《西敏信条教牧简释 7.3》

Posted on Aug 15, 2019 by admin

7.3 Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to hear from a second, 1 commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved,2 and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.3

1 Gal 3:21; Rom 8:3; 3:2021; Gen 3:15; Isa 42:6; 2 Mk 16:15, 16; Jn 3:16; Rom 10:6, 9; Gal 3:11; 3 Ezk 36:2627; Jn 6:4445.

7.3 因着堕落的缘故,人完全没有能力使自己靠那约得生命,主按祂自己的美意设立第二个圣约1,通称为恩典之约。在此约中,上帝藉着耶稣基督白白地向罪人显明了生命和救恩,吩咐他们归信耶稣,从而得救2,并应许将圣灵赐给一切预定得永生的人,使他们愿意并且能够相信3。

1加3:21;罗3:20‑21;8:3;创3:15;赛42:6;2可16:15-16;约3:16;罗10:6,9; 加3:11;3结36:26,27;约6:44‑45

We saw in the previous paragraph of our Confession that the first covenant that God made with man was the Covenant of Works wherein life was promised to Adam and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. But as we read in Genesis 3, Adam failed to fulfil the condition of the covenant, and thus he and all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation (WSC 16) became incapable of life by that covenant.

在我们信条的之前一个章节,我们提到了上帝和人最初立了行为之约,将生命应许给亚当和他的后裔,以完全和个人的顺服为条件。但我们在创世纪第3章中读到,亚当没有能够遵守契约的条件,以至于他和他所有按常例而生的后裔无法照这个契约获得生命(小教理问答16)。

But all is not lost, for there is a man who did not descend from Adam by ordinary generation, even Jesus Christ. Indeed, it has been Gods plan from all eternity, that in the fullness of time, Christ should take on human nature, and fulfil the Covenant of Works on behalf of the elect, and at the same time suffer and die for them to pay the penalty due to them because of the guilt of Adam imputed to them. Christ, in other words, would be the second Adam ( WLC 31; cf. 1 Cor 15:45). He would represent not all mankind, but all his elect so that as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life (Rom 5:18). Now, since those who are covenantally represented by Christ do not need to work to obtain life, but are graciously conferred life because of the righteousness of Christ, this covenant that they are entered into, is commonly called the Covenant of Grace.

但是我们依旧有希望,因为世上有一个人不是按常例由亚当而生的 — 那就是耶稣基督。的确,上帝从永久以前便旨意,当日期满足的时候,基督将取人性,代表选民满足行为之约,同时为了消除从亚当归算在他们的罪帐而受苦、死亡。换言之,基督就是第二个亚当。祂所代表的不是全人类,而是祂的选民,这样,因一次的过犯,众人都被定罪;照样,因一次的义行,众人也就被称义得生命了。(罗马书 5:18)既然基督在圣约中所代表的人不需要通过他们自己的行为来获得生命,而是因为基督的义由恩典获得生命,他们所属的这个圣约通常叫作恩典之约。

Take careful note that the Covenant of Grace is not really Plan B that was put into place when Plan A, the Covenant of Works, failed. It is rather part of Gods eternal plan for the salvation of His elect. The Scripture confirms this by calling the blood of Christ shed on the Cross, the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20). So the Covenant of Grace logically precedes the Covenant of Works even though the former was implemented in redemptive history for the salvation of Gods people only after the Fall. Thus, it was after the Fall that God declared the Gospel that is founded on the Covenant of Grace in His words to the serpent, Genesis 3:15, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The seed of the woman clearly refers to Christ, who would be born of a virgin. He would crush the head of the serpent even as it bruised His heel on the Cross of Calvary. Nevertheless, it is essential that those whom Christ represented in the Covenant of Grace be brought into conscious enjoyment of their covenant relationship with God in the fullness of time. And God has appointed that these should come into the relationship by faith in Christ their covenant head. 

我们要注意,恩典之约并不是在行为之约失效以后才建立的一个后备计划。它是上帝为祂的选民的救赎所建立的永恒的计划。圣经能够证实这一点:希伯来书13:20将基督在十字架上所洒的血叫作“永约之血”。所以,逻辑上而言,恩典之约先于行为之约,虽然前者在上帝之人民的救赎历史中是在堕落之后才建立的。所以,在人类堕落之后,上帝才宣布基于恩典之约的福音。在创世纪3:15,祂对蛇说道:”我又要叫你和女人彼此为仇,你的后裔和女人的后裔也彼此为仇,女人的后裔要伤你的头,你要伤他的脚跟。”女人的后裔明确指的是将会生于一位童贞女的基督,祂会伤蛇的头,而蛇会在骷髅地的十字架上伤祂的脚跟。无论如何,基督在恩典之约中代表的人都应当,在日期满足时,了解他们与上帝之间圣约的关系,并以此为乐。上帝便因此指定他们将信靠基督,他们的圣约元首,并由此进入这个圣约。

This is why we are given to confess that under the Covenant of Grace, life and salvation is freely offered unto sinners, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved. But take note that this faith is not really the condition of the covenant, for the condition of the Covenant of Grace is to fulfil the Covenant of Works and to pay for the penalty due to its violation for the elect. Christ fulfilled this condition. Faith, rather, is part of the blessing or promise of the Covenant of Grace which Christ procured for the elect as a virtue to be wrought by the Holy Spirit to make them willing, and able to believe.

这是为什么我们信条中写道,在恩典之约中,生命和救恩是白白向罪人显明的,吩咐他们归信耶稣,从而得救。但注意这个归信并不是圣约的条件,因为恩典之约的条件是要满足行为之约,并消除选民触犯行为之约的罪账。基督满足了这些条件。归信基督其实是恩典之约的祝福和益处,是由基督为选民所获得的; 因此圣灵将这个祝福带给选民,使他们愿意,并能够信。

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

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