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2017-10-29 The beatitudes (1) 天国八福之一

发表于 2024-01-08

Have you ever thought about what life would be like in the kingdom of God你有没有想像过在神国度里,人的生命是怎样? Would there be quarrelling 会有争吵, jealousy嫉妒,anger恼怒, slander诽谤, gossip闲言碎语, and conceit自大, or greed贪心, or adultery淫乱, or idolatry拜偶像, or homosexuality同性恋吗? (see 1 Cor 6:9-10 林前69-10) Absolutely impossible绝不可能! Because God is Holy神是圣洁的! His kingdom is not a kingdom of sin and darkness祂的国度没有丝毫罪和黑暗! God’s kingdom is the kingdom of light神的国是光明国度! It is ruled by His light and Holiness神的光和圣洁在其中掌权!

If you want to parachute如果你想玩跳伞, you must follow the rules and regulations就必须要符合规定要求. If someone has a heart problem若那人有心脏病, or a history of stroke或者患过中风, he will be banned from doing it就不许他跳伞了. In the same way同样,if we want to inherit the kingdom of God要承受神的国, we must check the rules of the kingdom of God我们必须对照神国度的法则, to learn how we can fit the requirements去知道怎样符合祂的要求. For this reason, in the sermon of the mount 为此,在山上宝训中, our Lord Jesus sat down and started to talk主耶稣教导我们,  and he was giving a vision to his people about what life would be like in the kingdom of God他向属他的人描绘了神国度里人该有的生命, in order that we might have a goal to pursue it 为给我们一个目标去追求. Now let’s look at the screen 现在我们来看屏幕,and read God words together! (Matt 5:3-12) …一起读(太53-12

Today, we are just looking at the first dominant feature of those who inherit the kingdom of heaven今天我们只分享,那承受神国的人的第一个特质, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 虚心的人有福了,因为天国是他们的。”

1, Enter Vs inherit (the kingdom of God) 进入(神国) vs 承受(神国)

Jesus didn’t say主耶稣没有说, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, they will enter the kingdom of heaven灵里贫穷的人有福了,他们将进入天国.” But said, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 而是说,天国是他们的” We know what the bible tells us about God saying 圣经里这样说到神, “Yours is the kingdom国度是你的.” The Kingdom is of God国度是神的! But this verse tells us但这里又说, “theirs is the kingdom天国是他们的” It means that the Kingdom is of them意味着国度归属他们!

What’s the difference between “enter” the kingdom and “inherit” the kingdom“进入”和“承受”神国的区别是什么? For example, if you became a member of a company比方说,如果你成为一家公司的会员, you entered this company这叫进入这家公司. But if you became the successor of this company但如果你是这家公司的继承人, you inherited the company这叫“继承/承受”这家公司. That’s different这大不相同!

First of all, to enter the kingdom of God we must be born again进神国首先必须重生, Jesus said to Nicodemus主对尼哥底母说, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit John 3:5) 我实实在在告诉你:人若不重生,就不能见神的国(约3:5 Here, Jesus was talking about the first step of entering the kingdom of God这里耶稣说,进入神国的第一步, which is by receiving the baptism and the Holy Spirit in faith是凭信接受洗礼和圣灵.

The only way to enter the kingdom of God is to be born again重生是进神国的唯一入口, and to be saved by grace through faith, not by our own works得救是本乎恩因着信,不是凭行为. Because Eph 2:8 says(弗28)说, for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God你们得救是本乎恩,也因着信。这并不是出于自己,乃是神所赐的.  When we have faith in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross by shedding his blood to forgive our sins我们信耶稣基督在十字架上为我们的罪舍命流血, and by his perfect obedience因他顺服至死, we are justified before God我们得以在神面前称义.

The word “enter” refers to a “one time” act of faith “进入”这词,指的是信心的一次性动作. When we accept the Lord Jesus as our Saviour by repentance in faith我们悔改并接受耶稣为救主, and get baptised领受洗礼, we are born again就重生了, and we become a spiritual infant of God属灵上,就成为神的小婴孩. Through the act of being “born-again借着“重生”, we enter the kingdom of God我们进入神的国. This is His grace! 这是祂施的恩典!

I remember that lots of people in our home church dreamed similar dreams我记得在家里教会,很多弟兄姊妹都有相似的梦, the day after they had accepted Jesus by confession and baptism就在悔改信主并受洗后一天, in which they saw that they were lying down beside a river or a brook with a newborn baby他们梦到自己躺在河边或溪水边,旁边有一个小婴孩. I believe that is a symbol of entering the kingdom in God’s eyes相信这在神眼中,就是进入神国的一个标记! But This is just the first step that we need to take to taste God’s perfect salvation然而,这仅仅是 我们尝到 神全备救恩的起头!

In the sermon of the mount山上宝训里, Jesus talked about those ones主耶稣讲到这样一些人, “blessed are the poor in spirit灵里贫穷的人有福了…blessed are those who mourn哀恸的人有福了…blessed are the meek温柔的人有福了… blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness饥渴慕义的人有福了…blessed are the pure in heart清心的人有福了…the peacemakers使人和睦的人有福了…those who are persecuted because of righteousness为义受逼迫的人有福了…” who are they ?他们是谁?Are they non-Christians? 他们是不信的人吗?If so, how can a sinner suffer persecution because of Jesus若指不信的人,罪人怎么可能为主受逼迫呢? Apparently显然, Jesus is talking about what the mature Christians’ life would be like? 耶稣是在谈论成熟的基督徒的生命该是怎样的?This is the next step of tasting God’s perfect salvation这是品尝全备救恩的下一个步骤- sanctification就是成圣, similar to the biblical idea of being overcomers类似于经上另一处说法 成为得胜者,and not being overtaken by their sins and Satan in God’s kingdom而不是在神国里被罪和撒旦胜过的人.

 Paul the apostle in the Spirit says使徒保罗被圣灵感动,说, “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 我说那承受产业的,虽然是全业的主人,但为孩童的时候,却与奴仆毫无分别.” A physical babe is cute and lovely婴儿是非常可爱的, but staying in this stage of being a spiritual infant is not fun但在属灵上,总停留在婴孩阶段一点也不好玩.

This verse tells us这节经文说, “he is no different from a slave. 他与奴仆毫无分别” The devil can’t stop us to become a Christian撒旦不能阻止我們成为基督徒, but he will try his best to stop us to grow in the truth但他可以竭尽全力阻挠我們在真理里成长, so that he will be able to overtake us if we are always a spiritual child我們若总是属灵小子,他就可以胜过我們.

Have you ever tried when you were reading the bible or praying有没有试过在读经或祷告时, suddenly something happened and stopped you突然发生什么事打断你, or some ideas came to stop you或者想起什么念头就被打断了? “Let’s eat something我吃点什么吧...let’s watch a movie去看场电影…let’s do something else instead去做点什么别的吧…”   

Let us be wise我們要聪明起来, and ask for His grace to protect the time when we are reading and praying求主的恩典保守读经和祷告时间, and let us continually put our faith in the Lord让我們持守信心, and cooperate ourselves with the Holy Spirit与圣灵同工not with the desires of the flesh而不是与私欲同工, and rely on His unfailing love and grace to walk in the truth倚靠神无止尽的爱和恩典,行在真理中, so that we may grow in the Lord就可以在主里成长.

For there will be a great reward waiting for those who overcomes因前面摆放了极大的奖赏等候那些得胜的人. Re 21:7) He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 。(启217)得胜的,必承受这些为业,我要做他的神,他要做我的儿子。Therefore, this teaching of Jesus Christ in the sermon of the mount is telling us 所以,主耶稣用山上宝训教导我們how to sanctify ourselves 要怎样洁净自己, so that we can inherit the kingdom of God才能承受神的国!  

In short, the first step of entering the Kingdom is based on grace by faith简而言之,进入神国的第一步骤是本乎恩因着信, we only need to believe in Jesus with our hearts只需要口里承认, and confess with our mouths心里相信, which results in salvation (see Romans 10:9) 就得到救恩(见 罗109. The next step of inheriting the kingdom of heaven下一步骤是承受神的国is also based on grace by faith也是本乎恩因着信, but this faith must be shown by our actions (see James 2:26) 但这时的信心必须带出行为来(见 雅226, which results in the salvation of our souls (see 1 Peter 1: 3-9) 使我们的魂得救(见彼前13-9

Have you ever read the story of Israel in the book of Exodus 你有没有读过《出埃及记》记载以色列民的事? God promised them, that He would save them from the hand of the Egyptians神应许以色列民,救他们脱离埃及人的手, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey (see Exo 3:8) 要领他们出那地,到美好宽阔流奶与蜜之地。(出38

There were about six hundred thousand men who left Egypt离开埃及时有大约60万男丁, but actually, scholars believe 实际上,学者相信 that the total number of the Israelites who were brought out of Egypt at that moment 离开埃及时的总人口, including women and children 含妇女儿童在内, was around 2.4 million people总共约240万人. No doubt they were saved by the Lord毫无疑问他们是全数得救, and accepted by the Lord as His people并被主接纳成为祂的子民. But they didn’t follow the Lord’s commands但因他们没有遵从主的命令, so they failed in the desert and didn’t get into the promised land就死在旷野,没有进入应许之地. Yes, they were saved是的 他们全部得救了, but didn’t receive the promised land as a reward from God却没有得到应许之地为赏赐的产业!

Will today’s Christians be like those Israelites今天的基督徒也会像以色列民吗? They are forgiven of their sins他们的罪得了赦免, they have a new life in Christ在基督里有了新生命, they are “out of Egypt” 他们“出了埃及”, but they do not follow by faith into His abundant life却没有信心跟随进入主的丰盛生命, and they die in the flesh他们死在肉体中and are unable to receive the promised reward of reigning with Christ forever (see Re 22:5) 不能承受所应许的赏赐, 就是与基督一同作王到永远 启 22:5.Yes, there will be many I believe是!这样的人数很多!

We thank our Lord Jesus感谢主, for the sermon on the mount祂给我们山上宝训, that He is giving us a picture祂给我们描绘未来的图画, to encourage us to live a different life 并鼓励我们活出不一样的人生. Not only does He want us to enter the kingdom of God as re-born spiritual infants祂不只想要我们重生,成为进入神国的属灵婴孩, but also He wants us to be grown and mature into the whole measure of the fullness of Christ更盼望我们长大,满有基督的身量, so that we may be able to bring the Kingdom down on earth因此可以将神国带到地上, and inherit the kingdom并承受神的国! And those who are overcomers may foretaste a glimpse of what it meant about reigning with Christ on earth. 那些得胜者或许能预先品尝一点与基督同作王的滋味  Because where the King reigns因为王在哪里统治, there is the kingdom那里就是王的国度. Those overcomers are the ones who are not that they live but Christ reigns in them! 这些得胜者是那些不是自己活 而是基督在里面掌权的人This is the reason why we are still here on earth这就是我們还留在地上的原因! This is the purpose that we are seeking to be! 这是正在追求的目的。

2, Poor in Spirit. 灵里贫穷

Now, what is the first dominant feature as the joint heir of Christ that we should pursue after we have been born again重生后,做为与基督同受产业的后嗣,我们该追求的重要品格是什么呢? Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” 主说,“灵里贫穷 的人有福了”Do you think that’s interesting是不是很有意思?

Because in our society在社会上, if we say, “I’m poor如果说“我好穷”, that means that I have nothing. 意思就是“我啥都没有”” If I have nothing如果我啥都没有, it means that I am inferior to others意思就是我比别人差. So from the worldly point of view从世界的眼光看, poverty is closely linked to shame贫穷与羞耻紧密相关. But Jesus says, “blessed are the poor is spirit” 主却说,“灵里贫穷的人有福了”.

What exactly does it mean to be poor in spirit灵里贫穷,到底是什么意思? Why does “being poor in spirit” result in the kingdom of heaven为什么“灵里贫穷”会带来承受神的国? Does it mean that "poverty of spirit" is an inferiority complex灵里贫穷,就是自卑心理吗? Does God want us to be like this神想要我们这样吗: “I have no value我没价值” or “I am insignificant我没有他重要”, No! not at all不!当然不是! “Poor in spirit” is talking about our relation to God灵里贫穷,指的是与神的关系! If we go back to Isa 66:2我们来看(赛662, we may get more understanding of what Jesus is talking about就能更明白主说的是什么!

“For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist.’ Says the Lord. But on this one will I look: On him who is poor (humble ESV, NIV) and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. ” 耶和华说:‘这一切都是我手所造的,所以就都有了。但我所看顾的,就是虚心痛悔、因我话而战兢的人(虚心原文贫穷) What does “poor in spirit” mean灵里贫穷是什么意思?It means we must be humble ourselves before God to acknowledge our own sins 意思是,我们必须谦卑在神面前,承认自己的罪, and that we need God’s forgiveness and His mercy 才能得到神的饶恕和怜悯!

As Christ’s followers作为基督的跟随者, we are called not to be independent我们蒙召不是要独立自主but 100% dependent on God而是百分百依靠祂! So to be poor in spirit also means that a person is dependent on God and abides in Him灵里贫穷,就是人完全依靠神、住在神里面. Jesus says in John 15 《约翰福音》15:5,主说, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing 我是葡萄树,你们是枝子;常在我里面的,我也常在他里面,这人就多结果子。因为离了我,你们就不能做什么。 John 15:5”

He said, He is the vine, we are the branches主说,祂是葡萄树,我们是枝子, branches must abide in the vine枝子必须住在葡萄树里, otherwise they can’t yield any fruit and will die否则就不能结果,会枯干死掉.

You know, in my early Christian life我刚信主的时候, when I read this bible passage读到这段话, I didn’t understand and asked God我不明白,就问主, “Lord, what do you mean about ‘apart from me you can do nothing’主啊,‘离了我,你们不能做什么’是什么意思? because lots of people they don’t have you很多人不信主, but they study well他们学习很好, they work well工作出色… for me我也是, before I became a Christian没信主的时候, I had done lots of things我已做了很多, I even had already become a multimillionaire in my early thirties三十出头就已成了千万富翁…so what do you mean about ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ 离了你就不能做什么?这到底是什么意思呢, when I really did something without abiding in You. 我没有住在你里面,也照样做了大事啊

Then, the answer shocked me然后,那个回答让我大吃一惊, “Can the money you earned save your life你挣到的钱可以救你的命吗?” “No, I was about to die.” I said it immediately我立马回答到,“救不了,我都快死了”. It was as if a voice continuously asked me好像一个声音不停问我, “apart from me, what else did you have left, after you did lots of things in your life离了我,你虽然做了很多事,但你的生命里又留下什么呢?Thinking for a moment, I answered我想了想,回答说, “Anger恼怒, pride骄傲, unforgiveness不饶恕, anxieties焦虑, and arguments和争辩, what’s more还有什么? Relationships broken 关系破裂, ingratitude 无感恩 and depression抑郁, and all sorts of sins各种罪, and plus death, 还有等死,There is nothing good in my flesh在我肉体里面没有良善.”

When the light shone upon me当光一照进来,I cried with tears again我又哭了, “Lord, forgive me主啊,赦免我,I’m a poor sinner我是个贫穷的罪人, in my sinful nature在我旧人里, I have nothing good but only sins除了罪,没有良善, whatever I have done by myself靠着我自己做的, only yield the fruit of corruption只得到了破败的果子...” Thank God!感谢主A broken and contrite heart God will not despise忧伤痛悔的心神必不轻看. Real repentance with a contrite heart in faith can really change our lives 带着痛悔的心,在信心里的真悔改,就可以改变我们的生命! And if we continually walk in the way of repentance, we will never be the same并且,若我们不断的走悔改的路,我们的生命就必不再一样!

3, The humble will be exalted 谦卑的必被高举

We are not ashamed when we repent before God在神面前的悔改不是羞耻的! I love the parable Jesus gave in Luke 18:9-14我很喜欢主在《路加福音》189-14打的比喻, there were two men that prayed before God有两个人在神面前祷告, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector一个法利赛人,一个税吏. The Pharisee stood up and prayed like this那法利赛人站着,自言自语地祷告, “God, I thank you that I am not like those people神啊,我感谢你,我不像别人…I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get我一个礼拜禁食两次,凡我所得的都捐上十分之一.” But the tax collector stood at a distance但那税吏远远地站着, he dared not look up to heaven连举目望天也不敢, but beat his breast and said只捶着胸说, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner神啊,开恩可怜我这个罪人.”

Jesus told us主耶稣告诉我們, that God would not receive the Pharisee’s prayer in a self-righteous attitude神不会接受法利赛人自义的祷告, but would justify the tax collector但是却称那税吏为义, because he humbled himself因他谦卑自己, and turned to God with a heart of fear of God以敬畏之心转向神, which touched God’s heart就摸到了神的心. God’s heart only can be touched by those who are humble 神的心只会被谦卑的人打动 and can’t be touched by those who thought that they were good 而不会被自认为是好人而打动 Because He has come to seek and save sinners祂来是为寻找拯救失丧的罪人, and gives grace to the humble赐恩给谦卑的人.

As Romans 3:23-25a says, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice. (罗3:23-25上)因为世人都犯了罪,亏缺了神的荣耀,如今却蒙神的恩典,因基督耶稣的救赎,就白白地称义。神设立耶稣作挽回祭,是凭着耶稣的血,籍着人的信,要显明神的义。

The tax collector realized his sins税吏意识到自己的罪, and cried out with a humble and contrite heart to repent带着谦卑痛悔的心悔改呼求, he received mercy and was justified by God就得了怜悯,并被神称为义! Not even one of us can justify ourselves by what we have done我们没有一个人可以凭自己做什么而称自己为义! But by His grace we are justified借着祂的恩典,我们得称为义! So accepting His correction in faith 因此 在信心里接受祂的纠正, continuously turning to His truth in faith 在信心里持续转向祂的真理, receiving His grace and mercy接受祂的恩典和怜悯, passing on His grace of forgiveness to others is a humble attitude that we need to hold on to. 传递祂的饶恕恩典给祂人 是我们当持守的谦卑的态度.

The Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5b” 圣经说,神阻挡骄傲的人,赐恩给谦卑的人(彼前5:5下)What does the bible mean by a humble attitude圣经说怎样才是谦卑的态度?  Is this attitude credited to humbleness in God’s eyes这是不是神眼中算为谦卑的态度呢: “I am useless我没有用,…I am more unworthy than he我不如他……” Absolutely Not当然不是! Whether we have low self-esteem 不管我们自卑or high self-esteem或自尊心强, it is not biblical都不属神!

When Moses considered himself as not eloquent摩西认为自己笨口拙舌, God didn’t say to Moses神没有对摩西这样说 “Stop putting yourself down不要看不起自己, you are something你了不得, you are eloquent你的口才不错!” No不是! What God said was神是这样说, “Stop looking at yourself不要看自己, and stop comparing yourself to anybody else不要和别人比! But look at me你要仰望我!    I made the mouth我造口, I will be with you我会与你同在! I will teach you how and what to say我会教你说什么…”

The humble will learn how to stop looking to anything else谦卑的人会学习怎样不看任何东西, but to look to God who is able单单仰望凡事都能做的神! “Poor in spirit” means that we never again rely on our own ability灵里贫穷 是指我们不再依靠自己的才能, our own experience不依靠自己的经验, our own skills我们的技巧, and all what we have和自己的一切, and say, “I can说“我行…I have this ability 我有这能力, so I can do it我能做这事” …or 或者 “I can’t 我不行, because I don’t know因为我不懂……” but rely on Jesus who is the source of everything而是依赖耶稣,这万有的源头! Rely on His calling依靠祂的呼召, rely on His promises依靠祂的应许, rely on His presence依靠祂的同在, and rely on His power依靠祂的能力….for nothing is impossible for Him在祂没有难事! For He is our peace祂是我们的平安, joy and the source of our life喜乐、生命源头!

 In the end, I’m gonna tell you a testimony about William Carey最后,我和大家分享William Carey的见证, the first missionary in India他是第一个到印度的宣教士,who was called the father of modern missions被称为 现代宣教之父, and was from a British Christian background, a Baptist minister他来自英国基督教背景,浸信会的牧师. He went to India in 1793 1793年他来到印度, despite 7 years of hard work尽管他努力了很多年, he saw not one conversion却没有一个人信主. His son died of dysentery他儿子死于痢疾, and his wife’s mental health deteriorated rapidly,妻子的精神状况也急剧恶化. Can you imagine the difficulties你能想象他经历的艰难吗? What if you shared the gospel for 7 years and no one accepted it 若你传福音7年,却没有一个人信主,你会怎样? I know this feeling, it’s very sad我了解这种感受,很难过的, it could cause us to be discouraged 这可以让我们感到灰心, and feeling shameful and inferior感觉自己没用就生出羞耻感, if we live according to the natural reaction, and look at ourselves若我们顺服天然人的反应,看自己.

But he wrote like this但他写下这样的话, "But I rejoice that I am here notwithstanding; and God is here但我为自己在这里欢喜,因神在这里." Seven years later 7年之后, he baptized his first convert to Christianity他为第一个信徒施洗, and over more than 20 years之后20多年, he translated the Bible into six Indian languages他用6种印度本地文字翻译圣经,and parts of it into 29 dialects并用29种方言翻译部分章节. And He also founded Serampore College to train local ministers他建立Serampore学院训练本地事工人员. He was a man of God who was poor in spirit to the very end他是到死时都保持灵里贫穷的神的仆人.

He wrote this on his grave在他的墓碑上,他这样写到: "A wretched, poor, and helpless worm, on Thy kind arms I fall一条可怜、贫穷、无助的虫,倒在你慈爱的怀中."

His secret was in the last line of his epitaph墓志铭最后一句,是他的秘诀: "On Thy kind arms I fall倒在你慈爱的怀中." This was his secret in dying and this was his secret in living这是他死的秘诀和他生的秘诀. Not self-esteem不高举自尊, but casting himself, poor, helpless, sinful on the kind arms of God却把贫穷的,无助的,充满罪的自己 交托在神慈爱的怀中. For he believed the promise of Jesus因他相信耶稣的应许: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God灵里贫穷的人(虚心的人)有福了,因为神国是他们的


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