Lesson 4 The Gospel In The Word And The Sacraments, The Means Of Grace
A. God’s Gospel Delivery System 福音的传达系统
- In His great love for sinful people, God has not only sent Jesus Christ to fulfill the holy demands of the law and pay the full penalty of sin for all. He has also developed special ways through which He imparts this “good news” to people and give them the wonderful benefits of Jesus' redeeming work.
- God causes the gospel to come to people in the forms of the Word （as it is read, heard, or remembered） and the two Sacraments （Holy Baptism and Holy Communion）。 We call the Gospel as it comes in the form of the Word and Sacraments “the means or paths of God’s grace” because they are the ways or routes by which God brings His saving grace in Jesus Christ into our lives.
- The Holy Spirit works through the Gospel in these forms to bring people to and preserve and strengthen them in saving faith in Christ.
B. The Gospel In God’s Word 神话语中的福音信息
God has the Gospel come to people through His Word in several ways:
- The Gospel comes in the spoken Word.
传讲话语的方式 “Now brothers I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.” （1 Corinthians 15:1） “弟兄们，我如今把先前所传给你们的福音，告诉你们知道；这福音你们也领受了，又靠着站立得住；”（ 哥林多前书15:1）
- The Gospel comes in the written Word.
书面话语的方式 “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” （John 20:31） “但记这些事，要叫你们信耶稣是基督，是 神的儿子，并且叫你们信了他，就可以因他的名得生命。” （约翰福音 20:31）
- The Gospel comes in the learned and remembered Word.
学习与记忆的方式 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” （2 Timothy 3:14-15） “但你所学习的，所确信的，要存在心里；因为你知道是跟谁学的，并且知道你是从小明白圣经；这圣经能使你因信基督耶稣，有得救的智慧。” （提摩太后书 3:14-15）
C. The Sacraments 圣礼
God has the Gospel come to people through the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion.
- The word “sacrament” comes from the Latin word “sacramentum,” which means “a solemn, sacred pledge.” In the sacraments, God is the One who makes a solemn, sacred pledge to bless people because of Jesus Christ
- We define a sacrament as:
我们把圣礼定义为： a. A sacred act – in which God is at work, giving something to us; 神在一个庄严神圣的仪式上做工，赐予； b. Instituted by Jesus Christ – established and commanded by Jesus for us to do; 由耶稣基督确立、命令我们举行的仪式； c. Which uses earthly elements – physical substances （water, bread, wine）； 使用世上的物质（水，饼、酒）； d. Connected with God's Word – which gives the sacraments their power; 与神的话语相连接，被赋予神的能力； e. through which God offers, gives and assures forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation. 神以此形式提供、给予、让我们确信罪得赦免，永生与救恩。
- Sacraments are not empty symbols, sacrifices offered to God or church ceremonies. They are Gospel instruments by which God actually gives His spiritual blessings to people.
D. The Gospel In Baptism 圣洗礼中的福音
- Jesus Christ instituted Baptism as part of His “Great Commission” to the Church to reach all people just before His ascension.
- In Baptism, a person receives the application of God’s Word and water for their blessing.
- In Baptism, God gives the following Gospel blessings to people:
在圣洗礼中，神赐予人以下祝福： a. God lovingly claims a person to be His disciple and enjoy His spiritual favor. 神宣告一个人成为他的门徒，享有他赐予的属灵的恩惠。 “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” （Matthew 28:19） “所以，你们要去使万民作我的门徒，奉父子圣灵的名，给他们施洗” （马太福音 28:19） b. God brings spiritually separated people into spiritual union with Christ and makes them God's children. 神让他所拣选的人在灵里与基督合为一体，使他们成为神的儿女。 “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothes with Christ.” （Galatians 3:26-27） “所以，你们因信基督耶稣，都是 神的儿子。你们受洗归入基督的，都是披戴基督了。” （加拉太书 3:26-27） c. God grants them the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. 神恩准他们罪得赦免，赐予他们圣灵。 “Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.‘” （Acts 2:38） “彼得说：’你们各人要悔改，奉耶稣基督的名受洗，叫你们的罪得赦，就必领受所赐的圣灵；‘” （使徒行传2:38） d. God saves people and spiritually cleanses them. 神拯救人，使他们灵里洁净。 “And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” （1 Peter 3:21） “这水所表明的洗礼，现在藉着耶稣基督复活也拯救你们；这洗礼本不在乎除掉肉体的污秽，只求在 神面前有无亏的良心。” （彼得前书 3:21） e. God creates new spiritual life and gives a place in God's kingdom. 神为他们建造全新的属灵生命，将神的国度赐予他们。 “Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.’” （John 3:5） “耶稣说：‘我实实在在地告诉你，人若不是从水和圣灵生的，就不能进 神的国。’”（约翰福音 3:5）
E. The Gospel In Communion, The Lord’s Supper 圣餐中的福音
- Jesus instituted Holy Communion at a Passover meal on the night before He died on the cross.
- In Holy Communion, a person receives the earthly elements of bread and wine along with the spiritual elements of the true body and blood of Christ. （The Real Presence）
- In Communion, God gives the following Gospel blessings to people:
在圣餐礼上，神赐予人以下的福音祝福： a. God gives the forgiveness of sins. 神使人罪得赦免。 “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.” Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.“ （Matthew 26:26-28） ”他们吃的时候，耶稣拿起饼来，祝福，就掰开，递给门徒，说：‘你们拿着吃，这是我的身体。’又拿起杯来，祝谢了，递给他们，说：‘你们都喝这个，因为这是我立约的血，为多人流出来，使罪得赦。’“（马太福音26:26-28） b. Jesus gives the blessings of God's new covenant （solemn agreement）： forgiveness for all sins and intimate fellowship with Him. 耶稣赐下神新约的祝福，那就是饶恕世人所有的罪，与神建立亲密的关系。 ”This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.“ （Luke 22:20b） ”这杯是用我血所立的新约，是为你们流出来的。 “（路加福音 22:20b） ”The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. . . This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.“ （Hebrews 8;8b, 10a, 11-12） ”日子将到，我要与以色列家和犹大家另立新约。 . . 主又说：“那些日子以后，我与以色列家所立的约乃是这样：…他们不用各人教导自己的乡邻和自己的弟兄，说：‘你该认识主；’因为他们从最小的到至大的，都必认识我。我要宽恕他们的不义，不再记念他们的罪愆。” （希伯来书 8;8b, 10a, 11-12）
- God intends that believing, instructed, and prepared Christians received Communion.
神要基督徒首先相信并真正懂得圣餐礼的意义、真正预备好他们的心，再来接受圣餐。 “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” （1 Corinthians 11:28-29） “人应当自己省察，然后吃这饼、喝这杯。因为人吃喝，若不分辨是主的身体，就是吃喝自己的罪了。（哥林多前书 11:28-29）
F. Review The Lesson 本课回顾
1. Agree And Disagree Statements 判断题
Mark each statement A （agree） or D （disagree）
—- 1. Both the law and the gospel are imparted to us through God’s ”means of grace.“
—- 2. Without God’s delivery system of the means of grace, Jesus' redeeming work would be of no help to us.
—- 3. The Holy Spirit regularly brings unbelievers to faith by directly reaching their hearts apart from the gospel.
—- 4. A person can be spiritually strengthened by the gospel, even if he/she has not heard it or read it for some time.
—- 5. In the administration of the sacraments, God solemnly pledges to bless us and we gratefully pledge to serve and obey God.
—- 6. It is God’s Word of the gospel that gives the sacraments their power.
—- 7. God wants everyone to be baptized.
—- 8. The body and blood of Jesus are powerfully symbolized, but not actually present, with bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper.
—- 9. The blessings of God’s new covenant include the forgiveness of all our sins and intimate fellowship with God Himself.
—- 10. God invites all people to partake of Holy Communion.
2. Reflection Questions 思考题
- A Christian emperor, who lived centuries ago, once said: ”The three handfuls of water poured over my head in baptism are worth more to me than the crown that sits on my head.“ What did he mean by that comment?
- Why is it important for us to prepare carefully for the reception of Holy Communion?
最后更新于 2013年3月23日 星期六 10:04