婚礼。婚礼把他们绑在婚姻之内,有彼此的权利和义务。同样,神也用圣约把祂自己和人绑在一起。这个圣约的条件是神根据自己的主权所设立的。有了这层了解,让我们回答我如何回答这位妇人的问题。我说到:基督徒相信,神和亚当立了一个神圣的圣约,要赐给他永恒的生命,条件是他必须完全顺服神的吩咐。 然而亚当吃了禁果,破坏了这个圣约,因而遭受圣约的咒诅,并且连累到他所有后代的子孙。 不过,神应许了另一个圣约,人唯独靠着神的恩典,靠着一个完美的献祭所流的血,可以得到拯救。之后,神用洪水消灭了恶贯满盈的人类,祂和有信心的挪亚立了约,拯救他,也为自己保存了一群圣洁的子民。接下来,神和亚伯拉罕立约,应许他一块蒙福之地,以及多如天上繁星的后裔,条件是他必须信靠神。
First, let’s make sure we know what a covenant is. A covenant is a compact God makes with man for life and blessing. When a man and a woman enter into a covenant to live in the blessings of marriage, they make a compact — a formal, binding agreement — in what we call a wedding. A wedding binds them in marriage, with certain privileges and obligations. Likewise, God bound Himself to men with covenants, according to His own sovereignly imposed terms. With that understanding, let’s get back to my answer to the woman’s question. I began: “Christians believe that God made a covenant with Adam, permitting him to live on the condition of perfect obedience. But Adam broke that covenant by eating from the forbidden tree, falling under God’s curse through sin, and all his offspring with him. But God promised another covenant by which He would offer salvation by grace alone, through the blood of a perfect sacrifice. Later, when God determined to destroy sinful mankind with a flood, He made a covenant with Noah to save the man of faith and preserve a holy people for Himself. Later yet, God made a covenant with Abraham, promising a land of blessing and descendants as numerous as the stars, requiring that Abraham believe.”

我继续解释基督徒的信仰。我说到上帝如何差遣摩西,把以色列人从埃及拯救出来,和他们立约,使他们成为一个圣洁的国度。然后我说到上帝如何与大卫立约,应许他的后裔会有一个永恒的宝座。最后的结论是,“基督徒相信上帝差派了祂自己的儿子,应许给以色列的弥赛亚,来到世上。祂完美的一生和献祭,坚立了上帝恩典救恩的应许,使所有愿意相信的人都可以得到这个应许。
On went my explanation of Christian belief. I explained how God sent Moses to deliver Israel from bondage in Egypt, making a covenant to establish God’s holy nation. Then I told how God made a covenant with David, promising an eternal throne for a son from David’s line. Finally, I concluded, “Christians believe that God sent His own Son, Israel’s promised Messiah, whose perfect life and sacrificial death established God’s gracious salvation promises for those who believe.”

这就是圣约神学的圣经基础:圣经就是用这种方法来讲述上帝拯救人的方法。上帝就是这样呼召我们如此相信,所以,所有相信圣经所讲述的故事的人,都相信圣约神学。
This demonstrates the biblical foundation of covenant theology: it is the Bible’s own way of relating God’s way of salvation. This is what God calls for us to believe, so that all who believe the Bible’s story believe in covenant theology.

两个圣约的故事
A Tale of Two Covenants

圣经的主要信息是要处理两个问题:罪和救赎。圣经是用两个圣约来处理这些问题,人违背了其中一个圣约,而基督成全了另一个圣约。这两个圣约——工作之约和恩典之约——为圣经的教导树立起一个架构,也是我们明白救恩的关键。
The Bible’s primary message deals with two great issues: sin and redemption. It relates these to two different covenants, one of which man broke and other of which Christ fulfilled. These two covenants — the covenant of works and the covenant of grace — provide the architecture on which the Bible’s teaching is erected and serve as the key to our understanding of salvation.

我告诉我犹太人的邻座,神和亚当立了一个约。神以这个方式要求亚当和他的后裔必须满足一些条件,才能继续留在乐园里享受生命,即威敏思特信条所说的“完全、个人的顺服”(威敏思特信条7.2)。这个考验具体实现在一棵树上:“善恶知识之树”。神的律例是:你吃的那日必定死。(创2:17)。靠着顺服,亚当可以在乐园中留存生命,但是如果他破坏了这个圣约,他就要受死亡之苦。改革宗神学称这个约为“工作之约”(covenant of works),因为亚当是否存活或堕落,都靠他自己的工作。
As I told my Jewish neighbor, God entered into a covenant with Adam. In this way, God imposed the terms by which Adam and his posterity might continue to enjoy life in the garden, namely, “perfect and personal obedience” (Westminster Confession of Faith, 7.2). A test was implemented with regard to one tree: “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God ordained that “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Through obedience, Adam would retain life in the garden, but if he broke the covenant, he would suffer death. Reformed theology refers to this as “the covenant of works,” since by Adam’s own works he would either stand or fall.

亚当破坏了这个工作之约,而圣经其余的部分就是在呈现神如何回应这个难题。 神的回应是恩典之约(covenant of grace),神应许用恩典之约来弥补工作之约遭到破坏所带来的麻烦。因为蛇(撒但的代表)引诱了第一个人亚当,使他犯罪,神就以击败撒但的语言作为祂恩典的开始。神告诉蛇:“我又要叫你和女人彼此为仇;你的後裔和女人的後裔也彼此为仇。女人的後裔要伤你的头;你要伤他的脚跟。”(创3:15)神学家称这段话是“最初的原型”(Protoevangelion),也就是福音的第一次宣讲。接着,神展示了这个恩典之约会如何进行:无罪的祭牲会代替罪人而死,把神的义提供给他们,以祂的血来偿付他们的刑罚。创3:21说,“耶和华 神为亚当和他妻子用皮子做衣服给他们穿。”
Adam’s breach of the covenant of works is the great problem for which the rest of the Bible presents God’s answer. This answer is the covenant of grace, which God promised as His remedy for the broken covenant of works. Since the serpent (representing the devil) had tempted the first humans into sin, God’s grace was first presented in terms of his defeat. God told the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). Theologians call this the Protoevangelion, that is, the first preaching of the Gospel. God then displayed how the covenant of grace would succeed: a sinless sacrifice would die in the place of sinners, providing His righteousness for them and paying their penalty in His blood. Genesis 3:21 says, “The Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.”

恩典之约为福音在接下来的世代中展开,提供了统一的架构。神与挪亚所立的约保存了恩典之约,人类因此可以继续留存,直到救主降生。神与亚伯拉罕所立的约不仅应许他会有许多的后裔,而且在一个后裔身上,这个恩典之约会得到应验(见加3:16)。到了摩西的时代,亚伯拉罕家族成了一个国家,神与摩西所立的约提供了许多祭司,他们要献无数的祭,好让他们的罪得到赦免。神的国度也包括祂的王权,神与大卫立的约应许一个永远坚立的国度。
The covenant of grace provides unity to the Gospel’s unfolding in successive generations. God’s covenant with Noah preserved the covenant of grace, so that the human race would continue until the birth of its Savior. God’s covenant with Abraham promised not just many offspring, but also the single offspring in whom the covenant would be fulfilled (see Gal. 3:16). By the time of Moses, Abraham’s family had become a nation, and God’s covenant with Moses provided priests who would offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins. God’s kingdom also needed a sovereign, and God’s covenant with David promised a king who would never fail or die.

但是历经了漫长的世代,被破坏的工作之约仍然没有得到弥补——亚当和他的后代仍然需要透过完全的顺服来获得他们所需要的在神面前的义。因此,保罗这样说:“及至时候满足,神就差遣祂的儿子,为女子所生,且生在律法以下,要把律法以下的人赎出来…”(加4:4-5)。这是圣约神学最精炼的表达。正如耶稣所说,祂来是要来成全(应验)律法(太5:17),也就是说,祂来是要代表我们成全工作之约。然后,藉著在十字架上的死,耶稣为神在恩典之约中要给罪人的恩典,安放了稳固的根基。这就是耶稣所说,祂要立一个“新约”的意思,祂要为那些相信的人完成恩典之约。当耶稣宣告说,“因为这是我立约的血,为多人流出来,使罪得赦”(太26:28),祂是在眺望祂的赎罪之死。
But through all the long generations, the broken covenant of works remained unfulfilled — Adam and his line still needed the righteousness that comes only through perfect obedience. So, as Paul put it, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:4–5). This is covenant theology at its finest. As Jesus stated, He came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17); that is, he came to fulfill the covenant of works on our behalf. Then, by dying on the cross, Jesus laid the foundation for God’s grace for sinners in the covenant of grace. This is the meaning of Christ’s words in establishing His “new covenant,” bringing the covenant of grace to fruition for those who believe. Anticipating His atoning death, Jesus declared, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28).

圣约神学不只是在了解旧约和福音上很重要,对认识使徒书信中教导的教义也很重要。例如,我们怎能说神是个公义者,祂“称信耶稣的人为义”是公义的(罗3:26)?圣约神学给了我们解答:信基督的人被神称义,是因为靠耶稣代表我们完成了工作之约,也靠祂在恩典之约中所付出的血的赎價。另一个重要的问题是:我们的信心为什么能让我们在神面前,不靠我们自己的工作而被称义?圣经神学给我们圣经的答案是:耶稣成全了我们在工作之约中所亏欠于神的工作,而这是在恩典之约中我们藉著信心所领受的。
Covenant theology is vital not merely for understanding the Old Testament and the Gospels, but also for the apostolic doctrine taught in the Epistles. How, for instance, can God be just and yet be “the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26)? Covenant theology provides the answer: believers in Christ are justified both by His fulfilling the covenant of works on our behalf and by the atonement in His blood offered by the covenant of grace. Here is another important question: How can faith make us righteous before God, apart from works of our own? Covenant theology gives the Bible’s answer: Jesus performed the works we owe to God under the covenant of works, which we receive by faith alone under the covenant of grace.

历史是神的历史
History as His Story

圣约神学展示出圣经自己的救赎架构,因为它和圣经一样,把耶稣基督的位格和工作加以展开。当保罗写道,“神的应许,不论有多少,在基督都是是的”(林后1:20),他是指向神在圣约中的应许。神的恩典所应许的礼物是什么?答案在祂诸多的圣约中可以找到。祂应许生命,保守,应许之地,一群荣耀的子民,一位牧养我们的祭司,一位公义的君王,以及赎罪的羔羊。这些应许都是“是的”,是因为我们相信耶稣的一生、祂的死和复活,祂是圣约中的基督。圣约神学所教导的圣经历史的确是神的历史,因此我们唯有在耶稣基督里可以找到神丰盛的恩典。
Covenant theology presents the Bible’s own framework for salvation, because like the Bible it unfolds the person and work of Jesus Christ. When Paul wrote, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him” (2 Cor. 1:20), he was pointing to God’s covenant promises. What has God promised as His gift of grace? The answer is found in His covenants, which offer life, preservation, a land of promise, a glorious people, a ministering priest, a righteous king, and an atoning lamb. These promises are all Yes and Amen only as we trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ of the covenants. The Bible history taught by covenant theology is truly His story, so that we might find the fullness of God’s grace in Jesus Christ alone.

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