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让别人在宗教舞台上争权夺位,我只愿在福音最前线鞠躬尽瘁。

 
 
 

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你重生了吗?(作者:J. C. Ryle)陈鸽翻译  

2011-07-12 05:26:43|  分类: 翻译福音单张 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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你重生了吗?这是生命中最重大的问题之一。耶稣说:「……人若不重生,就不能见神的国。」(约3:3)

 

仅仅说:“我去教会;我想我是基督徒吧!”不够!今天有成千上万的挂名基督徒,生命中却显不出任何重生的明证、重生的特征。这些特征是记在圣经中的,约翰一书中就记载了一些重生者的特征。

 

首先,约翰写到: “凡从神生的,就不犯罪……”。(约一3:9) “……凡从神生的,必不犯罪……。”(约一 5:18)

 

意思是,一个重生(从神得到新生命)的人,不再习惯性地犯罪;他不再全心地投入罪中。可能从前,他从没考虑过他的言行是否有罪,就算犯了罪也不一定觉得有愧,因他与罪同流合污、与罪彼此为友。然而,如今,他成了真基督徒了,所以他厌恶罪、逃避罪、抵挡罪。他对罪难以容忍。当罪临近时,他灵里哀叹;当罪侵扰时,他心痛如绞。他多么渴望从罪中全然得释,因罪不再给他快感,他也不能等闲视之。反之,他对罪深恶痛绝、恨之入骨。然而,哀哉!他却摆脱不了罪存在他肉身中的事实。

 

若他说自己无罪,便是自欺了( 约一1:8),但他却可以说自己恨恶罪,他从内心深处迫切地渴望不犯罪。尽管他的思想言行当中仍然免不了亏欠与瘕疵,尽管他深知“原来我们在许多事上都有过失”(各3:2),然而他可以真诚的在神面前说:罪令他忧伤、令他懊丧、令他反感、令他心碎。请问,约翰的话符合你的经历吗?你是否重生了?

 

第二,约翰写道:“凡信耶稣是基督的,都是从神而生……”(约一5:1)。

 

重生(就是从神而生)的人,相信耶稣基督是他生命独一的救主,他相信父神指派了他的独生子降世,就是为要拯救世人。除他以外,别无拯救。虽在他自己里面一无是处,但在基督里,因着他全然的信靠、全然的交托,所以他的罪也得到了全然的赦免,因基督已经在十架上舍命代罪,成了救赎的大工。如今,他已因信在神面前被称为义,所以,他可以坦然地面对死亡,无惧地迎接审判。  

 

尽管有时他仍有惊恐怀疑,甚至还告诉你:他觉得自己一点信心都没有;然而,再问问他是否愿意背弃基督、信靠别神?看看他怎么回应!再问问他:是否愿意将永生的盼望寄托于自己的善行?自己的功德?自己的祈祷?或他的牧师?他的教会?再听听他如何回应!好!再问一次,约翰的话符合你的经历吗?你重生了吗?

 

第三,约翰写道:“……凡行公义之人都是他所生的。”(约一2:29)

 

重生(从神而生)的人,也是个圣洁公义的人。他竭力想要按着神的旨意生活,遵行神所喜悦的事,远避神所厌恶的事。他愿不断地仰望救主,效法基督,遵行主命,来证明自己是基督的朋友。虽他深知自己的不完全、自己与生俱来的败坏,虽在他里面有个“罪的律”与神的恩争战不休,千方百计要使他的心偏于邪,虽他不免挣扎,但是他不甘堕落,他仍要向上攀登。

 

虽然他有时觉得自己如此低沉,甚至怀疑自己的救恩,但他仍可以与约翰牛顿一同共鸣:“虽我不像我应该有的样子,也不如我盼望成的样子,更不及将来(在天国)我会变为的样子;但我不再是从前的样子了。然而,我今日成了何等人,是蒙神的恩才成的。”约翰的话符合你吗?你重生了吗?

 

第四,约翰写道:“我们因为爱弟兄,就晓得是已经出死入生了……。”(约一3:14)

  

重生的人,对基督里的真信徒有种特殊的感情。正如他的天父,虽他对普世的众人,广施慈爱;但对信靠基督的人,他却特别地关爱。正如他的救主,虽他爱怜罪人,甚至为罪大恶极的人悲哀哭泣,但对信靠他的人,他更有一份独特的钟爱。在信靠基督的人当中,他宾至如归,倍感温馨。

 

他深感他们是他一个家中的骨肉兄弟;他们是他的同仇敌忾的战友;他们是他同奔天路的伴侣。他们彼此体恤,彼此理解。虽然他们的身份、地位、背景可能非常悬殊,然而这些都无关紧要,因为他们都是天父的儿女,所以他情不自禁要爱他们。请问,约翰的话符合你的经历吗?你重生了吗?

 

第五,约翰写道: “因为凡从神生的,就胜过世界……。”(约一5:4)

 

从神而生的人不以世界的准绳为判断是非的标准。他不怕顶着世俗的潮流,激流勇进、逆流而上。他不在乎世人说他好或说他歹。他已胜过了世界的好恶。别人看重的事,他却视如粪土;别人迷恋的物,他却嗤之以鼻,因他永恒的心灵已脱离了尘世的喧哗。

 

他宁要神的称许,不要人的夸赞。他不怕得罪人,只怕得罪神。他只求讨神喜悦,不在意人的褒贬。他惟愿尊主为大。请问,约翰的话反映你吗?你重生了吗?

 

第六,约翰写道:“……从神生的,必保守自己……。”(约一5:18) 

 

那从神生的,必为自己的灵魂时刻警醒。他不仅小心翼翼地离开罪恶;更远避一切的试探引诱。他也在交友上谨慎自守,因他知道滥交朋友,自取败坏;人学坏容易,学好难;正如传染疾病容易,维持健康困难。所以,他珍惜每寸光阴,不敢蹉跎分秒。

 

正如一个全副武装、面临强敌的士兵,他随时提高警觉,预备抵挡试探。他不住地祷告、时刻地警醒、谦卑地仰望。请问,约翰的话形容你吗?你重生了吗?

 

这就是重生了的基督徒的六个特征。

当然,这些特征,在不同人身上,不同程度上,会有不同的彰显。某些人也许表现的极其微弱;另些人则显露的清晰无疑。而且,在某个人身上,一些特征会更突出,另些特征则不明朗,几乎没一个人样样齐全的。无论如何,在这儿,约翰为我们清楚的描绘了重生的六个特征。

我们当如何回应呢?只有一个正确的回应:就是,唯有重生者有这六个特征;没这些特征的人,就没有重生。这似乎是约翰要我们下的唯一合理的结论。最后,请扪心自问,你重生了吗?

 

? Lake Road Chapel | www.lakeroadchapel.org 1

Are You Born Again? by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900)

 

Are you born again? This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Except

a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

 

It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I’m a Christian.” Thousands of

nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given

us—many listed in the First Epistle of John.

 

First of all, John wrote: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin” (I John 3:9). “Whosoever

is born of God sinneth not” (5:18).

A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer

sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not

think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing

evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian hates

sin, flees from it, fights against it, considers it his greatest plague, resents the burden of its presence,

mourns when he falls under its influence, and longs to be completely delivered from it. Sin

no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become a horrible thing

which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.

If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying (I John 1:8). But he can say that he hates sin

and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts

from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appealing in both his words

and his actions. He knows that “in many things we offend all” (James 3:2). But he can truly say, in

the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow and that his whole nature does not

consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

 

Second, John wrote: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (I John

5:1).

A man who is born again, or regenerated, believes that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour who can

pardon his soul, that He is the divine person appointed by God the Father for this very purpose, and

beside Him there is no Saviour at all. In himself he sees nothing but unworthiness. But he has full

confidence in Christ, and trusting in Him, he believes that his sins are all forgiven. He believes that,

because he has accepted Christ’s finished work and death on the cross, he is considered righteous

in God’s sight, and he may look forward to death and judgment without alarm.

He may have fears and doubts. He may sometimes tell you that he feels as if he had no faith

at all. But ask him if he is willing to trust in anything instead of Christ, and see what he will say.

Ask him if he will rest his hope of eternal life on his own goodness, his own works, his prayers,

his minister, or his church, and listen to his reply. What would the apostle say about you? Are you

born again?

 

Third, John wrote: “Every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him” (I John 2:29).

The man who is born again, or regenerated, is a holy man. He endeavors to live according to

God’s will, to do the things that please God and to avoid the things that God hates. He wishes to

continually look to Christ as his example as well as his Saviour and to prove himself to be Christ’s

friend by doing whatever He commands. He knows he is not perfect. He is painfully aware of his

indwelling corruption. He finds an evil principle within himself that is constantly warring against

grace and trying to draw him away from God. But he does not consent to it, though he cannot prevent

its presence.

Though he may sometimes feel so low that he questions whether or not he is a Christian at all,

he will be able to say with John Newton, “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be,

I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the

grace of God I am what I am.” What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

 

Fourth, John wrote: “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the

brethren” (I John 3:14).

A man who is born again has a special love for all true disciples of Christ. Like his Father in

heaven, he loves all men with a great general love, but he has a special love for those who share

his faith in Christ. Like his Lord and Saviour, he loves the worst of sinners and could weep over

them; but he has a peculiar love for those who are believers. He is never so much at home as when

he is in their company.

He feels they are all members of the same family. They are his fellow soldiers, fighting against

the same enemy. They are his fellow travelers, journeying along the same road. He understands

them, and they understand him. They may be very different from himself in many ways—in rank,

in station and in wealth. But that does not matter. They are his Father’s sons and daughters and he

cannot help loving them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

 

Fifth, John wrote: “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world” (I John 5:4).

A man who is born again does not use the world’s opinion as his standard of right and wrong.

He does not mind going against the world’s ways, ideas and customs. What men think or say no

longer concerns him. He overcomes the love of the world. He finds no pleasure in things which

seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal

being.

He loves God’s praise more than man’s praise. He fears offending God more than offending

man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What

would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

 

Sixth, John wrote: “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself’ (I John 5:18).

A man who is born again is careful of his own soul. He tries not only to avoid sin but also to

avoid everything which may lead to it. He is careful about the company he keeps. He knows that

evil communications corrupt the heart and that evil is more catching than good, just as disease is

more infectious than health. He is careful about the use of his time; his chief desire is to spend it

profitable.

He desires to live like a soldier in an enemy country—to wear his armor continually and to be

prepared for temptation. He is diligent to be a watchful, humble, prayerful man. What would the

apostle say about you? Are you born again?

 

These are the six great marks of a born again Christian.

There is a vast difference in the depth and distinctness of these marks in different people. In

some they are faint and hardly noticeable. In others they are bold, plain and unmistakable, so anyone

may read them. Some of these marks are more visible than others in each individual. Seldom

are all equally evident in any one person.

But still, after every allowance, here we find boldly painted six marks of being born of God.

How should we react to these things? We can logically come to only one conclusion—only

those who are born again have these six characteristics, and those who do not have these marks are

not born again. This seems to be the conclusion to which the apostle intended us to come. Do you

have these characteristics? Are you born again?

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