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基督徒世界观 译介圣经神学

 
 
 

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基督的工作如何“作工”(一)-4  

2011-07-30 00:34:00|  分类: 圣经神学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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基督的工作如何“作工”(一):认识行为之约


诚之摘译自:
How the Work of Christ "Works"
Part I: Understanding the Covenant of Works
作者:Matt Perman
http://contendforthefaith2.com/cow1.html

(续上文:基督的工作如何“作工”(一)-3

三、基督的工作如何作工

我们已经查考了行为之约的本质以及证据,接下来我们要查考行为之约对基督的工作的意义。与此同时,我们也会注意到否认行为之约对我们认识基督的工作所造成的一些问题。

1. 基督成全了行为之约

圣经告诉我们,亚当是“那以后要来之人的预像”(罗5;14),以及基督是“末后的亚当”(林前15:45)。这表明当基督来到地上,祂基本上是进入到上帝给亚当的同一类角色当中。亚当的处境和基督的处境,从救恩历史来看是平行的。

这不只是从罗马书和哥林多前书的两节经文中而来的,也是罗马书5:15-21的整个框架。正如道格拉斯?慕(Douglas Moo)对这段经文的註解:“亚当和基督之间的相似性在于他们各自的行动被认为对那些‘属于’他们的人具有决定性的意义。亚当和他的‘后裔’,以及基督和他的‘后裔’之间,这种‘结构性’的相似性,是构成整个15-21节的基础。”[註16]

这意味着既然亚当在行为之约下作为我们的代表(我们已经在前面看到的),基督也是在行为之约下作为我们的代表。如果亚当在行为之约下,他的工作会决定所有在他里面的人的命运(林前15:21-22),我们看到这的确如此,那么,当然,“末后的亚当”—亚当所象征的——也是在行为之约下,所以祂的工作会觉得那些在祂里面的人的命运。因为亚当对我们全部的意义是他是我们在行为之约下的代表;因此,末后的亚当,第一个亚当所象征的,也必须是我们在行为之约下的代表——事实上,祂是那位不只是为我们成全了行为之约,也泯除了归算给我们的亚当的背约。

基督是我们在行为之约下的代表,这个事实的意思是,此约的核心原则,同样是基督工作的基础。因此既然我们已经探索了行为之约,我们就可以回答这个问题:“基督的‘工作’为什么可以‘作工’拯救我们?”在回答这个问题时,我们也会看到为什么否认行为之约,会使基督的工作成为虚空。

2. 基督的工作为何有效?

如同我们所见,行为之约的本质是上帝应许以永生来报答完全的顺服。根据这点,如果一个人完美地顺服上帝,会发生什么事?他(和所有他所代表的人)会得到永生!同样,那些在神面前不具备完全的义的人,会发生什么事?他不会得到永生——他要不是在一个考验期的状态,和亚当在堕落之前一样,就是他是有罪的,因此要受咒诅。

如此,基督的工作就确保了我们的永生,因为它给了我们在神面前完全的义。既然根据神的应许,完美的义会确保永生,而基督已经为我们偿付了罪的代价,并完美地顺服上帝,好让我们在祂里面得到完美的义,基督的工作就确保了所有相信的人永恒的救恩。那么,基督的工作为什么可以“作工”呢?它只所以有效,是因为它成全了行为之约。

3. 基督的工作是必须的

我们现在可以简短地查考否认行为之约的后果。首先,既然行为之约是基督的工作“作工”的理由,因此,如果我们否认行为之约,我们就会让基督的工作失去任何拯救的价值。因为行为之约只是上帝应许要把永生赐给完美的义的体现。因此,若没有行为之约,那么基督所赐予我们的完美的义,就不能为我们得到永生。基督的工作就无法作工。

第二,我们会在第三部分看到,否认行为之约,会使圣经关于我们在被神称义时,所领受的、归算给我们的基督的义(林后5:21),失去意义。因为若没有行为之约,那么,为什么基督完美的顺服(也就是义,参罗马书5:18以下)必须归算给我们,好让我们得以称义?

最后,我们在接下来的篇幅中会看到,否认行为之约很容易会模糊圣经对信心和工作之间的区别。而如果此区别被消解了,那么,我们罪人被称义的基础唯独是靠基督的这个教义,就完全失去了意义——也因此,唯独归荣耀给神也失去了意义。

如此,为了神的荣耀,我们必须坚持到底,继续更深入地查考基督的工作,以及行为之约如何保护我们对祂的工作的认识。但是,首先,我们必须先处理一些反对意见,误解,和疑问。神是否命令人要赚取永生?为什么上帝要求人完美的义,才赐给人永生?如果亚当必须以他的顺服为基础来寻求生命,为什么圣经告诉我们不要以我们的顺服为基础来寻求永生?请接着看下一篇文章。

NOTES
1. Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1996 reprint), p. 22. (中文版,天道,29页)
2. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan; Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 516.
3. O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 1980), 23.
4. See Robertson, chapter 1, for a more in-depth analysis of the nature of a covenant.
5. Robert Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998), p. 430.
6. An important aspect of my understanding of eternal life is that it involves the guarantee of being forever right with God. There are some who dispute with this understanding of eternal life, arguing that eternal life can be lost. As I am defining the term, however, an eternal life which can be lost is not, by definition, eternal life. The question is whether my view of eternal life comes from Scripture. I think it does because of the clear Scriptural witness to the fact that the eternal life believers receive will never be lost (Romans 8:30; John 10:26ff; 6:37ff; Ephesians 1:1-13). For those who do not accept this testimony of the Scriptures, we have the fact affirmed by almost all that once we make it to heaven we will never fall from grace. Thus, our life in heaven involves a guarantee of eternal fellowship with God. And that is what I mean by eternal life. Consequently, Adam clearly did not have eternal life in this sense in his probation because he did fall from God’s favor. Later I will argue that the kind of eternal life promised to perfect obedience is the same kind of eternal life that is promised to faith in Christ—and that, therefore, if Adam had obeyed in the covenant he would have been granted (and all in him) eternal life that can never be lost (the same kind believers have on earth and in heaven).
7. John Murray, "The Adamic Administration," in The Collected Writings of John Murray vol. 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1996 reprint), p. 48.
8. Vos makes some interesting observations demonstrating that Satan was behind the serpent. Most convincing is his observation that "Paul in Rom. 16:20 understands of Satan what in the curse [of Genesis 3:14] is made the serpent’s punishment, viz., his being bruised under foot" (Vos, 34).
9. I use "determine" here to mean basis and not ultimate cause. For I do not mean that Adam was ultimately the one in charge of his destiny. God is in control of all things, and so was in control of the destiny of Adam. But the destiny that God had appointed for Adam was to be given on the basis of whether Adam fulfilled the test or not. Of course God is the one who was in charge of whether Adam would fulfill the test or not. But it was nonetheless on the basis of Adam’s God-given obedience or God-permitted disobedience that his destiny would be given him. It is in that sense that Adam’s actions would "determine" his destiny and that of all belonging to him.
10. Turretin writes, "when God expelled man from paradise ‘lest man put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever’ (Gen. 3:22), it cannot thence be rightly inferred that there was a physical power in this tree of so great efficacy that it could (its fruit having been once tasted) rescue even sinful man from mortality. These words denote only the cause of his ejection from paradise on account of sin (by which, as by his own fault, he had cut himself off from that life, which was the thing signified). Thus he ought no longer to have any right to its sacrament. God speaks not with reference to the thing itself or its event (as if that tree would actually preserve his life even after sin), but in relation to the preposterous opinion of Adam who could think this, not understanding the true reason of the name that he might not, therefore, endeavor (though vainly) to render void the threatening of God, he is expelled from paradise" (Turretin, 581, see below for bibliographical info.).
11. Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology Volume I (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1994 edition), translated by George Musgrave Giger and edited by James T. Dennison, Jr., pp. 584-585.
12. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1998 reprint), p. 216.
13. It is important to distinguish between two kinds of impossibility. One is a natural impossibility, another a moral. When I say that the intent of the law cannot be something that is impossible, I am speaking of a natural possibility and not a moral possibility. Briefly, the difference is that to say that the intent of the law is morally impossible to be fulfilled is to say that it can’t result in life simply because nobody wants to obey it. To say that the intent of the was naturally impossible would be to say that even if it were obeyed, its intention of brining life would not actually result in life. It would be irrational for God to give a law that intends something that is naturally impossible but not to give a law intending something that is morally possible.
For example, if God’s law intended to bring life to all who obeyed it but could not actually give life to anyone who obeyed it, its intention would be something that is naturally impossible. It would be naturally impossible because there is no logical way to fulfill the intention, even by meeting the condition. Thus, God would not give a law with such an intention because it would be absurd for a God given entity to have the purpose of doing something that could not logically happen even if the condition was met.
But if his law is intended to result in life upon the condition of obedience and would really grant such life if the condition were met, then the law is not intending something irrational even if no one obeys it because there is at least a logical way of achieving the law’s intention (namely, obedience). The fact that nobody wants to obey it does not change that.
14. For a more in-depth analysis of the evidence for understanding Galatians 3:12 (and its parallel in Romans 10:5) to be speaking of the actual law of God, to be promising life on the basis of obedience to this law, and to be contrasting the way the law would justify and the way faith justifies, see my forthcoming article on Galatians 3:10-14).
15. For a biblical defense of the fact that Adam was our federal head, see my article "Born Guilty."
16. Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), p. 334.
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