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05-06讀經日程搜索:
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Chinese1/1/2006English
經文:以弗所書一章
鑰節:「我們藉這愛子的血得蒙救贖,過犯得以赦免,乃是照祂豐富的恩典。」(1:7)
提要

        簡明牛津英文字典為「redeem」這個英文字(即上述經中的「救贖」一字),做了如下的定義:1.付出勞力,或按照規定的代價買回。2.實踐、履行(某個承諾)。3.付出贖金,換回自由或生命。4.拯救、搭救某人或某物,脫離罪惡和刑罰。5.補償、賠償、彌補某個缺失(例如,那雙眼睛「彌補」了那張臉蛋的缺點)

        在上述定義中,幾個鑰字分別是「買回」、「換回自由」、「拯救」。會用到這樣的字眼,顯然過程中有人或東西已經被賣掉、淪為奴隸,或即將滅亡。甚至我們可以進一步推想,這個人或東西會被賣、被奴役、遭沈淪,是因為在某個嚴格的過程中,他達不到一定的標準和要求。試問,在本章經文中,達不到標準的是誰﹖而標準又是誰定的呢﹖

        保羅說,那達不到標準的是以弗所信徒(及歷世歷代的所有信徒),也包括他自己和他的同工。而定標準的那位,不是別人,正是上帝。上帝是聖潔公義的,按這個角度來看,充滿罪污的人類一無是處,理當沈淪。上帝的公義必須判處人類的罪行,刑罰就是死。但,上帝還有恩典的一面!「祂在基督堙K…賜……各樣屬靈的福氣」(3節)。基督已為我們流出寶血,做為贖價;祂已赦免我們,又賜聖靈內住我們心堙A做為日後得基業的憑據(14節)。我們已被買回、釋放、更新再造,我們已被「救贖」了!

禱告

        主啊,今天我們要和使徒保羅做一樣的禱告,我們的心何等喜樂。現在我們要恭敬的誦讀以弗所書一章十六至廿三節。

English

Scriptures:Read Ephesians 1
Key Verse:"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace..."(Ephesians 1:7)
Overview

        The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word "redeem" this way: 1. Buy back, recover by expenditure or effort or by stipulated payment 2. Perform (promise) 3. Purchase the freedom of (another, oneself), save (one's life) by ransom 4. Save, rescue, reclaim (of God or Christ), deliver from sin and damnation. 5. Make amends for, compensate, counterbalance, save from a defect ("the eyes redeem the face from ugliness").

        Key words in this definition are, "buy back," "purchase the freedom of," and "save." These words imply that someone or something has been sold, enslaved, and earmarked for destruction. And a further implication is that the selling, enslaving, and destroying has occurred in a closed system where that someone or something has fallen short of some declared purpose or standard. Who has fallen short here? And whose standard has been transgressed?

        Paul says the fallen ones are the Ephesian believers (and all believers of all time), including himself and his co-workers. And the standard marker is none other than God Himself. From God's point of view, righteous and holy as He is, man is totally filthy in his sin and fit only for destruction. His justice demands a penalty for man's sin — and that penalty is death. But, in His grace, "He has blessed us... in Christ" (v. 3). Christ's blood has been shed to atone for our sin; He has forgiven us and has indwelt us with His Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our heavenly inheritance (v. 14). We have been bought back, set free, and made new. We have been redeemed.

Prayer

        Lord, today it is a great joy to pray the prayer of the Apostle Paul.'We read together, prayerfully (Ephesians 1:16-23).


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