Today is the last time for the afternoon service for 2018今天是2018年最后一次下午堂聚会，from next Sunday to 27th of Jan 2019从下周主日直到一月27号，we will have a combined service with the morning service the same as usual下午堂和上午堂照旧会合并举行。As we are wrapping up this year and heading into the next year辞旧迎新的时候，we need to count on God’s grace towards us and give thanks to Him让我们数算神的恩典，whether in hardship or in ease为逆境和顺境，献上感谢。And we also give thanks for the people that God has used to bless us也感谢那些神使用来祝福我们的人… Look around and think about it看看周围的人，想一想，为此感恩。
Counting God’s grace with a grateful heart can drive out lies and the sense of rejection以感恩的心数算神的恩典，可以除掉谎言和被拒绝感。I thank God for being gracious to His church感谢神恩待祂的教会，guiding and correcting all of us by His Spirit of truth以圣灵引导指正我们每个人。Thank God for all the people that are supporting this service and together responding to God’s purpose感谢所有支持这个聚会的人，一同回应神的呼召，although it isn’t an easy task尽管那很不容易。Thank God for teaching us to learn that to be a part of His body感谢神教导我们，怎样成为祂身体的肢体，it is not just about me and God不只是 我和神，but about we and our Father而是 我们和父，so that we may together grow in the Lord as a body以至于 在主里 我们可以一同长大，成为一体。
Today, I won’t say too much about the passage we are looking at我今天不打算讲解太多经文，because we have some people, who are going to give us their testimonies about God’s grace throughout the year因有弟兄姊妹，要为神的恩典和作为作见证。First of all, before we continue to look at Matt 7:24-27首先，我们继续《马太福音》7:24-27, let’s watch a short video about the parable of the wise and the foolish builder 先看视频，看看聪明人和无知的人怎样盖房子。
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice所以，凡听见我这话就去行的is like a wise man who built his house on the rock好比一个聪明人，把房子盖在磐石上. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house雨淋，水冲，风吹，撞着那房子; yet it did not fall房子总不倒塌, because it had its foundation on the rock因为根基立在磐石上. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice凡听见我这话不去行的is like a foolish man who built his house on sand好比一个无知的人，把房子盖在沙土上. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house雨淋，水冲，风吹，撞着那房子, and it fell with a great crash房子就倒塌了，并且倒塌得很大.”
“Therefore” is the link between the previous words and the following words”所以”是前后语的连接词, it means that “for this reason”意思是”因为这个原因，因此”, for what reason因为什么原因? For the reason of recognising false prophets为要认出假先知, and getting ourselves ready to enter the Kingdom of heaven为要预备自己进入神的国, when Jesus returns and brings His political Kingdom onto the earth当耶稣再次降临并带下祂的实体政权, and those who do the will of the Father will reign with Christ for the thousand years as a reward那些遵行神旨意的将要与基督一同作王一千年. We should not just listen to the words but put them into practice我们不但当听，还当操练行出来. This is what Jesus instructs us这就是耶稣的教导. Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice所以，凡听见我这话就去行的is like a wise man who built his house on the rock好比一个聪明人，把房子盖在磐石上. Our Lord Jesus brings up a contrast between hearing and doing主耶稣把 听和行 做了个对比. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice凡听见我这话不去行的is like a foolish man who built his house on sand好比一个无知的人，把房子盖在沙土上。
Is hearing the words blessed to our ears耳朵听到的有福吗? Yes是, but if the one who only reads the words or hears good sermons or goes to Christians conferences or bible colleges但一个人仅只是读经、听道、参会、读神学, but does not practice what he hears却不操练所听的道, Jesus judges that he is like a foolish man who built his house on sand耶稣判定那是个无知的人，把房子盖在沙土上. Yes, blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it还不如听 神之道而遵守的人有福 (Luke 11:28，路11：28).
In Luke 6: 46-49（路6：46-49） “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say「你们为什么称呼我『主啊，主啊』却不遵我的话行呢? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice凡到我这里来，听见我的话就去行的, I will show you what they are like我要告诉你们他像什么人. 48 They are like a man building a house他像一个人盖房子, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock深深地挖地，把根基安在磐石上. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it到发大水的时候，水冲那房子，房子总不能摇动, because it was well built因为根基立在磐石上. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation惟有听见不去行的，就像一个人在土地上盖房子，没有根基. The moment the torrent struck that house水一冲, it collapsed, and its destruction was complete随即倒塌了，并且那房子坏的很大.”
Do you notice what the wise man was doing你留意聪明人怎么做的吗? He was spending time and energy to dig deep to the rock on which he was about to build his house他花大量时间，投入许多精力，在磐石上深挖. He dug and dug他不停地挖, until he hit something hard below so that he could build a strong foundation on the Rock在坚石硬地上挖地打地基, and then started to build his house on that rock然后开始盖房子. In Isa 37:31（赛37：31）, “the remnant of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward犹大 家所逃脱余剩的，仍要往下扎根，向上结果”. In that context按照这句经文的上下文, the Lord foretold the Israelites that the kingdom of Judah would be cut down like a tree and would only remain a stump主预言犹大国将像树被砍伐，仅有树不子存留, because of their disobedience to God’s words因为以色列民不顺服神的话. And the remnant was instructed to take root downward主指示那些余剩的人要往下扎根, so that they might bear fruit upward才能向上结果. The same for us我们也同样, before we can “bear fruit upward”, we have to “take root downward” 向上结果 的前提是 向下扎根.
What does “dug down deep and laid foundation on rock” mean“深深挖地，把根基安在磐石上”是什么意思? Jesus has answered simply主的回答很简单, that is to “hear my words and put them into practice.”就是”听了我的话就去行”。 However, the practical procedure is not that simpe但操练步骤却不简单. There are two aspects to practice这包含两方面的操练. One is to dig down deep - and to take root downward一方面是深深挖地，向下扎根. In this step在这一步, you have to read the words你需要读神的话, listen to the words听道, ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding about the words求圣灵使你可以明白神的话, and also allow the words to convict your heart and renew your mind让神的话光照你的心、更新你的意念, and establish an intimate relationship with Jesus based on meditating on His words or praying about His words在默想、祷告神话语的基础上，跟神建立亲密的关系, which is like a branch that abides in the vine就像枝子连在葡萄树上. This is like taking root downward and building a solid foundation under the ground that nobody can see就像在看不到的深处扎根，或者挖地打地基. And digging down takes time and energy这需要花时间花精力. For instance, if you plant a tree就像你栽了树, you water it你浇水, until wait for the tree that gets strongly rooted直到树根长稳了, otherwise, it won’t bear fruit不然就结不了果子. The deeper the tree is rooted树根越深, the more fruit it will bear果实越多. Similarly同样, if we want to bear more fruit of the Holy Spirit如果我们想结更多圣灵的果子, we must be deeply rooted in Jesus’ words就必须深深扎根在主的话语上. How many minutes or hours do you spend reading the bible a day你每天花多少时间读经? Or praying祷告? Or meditating on God’s words默想神的话语? The root lies in a secret and hidden place根扎在看不见的隐秘处, where people can’t see it别人看不到. Without the root, the tree can’t bear fruit没有根，树就没果子.
But we can misunderstand the purpose of this step但我们又会曲解这个步骤的目的, some may think that once they have heard good messages有人会以为只要听福音, or have gone to seminary to hear the word of God或去神学院听道学习, they have been made great已经不得了了; Some may think that once they have spent time with God in a secret place还有人以为只要花时间和神在内室, they have been crowned with success就已经大功告成了.
But Jesus clearly declares但耶稣宣告说：blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it却还不如听 神之道而遵守的人有福。(Luke 11:28，路11：28). As everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice所以，凡听见我这话就去行的is like a wise man who built his house on the rock好比一个聪明人，把房子盖在磐石上, 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation惟有听见不去行的，就像一个人在土地上盖房子，没有根基。
These words tell us that we are responsible for what we hear这些话告诉我们，我们要为我们所听到的神的话负责. Hearing the words or reading the words is just a preparation听到神的话和读神的话只是一个预备. It is just like a soldier who has a gun就像一个士兵预备了枪, unless he goes to war and defeats his enemies by using this gun除非他去战场并用枪战胜了敌人, he wins over他才算赢. Similarly同样, we are commanded to practice God’s words神要我们行道. Jesus didn’t say. Jesus didn’t say耶稣没有说, “Whoever hears more of my words is the one who loves me多听我道的，就是爱我的.” But says却说, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me有了我的命令又遵守的，这人就是爱我的. John 14:21（约14：21）” Love is an action not an emotion爱是行动，不是感情. “whoever loves God must also love his brother爱 神的，也当爱弟兄1 John 4:21（约一4：21）” This is talking about the action not the emotion.这是在讲行动不是感觉感受。
Therefore所以, the essential step of digging down to the Rock (read or hear the word of God) 深深挖地的基础步骤（指读神的话、听道）is not the final procedure不是最终的, by doing that we only get ready for the time of yielding fruit to come我们做这些，只是为了等候结实的时间来到. When and how何时结实，怎样结实? In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us主耶稣在撒种的比喻里说, “when trouble or persecution comes because of the word及至为道遭了患难，或是受了逼迫, he quickly falls away立刻就跌倒了. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word撒在荆棘里的，就是人听了道, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it后来有世上的思虑、钱财的迷惑把道挤住了，不能结实. making it unfruitful. Matt 13: 21-22（太13：21-22）.
Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it那些在磐石上的，就是人听道，欢喜领受, but they have no root但心中没有根. They believe for a while不过暂时相信, but in the time of testing they fall away及至遇见试炼就退后了. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear那落在荆棘里的，就是人听了道, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures走开以后，被今生的思虑、钱财、宴乐挤住了, and they do not mature便结不出成熟的子粒来. Luke 8:13-14（路8：13-14）
The reason Christians cannot bear fruit (don’t grow to spiritual maturity) 基督徒不能结实（灵命不能成熟）的原因是 is that they fail the testing of faith by在信心考试中失败: trouble 或是 遭了患难or persecution 受了逼迫or the worries of this life或是 世上的思虑 or the deceitfulness of wealth 钱财的迷惑, or life’s pleasures人生宴乐 等等...
In other words换句话说, the downward root we make in a secret place我们在隐秘处深深挖地 (reading the words or hearing the words or meditating on the words，指读神的话，听道，默想神的话) is for the time when the testing of our faith comes是为了信心试炼来预备, we can get support from the root使我们从根得着力量, to overcome temptations and trials胜过试探和试炼, so that we may yield the fruit of the Spirit, and become more like Christ就结出圣灵的果子，更多成为基督的样式.
The storm or rain Jesus mentioned that may happen in our lives生活中有许多主耶稣所说的风吹、雨淋, could be sickness可能是疾病, loss损失 (loss of a job失去工作, loss of money钱财, loss of our close friends or family members失去朋友或亲人), or crises或危机, or any temptations或各种试探, that may cause us to sin这些都可能使我们跌倒犯罪. When we go through that我们身在其中时, we can become negativity and grumble或会消极，或会抱怨, or complain to God or to people埋怨神埋怨人, because of the hard situation we are facing因所面临的难处, so that we may yield fruit of the flesh of complaint or fear就结出肉体的果子，如惧怕, rejection or self-pity被拒绝或自怜, being judgemental or jealousy论断或嫉妒, or hatred, or even committing sexual sins or other sins仇恨或自杀，或其他罪.
But if we turn to His words但我们若转向神的话, and call upon Him constantly by getting rid of all the bad feelings of the self from our hearts不住呼求祂，除去从自我里发出的负面的感觉感受, and yield to the word of God降服于神的话, and do the commands of God through the power of the Holy Spirit靠着圣灵的能力行神旨意, day after day, we will be able to yield the fruit of the Spirit -love, peace, joy, patience日复一日就能结出圣灵的果子，仁爱、和平、喜乐、忍耐…
We are responsible for what we hear. 我们要对我们所听到的神的话负责。May God grant us understanding to understand His words愿神赐给我们悟性明白祂的道, and put them into practice操练行祂的道, so that we will be like the wise man who build his house on the rock就能像聪明人把房子建在磐石上.