《西敏信条教牧简释 11.6》

Posted on Jun 4, 2021 by admin

11.6 旧约时代的信徒称义,与新约时代的信徒称义,在这些方面都是一样的。 加 3:9;13-14;罗 4:22-24;来 13:8。

11.6 The justification of believers under the old testament was, in all these respects, one and the same with the justification of believers under the new testament.   Gal 3:9, 13–14; Rom 4:22–24; Heb 13:8.


We are given to confess that believers are justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Our justification is founded upon the Father’s unconditional election, the Son’s vicarious life and death on our behalf, and the Holy Spirit powerful application of the benefits procured for us. It is easy to see how this is true for New Testament believers for Christ has already finished His work of atonement on their behalf. But what about in the case of Old Testament believers? Not only was Christ’s atonement still future for them, but the Old Testament does not seem to indicate that they are saved by faith in Him. It seems rather that they were preserved in temporal life by keeping God’s Law and offering sacrifices. This observation appears to be so compelling that in the 1830s, a new way of understanding the Scriptures known as Dispensationalism was invented. According to this way of thinking, there is a stark discontinuity between the Old and New Testaments; God has two people: Israel and the Church; Israel was saved largely by obedience to God’s Law, whereas the Church is saved by faith in Christ; etc. Today very few Dispensational scholars still hold to all the classical tenets proposed in the 1830s. However, the fact that these ideas were even entertained by serious Christians suggests that they cannot simply be brushed aside.



This is perhaps why we are given specifically to acknowledge in the present paragraph of our Confession that believers in all ages, whether they lived in Old Testament times or in New Testament times, are justified and saved in exactly the same way.



What is the basis of this assertion? Well, we have already dealt with the question to some depth when we considered WCF 7.4–6. But briefly, this doctrine is clearly taught in the book of Hebrews which seeks to warn the persecuted Jewish believers not to return to Jeudaistic way of worship now that Christ has come and has fulfilled all the shadowy elements of the Old Covenant. To return to Judaistic worship is to return to rituals and sacrifices that are emptied of meaning. It is like insisting on kissing the photograph of a one who has just returned from a long trip when he is there for you to embrace. Thus, to return to such worship would be to trample underfoot Christ and to despise His blood (Heb 10:29).


整个书信里也确认了这一点。举例来说,它提醒我们,在旷野里死亡的以色列人因为不信而亏缺:“因为有福音传给我们,像传给他们一样;只是所听见的道与他们无益,因为他们没有信心与所听见的道调和”(来4:2)。次外,旧约圣徒——包括亚伯、亚伯拉罕、摩西、喇合、大卫等等—— 都是因信基督而得救。比如,摩西“因着信……看为基督受的凌辱比埃及的财物更宝贵”(来11:26)。

The case is made throughout the book. For examples, we are reminded that the Israelites who died in the wilderness, fell short because of unbelief: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Heb 4:2). Furthermore, the saints of Old from Abel to Abraham to Moses to Rahab to David, etc, were all saved by faith in Christ. Moses, for instance, “by faith… [esteemed] the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb 11:26).



It is clear that the saints of Old were saved in the same way as the saints today. Thus, it is not without sound basis that Paul insists that both Abraham and David were justified by faith in Christ alone (Rom 4:2, 6).


Thank God for the clarity provided in the Scriptures by which we may accurately interpret the Old Testament unto the praise and glory of God for His justice and His grace exhibited in Christ throughout the ages.

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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