讲道稿:罗马书9:6-18

音频文件:罗马书9:6-18

讲道从15:00开始。

读经

6 这不是说神的话落了空。因为从以色列生的不都是以色列人,
6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
7 也不因为是亚伯拉罕的后裔就都作他的儿女;惟独从以撒生的纔要称为你的后裔。
7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
8 这就是说,肉身所生的儿女不是神的儿女,惟独那应许的儿女纔算是后裔。
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
9 因为所应许的话是这样说:到明年这时候我要来,撒拉必生一个儿子。
9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”
10 不但如此,还有利百加,既从一个人,就是从我们的祖宗以撒怀了孕,
10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
11 (双子还没有生下来,善恶还没有做出来,只因要显明神拣选人的旨意,不在乎人的行为,乃在乎召人的主。)
11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—
12 神就对利百加说:将来大的要服事小的。
12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
13 正如经上所记:雅各是我所爱的;以扫是我所恶的。
13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14 这样,我们可说甚么呢?难道神有甚么不公平么?断乎没有!
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
15 因他对摩西说:我要怜悯谁就怜悯谁,要恩待谁就恩待谁。
15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
16 据此看来,这不在乎那定意的,也不在乎那奔跑的,只在乎发怜悯的神。
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
17 因为经上有话向法老说:我将你兴起来,特要在你身上彰显我的权能,并要使我的名传遍天下。
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
18 如此看来,神要怜悯谁就怜悯谁,要叫谁刚硬就叫谁刚硬。
18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

这是神的话语。


Introduction

方超的故事:“我认识十多年的好友被查出肝癌晚期,他只是普通的工薪阶层,却坚持资助几个家庭贫困的学生。我和他说我继续帮你捐助这几个孩子。由于前段时间手术住院及化疗,捐助中断了将近四个月。 我昨天刚刚在网上修改了捐助人姓名,联系方式。今天下午接到一位来自贵州毕节某中学学生家长的来电。我简单说了一下方超的现状及我接手捐助的事。 没等我说完,对方家长劈头盖脸的问我:“你不要和我讲什么,我听不懂,你答应捐助我的孩子上完大学,现在什么情况我不想知道,我已经几个月没收到钱啦!你们到底还给不给!我们是要靠你们走出大山的,你懂不?” 我说了句:“你们还是老老实实在大山里呆着吧,就别想着走出来了,就这样吧,再见!”心寒。”

这个故事基本上是个现代预言,展现了罗马书9-11章里两个最重要的概念:怜悯和刚硬。

当我读到这个故事的时候,我可以联系起我一生中发生的许多事情,仿佛完全可以理解讲这个故事的人的心情。

事实上,如果你听到有犹太人给神说,“你不要和我讲什么耶稣,我听不懂。你答应派弥赛亚来拯救我们,现在什么情况我不想知道,我已经等了400年了。你的应许到底算不算数?我们是要靠你统治全世界的,你懂不?”

你就知道保罗要回答的问题是什么了。难道是因为犹太人的意愿,或者犹太人的奔跑,神就怜悯他们吗?还是只在乎那发乎怜悯的神的主权和旨意?

上周我们在讲道中提出,罗马书的9-11章是保罗站在犹太“余民,remnant”的角度对福音进行再一次的诠释。针对犹太人如今似乎被神抛弃,与基督分离的状态(Rom 9:3),保罗希望回答三个问题:

  • 神公平吗?Is God fair?
  • 神的主权拣选,让我们显得像机器人一样了吗?Doesn’t this make us robots?
  • 我为什么应当传福音?Why should I evangelize?

在罗马书9-11章里,他对这三个关键问题都给出了回答。而我们今天在罗马书第9章里要面对的,正是第一个问题。

在历史中启示的神

我们知道,圣经神学是一种建立在历史事件之上的神学,其中所有的观念,都以依托在数千年展开历史而呈现出来的。所以,我们所探讨的不是空洞的哲学思辨问题,而是具体的历史问题——神的计划如何,耶稣是不是神的儿子,他有没有降生,有没有被钉十字架,有没有复活?对这些问题的回答,构成了我们得救的福音。神的旨意和计划,通过历史展现出来,而我们也通过对历史事件的观察和解释,来认识神的本质。

所以,如果我们对比中国哲学,你们就知道所谓无时间性质的形而上学是什么样子:

道可道,非常道。名可名,非常名。无名,天地之始。有名,万物之母。故常无,欲以观其妙。常有,欲以观其微。
Tao (The Way) that can be spoken of is not the Constant Tao’
The name that can be named is not a Constant Name.
Nameless, is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The named is the Mother of all things.
Thus, the constant void enables one to observe the true essence.
The constant being enables one to see the outward manifestations.

或者论语那种通篇简短对话和格言。

1.1 子曰:“学而时习之,不亦说乎?有朋自远方来,不亦乐乎?人不知而不愠,不亦君子乎?”
The Master “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?”
“Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?”
“Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”

所以,当我们面临神学问题的时候,圣经的方式是在神所掌控和展开的历史中寻求答案。

MP1 神的话语落空了吗?

以色列人似乎不接受基督,与神隔绝了。是不是神的话语落空了?

保罗的回答是,神的话语绝不落空。因为并不是血统上的以色列人,就是神旨意中的真以色列人。

保罗给出了两个历史实例来证明这一点。

7 也不因为是亚伯拉罕的后裔就都作他的儿女;惟独从以撒生的纔要称为你的后裔。
7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
8 这就是说,肉身所生的儿女不是神的儿女,惟独那应许的儿女纔算是后裔。
8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

我们知道,亚伯拉罕除了以撒之外,还有从女仆夏甲所生的以实玛利,以及妻子死后所娶的妾为他生的几个儿子。但是,神的应许,要承受他给亚伯拉罕后裔之祝福的,只有以撒:

9 因为所应许的话是这样说:到明年这时候我要来,撒拉必生一个儿子。
9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

或者,我们可以辩称,以实玛利不是正妻所生,当然没有继承权;或者,以实玛利曾经欺负以撒,嘲笑以撒,神不喜欢这种人,所以把他赶出去了。于是,保罗又另举一例:

10 不但如此,还有利百加,既从一个人,就是从我们的祖宗以撒怀了孕,
10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
11 (双子还没有生下来,善恶还没有做出来,只因要显明神拣选人的旨意,不在乎人的行为,乃在乎召人的主。)
11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—
12 神就对利百加说:将来大的要服事小的。
12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
13 正如经上所记:雅各是我所爱的;以扫是我所恶的。
13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

以撒的妻子利百加,一生只有一个丈夫。以撒所有的孩子也都是从利百加而出。所以,这里的没有什么女仆、娶妾之类的问题。而且,怀着双生子,还没有生下来,没有行出善恶之事,以扫没有出卖长子权,雅各也没有欺骗父亲的祝福。神在这个时候就对利百加说,将来大的要服侍小的。所以,神的目的是要显明自己拣选人的旨意,而不在乎人的行为,只在乎召人的主。

将这个拣选的原则应用到目前的状况下,我们就可以清楚地看出,神的话语并没有落空,因为他的确通过拣选犹太人中的少数余民,比如保罗和十二使徒等人,在推动和成就他的应许,并且不仅祝福以色列人,也将福音带给了外邦人。

MP2 神不公义吗?

然而,我们很快就面临另一个问题,如果神在雅各和以扫出生之前,在善恶都还没有行出来之前,就说“雅各是我所爱的;以扫是我所恶的”,是不是一种不公?

14 这样,我们可说甚么呢?难道神有甚么不公平么?断乎没有!
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!

保罗再一次给了我们两个历史事件为证:

15 因他对摩西说:我要怜悯谁就怜悯谁,要恩待谁就恩待谁。
15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

同样,这句话是希伯来语的平行体,我们可以大体上将怜悯和恩待理解为同义词。神对摩西说这句话,是在宣告祂最重要的属性之一:怜悯。

王帆:大雪,给流浪者送餐。我们已经坚持了六七年了……解放碑在驱赶甚至抓捕流浪汉,城管、警察和救助站联合行动,要禁绝流浪现象。救助站在请示领导后拒绝了我们的帮助,有个街道主任一级的官员问了我一句话:“我们这么辛苦把他们赶走,你们还个个礼拜给他们送铺盖,你们是什么意思?”他不说这句话我真以为是在精准扶贫呢……

但是,无论是怜悯还是使人的心刚硬,都是神的主权:

16 据此看来,这不在乎那定意的,也不在乎那奔跑的,只在乎发怜悯的神。
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
17 因为经上有话向法老说:我将你兴起来,特要在你身上彰显我的权能,并要使我的名传遍天下。
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
18 如此看来,神要怜悯谁就怜悯谁,要叫谁刚硬就叫谁刚硬。
18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

罗马书第9章在整个圣经神学上是非常重要的一段经文,但是也是最复杂难解的经文。历史上,有人用它来支持自由意志,有人用它来支持预定论,有人拿来支持双重预定论,有人用它来构造神的拣选之教义,有人拿来构造神义论——也就是关于苦难问题的教义。

解释原则

坦率地说,这一章对我个人来说,也是整个圣经里最难消化的一章。如果你们读到这段经文,心里有任何觉得神不公平的想法,绝对不是因为你的想法奇怪,与众不同,而是因为这段经文的确可能让人生出这种疑虑来。我年轻的时候,曾经一度想通过这个问题,但是这次我预备讲道的时候,却发现仍旧有新的问题又出来了。所以,我想通过以下的解释,帮助大家应用神的拣选这个教义。

首先,圣经是神显明的旨意,我们所得到的启示,仅限于神通过圣经告诉我们的话语。所以,当我们面对难解的问题时,最重要的原则是谦卑:

Deut 29:29 隐秘的事是属耶和华―我们 神的;唯有明显的事是永远属我们和我们子孙的,好叫我们遵行这律法上的一切话。
29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

而预定和拣选的教义,正是因为它的复杂难解,或者说奥秘,在整个教会的历史上,或者起着让人谦卑的作用,或者让人自以为真理在握,越发显得目空一切,骄傲自满,仿佛是站在上帝视角说话一样。可以说,如果你们要快速地考察一个人的灵性是否成熟,在没有比和他讨论“预定论”的时候,看他/她的表现更好的方式了。

这个问题的复杂,在于它并非单纯我们之外的客观真理,比如神的存在性,或者神的属性,或者宇宙起源之类。尽管奥秘而难解,你大体上知道这些东西是有客观答案的。

而救恩论——预定或者拣选只是其中的一部分——之所以复杂,在于它牵涉到我们自己对得救的主观判断。你得救了吗?你身边的亲人得救了吗?为什么?如果我需要采取行动,我要怎么做?

因此,在这个问题上,我们需要保持足够的谦卑,第一承认神的话语中有些奥秘是保留着,没有完全明白的启示给我们的;第二承认我们对神的话语的理解是有限的,无论是因为人天然的败坏和罪性,还是因为我们的恩赐和知识不足,我们对神的理解总是可能犯错误的——不犯错误的人不是人,而是近于神。既然我们可能犯错误,我们就当在与人讨论这些问题的时候谦卑下来,承认得救在乎信心,而得救的知识是否正确,与得救的确据并无生死攸关的联系。很多人以为一定要把神的全部启示搞明白了才愿意接受福音,就像我想把整个物理学全部搞懂了才成为一个工程师一样,那么我是永远也成不了工程师的,因为我天然的局限,使得我无法理解量子力学(quantum mechanics)的矩阵论,所以我永远也不能说自己可以完全搞懂物理学。如果我们想把全本圣经都了解通透再来接受福音,我们所接受的一定不是福音,而是自己的傲慢与偏见。

其次,我们需要澄清公义与怜悯的区别。

[R. C. Sproul:]
There are two universal categories: justice and nonjustice. Everything outside the circle of justice is in the category of nonjustice, but there are different kinds of nonjustice. The mercy of God is outside the circle of justice and is a kind of nonjustice. Also in this category is injustice. Injustice is evil; an act of injustice violates the principles of righteousness. If God were to do something unfair, He would be acting unjustly. Abraham knew the impossibility of that when he said to God, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Gen. 18:25). Because God is a just judge, all His judgments are according to righteousness, so that He never acts in an unjust way; He never commits an injustice.

People get confused, however, when considering this alongside of God’s mercy and grace, because grace is not justice. Grace and mercy are outside the category of justice, but they are not inside the category of injustice. There is nothing wrong with God’s being merciful; there is nothing evil in His being gracious. In fact, in one sense, we have to extend this. Even though justice and mercy are not the same thing, justice is linked to righteousness, and righteousness may at times include mercy and grace. The reason we need to distinguish between them is that justice is necessary to righteousness, but mercy and grace are actions God takes freely. God is never required to be merciful or gracious. The moment we think that God owes us grace or mercy, we are no longer thinking about grace or mercy. Our minds tend to trip there so that we confuse mercy and grace with justice. Justice may be owed, but mercy and grace are always voluntary.

When we looked at the justice of God in an earlier chapter, we noted that everything outside the category of justice is nonjustice. Both injustice and mercy fall outside the category of justice, yet injustice is evil whereas mercy is not. When God considered a race of depraved, fallen human beings living in rebellion against Him, He decreed that He would give mercy to some and justice to others. Esau received justice; Jacob received grace; neither received injustice. God never punishes innocent people, but He does redeem guilty people. He does not redeem them all, and He is under no obligation to redeem any. The amazing thing is that He redeems some.

三位著名神学家的警告:

E. Brunner writes that “God’s freedom means inequality. Inequality, however, always arouses in us men the feeling of injustice. We want to measure God by our yardstick. But God’s righteousness cannot be measured by our standards. It includes his absolute sovereign freedom; else he would not be the God who freely bestows” (The Letter to the Romans [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1949], 86).

Calvin writes that “the predestination of God is truly a labyrinth from which the mind of man is wholly incapable of extricating itself. But the curiosity of man is so insistent that the more dangerous it is to inquire into a subject, the more boldly he rushes to do so” (The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians, trans. R. Mackenzie [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961], 202).

Stott acknowledges the doctrine of election is shrouded in mystery and warns that “theologians are unwise to systematize it in such a way that no puzzles, enigmas, or loose ends are left.”

Conclusion by R. Longenecker

It cannot, therefore, be said either (1) that “God’s word has failed” or (2) that “there is injustice with God.” For God’s promise has always been given (and continues to be given) only to “the remnant” of Israel (as well as to those whom God considers “the righteous remnant” among the various non-Jewish nations), and God’s mercy has always been expressed (and continues to be expressed), both positively and negatively, to those he chooses to express it.

Final Exhortation

我需要大家自己思考这个问题。下一周我们会邀请慧娟的爸爸来讲道。而再下一周,是圣诞节的讲道,很可能是短讲,因为我们有许多的节目,包括孩子们的节目要表演。今年的最后一周,是我们的新任牧师刘卓来讲道。接下来,我就更希望刘卓多多地讲道,而我更多地退居二线,为了回国做准备。所以,当我们再次开始这个系列的时候,应当是明年了。那时,我们会讨论在神的拣选和预定之中,人是否为自己的行为承担责任的问题。

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