奴僕或兒子?

摘錄自加爾文(John Calvin)著,任傳龍譯,《基督教要義》(麥種,2016年底),III.19.5

五、請看,如果按照律法的標準來檢驗我們的行為,那麼它們應當受到怎樣的咒詛呢!但是,可憐的靈魂怎能願意去做一件只能得到咒詛作為回報的事呢?另一方面,如果得到釋放脫離這一苛求或律法的嚴苛,親自聽到父神慈愛的呼喚,那麼,他們將喜樂地、踴躍地順服神的呼召,隨從祂的引導。總之,那些被律法的軛所捆綁的人,就好像奴僕一般,每天由主人指派工作。他們總想到還沒有做的事情;直等到完成所有工作之後,才敢見主人的面。但是,受到父親更慷慨和親切對待的兒女,卻能毫不猶豫地把自己剛剛開始或完成一半的工作,甚至是有瑕疵的工作,呈獻給父母,相信自己的順服和願做的心可蒙悅納,雖然工作不能盡如父母的意。我們的感覺應該是後者,因為我們當然相信,我們最慈悲的天父將悅納我們的服事,不論這些服事是多麼渺小、粗糙和不完全。因此,祂曾藉著先知向我們這樣宣告:「我必憐恤他們,如同人憐恤服事自己的兒子」(瑪三17;《呂振中譯本》作「我必顧惜他們,正如人顧惜自己的兒子,那服事自己的一樣」);顧惜一詞顯然意指寬容或寬免過失的意思,同時服事仍然會被紀念。如果沒有這樣的確信,我們一切所做的都是枉然;既然如此,此確信就是非常必要的,因為除非我們真正出於渴望而事奉祂,否則神不會把我們的事奉視為事奉祂。但是,如果我們心中一直懼怕,不知道我們所做的是得罪神還是事奉神,又如何可能有事奉祂的渴望呢?

5. See how our works lie under the curse of the law if they are tested by the standard of the law. But how can unhappy souls set themselves with alacrity to a work from which they cannot hope to gain any thing in return but cursing? On the other hand, if freed from this severe exaction, or rather from the whole rigor of the law, they hear themselves invited by God with paternal levity, they will cheerfully and alertly obey the call, and follow his guidance. In one word, those who are bound by the yoke of the law are like servants who have certain tasks daily assigned them by their masters. Such servants think that nought has been done; and they dare not come into the presence of their masters until the exact amount of labour has been performed. But sons who are treated in a more candid and liberal manner by their parents, hesitate not to offer them works that are only begun or half finished, or even with something faulty in them, trusting that their obedience and readiness of mind will be accepted, although the performance be less exact than was wished. Such should be our feelings, as we certainly trust that our most indulgent Parent will approve our services, however small they may be, and however rude and imperfect. Thus He declares to us by the prophet, “I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him,” (Mal. 3:17); where the word spare evidently means indulgence, or connivance at faults, while at the same time service is remembered. This confidence is necessary in no slight degree, since without it every thing should be attempted in vain; for God does not regard any sock of ours as done to himself, unless truly done from a desire to serve him. But how can this be amidst these terrors, while we doubt whether God is offended or served by our work?

 

John-Calvin_620

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文士受教作天國的門徒
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