《西敏信条教牧简释 10.3》

Posted on Dec 3, 2020 by admin
10.3 那蒙拣选的婴孩,若死于幼年,则藉着基督由圣灵重生得救了1。圣灵何时何地,用何种方式做工,都是随祂自己的美意2。其他未能在外部蒙受所传之道呼召的选民,也是如此3。

10.3  Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,1 who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth:2 so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.3
1 Lk 18:15–16; Acts 2:38–39; Jn 3:3, 5; 1 Jn 5:12; Rom 8:9; 2 Jn 3:8;  3 1 Jn 5:12; Acts 4:12.

In the previous two paragraphs of our Confession, we saw that the Holy Spirit normally works by means of the Word preached or read. This means that a sinner should first experience the outward call, and then only the inward or effectual call. But what about infants dying in infancy and adults who are mentally incapable of being called by the Word, or those who are unable to hear or understand the Gospel?
我们的信条提供了或许是最明智与合乎圣经的答案:那些蒙拣选的“则藉着基督由圣灵重生得救了——圣灵何时何地,用何种方式做工,都是随祂自己的美意。”从这个答案,我们可以承认以下四点:(1)所有人,包括尚未诞生的婴孩在内,因为所归于亚当的罪债,都当受诅咒;(2) 上帝的拣选并不是基于人身体的能力或生命的长短;(3)上帝若是愿意的话,可以随意使人重生,不通过任何途经;(4)相信所有死于年幼的婴孩会得以重生是没有圣经根据的。
Our Confession provides us perhaps the most judicious and biblically defensible answer: those who are elect will be “regenerated and saved by Christ, though the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth.” By this statement, we confess four things. Firstly, all men, including infants in the womb, deserve damnation for Adam’s guilt imputed to them; secondly, God’s election is not conditioned on the physical ability or length of life of the individual; thirdly, God can regenerate whom He wills without the means if He chooses to; and fourthly, the scripture does not affirm that all infants dying in infancy will be saved.
What are the pastoral implications of this doctrine which we affirmed?
First of all, it is clear that parents of infants dying in infancy, and love ones of those who are intellectually or physically incapable of understanding the gospel, need not give up all hope for their salvation. God can and may save without the means.
But secondly, there is very little biblical basis for assuring the parents of an infant dying in infancy that he is in heaven because all infant dying in infancy are elect and will be saved.
同时第三,家长若想要帮送婴孩入天堂而堕胎,或使残疾婴孩受幼年安乐死,这种有害的想法是没有任何合理的辩护的。这种荒谬的想法只能来自如下不符合圣经的教导: 所有死于幼年的婴孩都是选民。
And thirdly, there is simply no valid justification for the pernicious idea that a parent who aborts a pregnancy or euthanises a disabled child in infancy is doing the child a favour by sending him immediately to heaven. Such a grotesque idea can only arise out of the unbiblical opinion that all infant dying in infancy are elect.

Also, fourthly, baptising a dying infant does not guarantee his salvation just as the baptism of an adult professor of faith does not. Only elect infants and elect adults will be saved. It is true that baptising a dying infant may give the parents a measure of encouragement, at least to speak of the child as belonging to the Lord on the basis of his bearing the sign and seal of the covenant. Nevertheless, because the practice can give rise to false hopes and lead to the superstition of sacramental salvation, hospital baptisms of both infants and adults should be discouraged.

你是否知道有一位濒死的婴孩,或者一个无法回应福音所呼召的人? 将他或她交托给主,坚信我们的有权柄的上帝也是有同情的上帝,祂所做的是为祂子民的好,也为了归于祂名的荣耀。
Do you know a dying child or someone incapable of responding to the gospel? Commit him or her to the Lord with a firm assurance that our God who is sovereign is also a God of compassion who will do what is good for His people and what will redound to the glory of His name.

原文作者: 林集章 、蔡林斯 、欧阳效正
中文譯者: 何恩杰,刘行
Westminster Confession of Faith — With Brief Pastoral Comments  

2020 © Pilgrim Covenant Church