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2018-12-17    

基督徒的新衣

粤语 国语

第17天


读经:   

歌罗西书三章9至15节

9不要彼此说谎;因你们已经脱去旧人和旧人的行为,

10穿上了新人。这新人在知识上渐渐更新,正如造他主的形像。

11在此并不分希利尼人、犹太人,受割礼的、未受割礼的,化外人,西古提人,为奴的、自主的,惟有基督是包括一切,又住在各人之内。

12所以,你们既是神的选民,圣洁蒙爱的人,就要存(原文作穿;下同)怜悯、恩慈、谦虚、温柔、忍耐的心。

13倘若这人与那人有嫌隙,总要彼此包容,彼此饶恕;主怎样饶恕了你们,你们也要怎样饶恕人。

14在这一切之外,要存着爱心,爱心就是联络全德的。

15又要叫基督的平安在你们心里作主;你们也为此蒙召,归为一体;且要存感谢的心。

保罗在这里继续论到信徒在接受基督之后的应有改变。它将包括即时的改变和持续的改变。

保罗形容基督徒得着新的生命,就仿如「穿上新衣」一般。他在第14节更加指出,「爱心就是联络全德的」;换言之,爱心是涵盖一切的,我们无论做什么,都要凭着爱心而作。

保罗在第12节指出,基督徒最首要是有一颗怜悯或同情之心。保罗的时代,是一个缺乏同情心的时代。当时的世界,是一个残暴的世界,并不重视生命的神圣。社会不会对老弱伤残提供任何保障。只有耶稣基督的福音提出「慈怜」的观念,并倡导以慈惠的行动来关怀有需要的人。

我们今天同样活在一个充满暴力的世界,到处都有苦难和饥荒。基督徒需要更多流露基督的爱心,去关顾周遭的人。

「恩慈」的原文,跟基督说「我的轭是轻省的」的「轻省」属同一个词。它与严苛和冷酷无情刚好相反。一个内心充满恩慈的人,不会因为别人抨击自己而给以还击。

接着的「谦虚」,是新约书信经常教导信徒要具备的美德;然而,在保罗时代的异教文化中,人们却普遍轻视它的价值,并不视之为美德,因为他们认为谦虚就是软弱的表现。但我们不要忘记,圣经曾用「温柔」和「谦和」来形容摩西和耶稣,但两人都并不是弱者。因此,谦虚并非软弱,而是要显示出温柔的力量。

这里的每一个字词都值得我们细心研究。要具备这一切的窍门,是在于基督的爱。正如保罗在第14节指出,我们在这一切以外,最重要是穿上爱。唯有用爱心,才能实践这一切。求主用他的爱来光照你的内心,使你得以穿上基督徒的新衣。

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NEW CLOTHES FOR CHRISTIANS
Day 17


Bible Reading:   

Colossians 3:9-15

9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Paul is still writing about the change that should have taken place in the lives of the Colossian Christians when they came to Christ. That change is both instantaneous (happens straightaway) and continuing.

Here Paul describes the things of a Christian's new life as clothes to be put on. He concludes with a wonderful overall covering in verse 14-LOVE. That must cover everything else and be a part of all that a Christian does.

In verse 12 Paul says that what a Christian needs first of all is a heart of pity or compassion. In Paul's day very little pity was felt for anyone, or anything. It was a cruel world where life was not held sacred. There was no provision for the sick or the lame or the old. It was only the gospel of Jesus Christ that introduced the word pity and the actions of compassion to the world.

Even today it is a cruel violent world in which we live, filled with suffering and hunger. Christians need more than ever to show this side of Christ's heart of love.

The second word, kindness, is the same word that Christ used when he said 'My yoke is easy'. It is the opposite of being harsh and unfeeling. It is a spirit that will not fight back no matter who or what may be against it.

Then comes humility, a common word in the epistles, but again a word that the heathen people of Paul's day knew nothing about and which people today often ignore. Remember both Moses and Jesus were called meek or humble, but neither of them lacked strength. Humility is not weakness but gentle strength at the right time.

Each of the other words is worth studying. Never forget that the secret to all of these things lies in the love of Christ. As Paul says in verse 14, beyond all these things, over all these things, put on love. That makes everything else we have spoken about possible. Ask Christ today to let his love shine through you and you will find the new clothes of a Christian can fit you just as well as anyone else.

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