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标杆人生 第17天 有所归属

17

A Place to Belong

第十七天 有所归属

You are members of God's very own family, citizens of God's country, and you belong in God's household with every other Christian.

Ephesians 2:19b (LB)

你是神家的成员,神国度的子民,

与其他信徒同属神家。

(以弗所书二章19节,LB)

God's family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

1 Timothy 3:15b (GWT)

这家就是永生神的教会,真理的柱石和根基。

(提摩太前书三章15节)

You are called to belong, not just believe.

神不单要你相信他,他召你来归属于他。

Even in the perfect, sinless environment of Eden, God said, "It is not good for man to be alone.' We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God's purposes by ourselves.

即使在完美无罪的伊甸园里,神说:「那人独居不好。」我们被造是要活在群体中,与人交往、建立家庭,我们没有人能单靠自己成就神的目的。

The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up together. You're not on your own anymore.

圣经没有记载过任何离群索居的圣徒或与其他信徒隔绝的隐士。圣经说我们被放在一起,连结在一起、一起被建立、互相为肢体、一起作为神的后嗣、彼此配合、结合在一起,并且将来要一起被提,你不再是独自一人。

While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God's

family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity.

The Bible says, "In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

虽然你与基督的关系是个人的,神却从来没有想要让这关系是隐密的。在神家里,你和其他信徒是连成一体,永远彼此相属。圣经说:「我们这许多人,在基督里成为一身,互相联络作肢体,也是如此。」

Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. We are members of his Body-the church. C. S. Lewis noted that the word membership is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to "members," and advertisers use member names to create mailing lists. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations.

跟随基督不单是相信,也是归属,我们是他身体一即是教会一的成员。鲁益师认为「成员」(Membership)这词源于基督教,但现在已失去它原先的意义。商店给「会员」折扣,广告商将会员辑成名单供宣传使用。在教会里,教会会员往往沦为把名字加在会员册上罢了,没有任何要求与期望。

To Paul, being a "member" of the church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The church is a body, not a building; an organism, not an organization.

对于保罗来说,作为教会「会员」意即成为一个活的身体的重要器官,是基督的身体不可或缺、无法割舍的一部分。我们必须恢复并实践圣经中会员的真义。教会是一个身体,不是一栋建筑物;是一个活的生命体,不是一个组织。

For the organs of your body to fulfill their purpose, they must be connected to your body. The same is true for you as a part of Christ's Body. You were created for a specific role, but you will miss this second purpose of your life if you're not attached to a living, local church. You discover your role in life through your relationships with others. The Bible tells us, `Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we?'

身体器官要发挥功用,就需要与身体连接;对于作为基督身体一部分的你也是如此。你被造这是为了你特别的任务,但是你若没有与一个有生命的地方教会相连,你就会错失人生第二个目的。当你与人交往时,就会发现自己生命的角色。圣经告诉我们:「身体的每部分都有它的作用,这身体是基督的身体,是拣选的子民。每个人在他的身体发现自己的意义和作用。若是作一个如同被砍断了的手指或剁掉的脚趾,我们还有什么价值呢?」



If an organ is somehow severed from its body, it will shrivel and die. It cannot exist on its own, and neither can you. Disconnected and cut off from the lifeblood of a local body, your spiritual life will wither and eventually cease to exist. This is why the first symptom of spiritual decline is usually inconsistent attendance at worship services and other gatherings of believers. Whenever we become careless about fellowship, everything else begins to slide, too.

假如一个器官与身体分离,就会萎缩死去,绝无法单独存在;你也是这样。与当地教会的生命血脉断绝联系,你的属灵生命也会枯萎消失。这就是为什么灵命倒退的第一个徵兆就是不常参加聚会,不与其他信徒联系。当我们不再关心团契生活,其他的一切也就同样走下坡。

We discover our role in life through our relationships with others.

Membership in the family of God is neither inconsequential nor something to be casually ignored. The church is God's agenda for the world. Jesus said, "I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it."' The church is indestructible and will exist for eternity. It will outlive this universe, and so will your role in it. The person who says, "I don't need the church," is either arrogant or ignorant. The church is so significant that Jesus died on the cross for it. "Christ loved the church and gave his life for it."

我们不能轻看和忽视作为神家成员的重要性,因为教会是神在世上的计划。耶稣说:「我要建立我的教会,地狱一切的权势都不能胜过它。」教会永不会被毁灭,它要存到永远,比宇宙更长久,你的角色也是这样。说「我不需要教会」的人若不是自大就是无知。教会是如此重要,以致主耶稣为教会钉在十字架上。「......正如基督爱教会,为教会舍己。」

The Bible calls the church "the bride of Christ" and "the body of Christ." I can't imagine saying to Jesus, "I love you, but I dislike your wife." Or "I accept you, but I reject your body." But we do this whenever we dismiss or demean or complain about the church. Instead, God commands us to love the church as much as Jesus does. The Bible says, "Love your spiritual family." Sadly, many Christians use the church but don't love it.

圣经称教会为「基督的新妇」或「基督的身体」。我无法想像对耶稣说: 「我爱你,但不喜欢你的妻子」或者:「我接受你,但不要你的身体。」但是每当我们轻视教会、贬抑教会、抱怨教会时,我们便是如此做。神命令我们爱教会,正如耶稣爱教会一样。圣经说:「爱你属灵的家。」很可惜,太多基督徒只利用教会,却不爱教会。

YOUR LOCAL FELLOWSHIP

你的团契生活

Except for a few important instances referring to all believers throughout history, almost every time the word church is used in the Bible it refers to a local, visible congregation. The New Testament assumes membership in a local congregation. The only Christians not members of a local fellowship were those under church discipline who had been removed from the fellowship because of gross public sin."

当圣经提到教会时,除了有几次是指历世历代以来的信徒外,都是指一个肉眼能看见的当地群体。新约圣经中,地方群体是有会员制的。惟一不属任何地方教会群体的会员的基督徒,是那些因为犯了严重、公开的罪而受教会处分的信徒,他们因而被教会从团契当中除名,以为惩戒。

The Bible says a Christian without a church home is like an organ without a body, a sheep without a flock, or a child without a family. It is an unnatural state. The Bible says, "You belong in God's household with every other Christian.'

圣经说没有参与教会的基督徒,就好像没有身体的器官、没有羊群的羊、没有家的小孩,都是不正常的情形。圣经说:「你与其他信徒同属于神家的人。」

Today's culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans "bunny

believers" who hop around from one church to another without any identity, accountability, or commitment. Many believe one can be a "good Christian" without joining (or even attending) a local church, but God would strongly disagree. The Bible offers many compelling reasons for being committed and active in a local fellowship.

今日的文化强调独立的个人主义,造成了许多属灵的孤儿,就是所谓的「兔子信徒」(bunny believers),像兔子一样从一间教会跳到另一间,没有身分、没有责任感、缺乏委身。许多人相信一个人不加入(甚至不参加)教会也能成为「好基督徒」,但神却绝不同意。圣经提出许多有力的理由,说明你为何要委身于教会,并积极参与当地的团契相交生活。

WHY YOU NEED A CHURCH FAMILY

为何你需要教会家庭?

A church family identifies you as a genuine believer. I can't claim to be following Christ if I'm not committed to any specific group of disciples. Jesus said, "Your love for one another will prove

to the world that you are my disciples. "13

When we come together in love as a church family from different backgrounds, race, and social status, it is a powerful witness to the world.14 You are not the Body of Christ on your own. You need others to express that. Together, not separated, we are his Body.''

教会家庭表明你是真信徒。不委身任何信徒团体的人,就不能声称自己是跟随基督的。耶稣说:「你们若有彼此相爱的心,众人因此就认出你们是我的门徒了。」当不同背景、种族、社会地位的人因著爱聚在一起,成为神的大家庭,对世界是一个强有力的见证。独自一个人不是基督的身体,你需要和其他信徒在一起,才是基督的身体。

A church family moves you out of self-centered isolation.

教会家庭令人不再目我中心

The local church is the classroom for learning how to get along in God's family. It is a lab for practicing unselfish, sympathetic love. As a participating member you learn to care about others and share the experiences of others: "If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its bon or:" Only in regular contact with ordinary, imperfect believers can we learn real fellowship and experience the New Testament truth of being connected and dependent on each other."

教会是我们学习在神的家中与人相处的课室。这是一所实验室,学习不自私、对人有同情心。作为一个参与其中的会员,你在此学习关心别人以及与人分享经验。「若一个肢体受苦,所有的肢体就一同受苦,若一个肢体得荣耀,所有的肢体就分享他的荣耀。」惟有当我们经常与一些平凡,不完美的信徒交往,我们才能学习真正的团契相交,并经验彼此连结、互相扶持的新约真理。

Biblical fellowship is being as committed to each other as we are to Jesus Christ. God expects us to give our lives for each other. Many Christians who know John 3:16 are unaware of 1 John

3:16: `Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.' This is the kind of sacrificial love God expects you to show other believers-a willingness to love them in the same way Jesus loves you.

神教导的团契相交是我们彼此委身,正如我们对耶稣基督的委身一般。神期待我们为彼此付出生命。许多基督徒知道约翰福音三章16节,却没有留意约翰一书三章16节:「主为我们舍命,我们从此就知道何为爱;我们也当为弟兄舍命。」神期待的就是你以这种牺牲的爱来爱信徒,愿意以耶稣爱你的方式去爱其他的人。

The church will outlive this universe, and so will your role in it.

A church family helps you develop spiritual muscle.

教会家庭帮助你灵命增长

You will never grow to maturity just

by attending worship services and being a passive spectator. Only participation in the full life of a local church builds spiritual muscle. The Bible says, "As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love."

单单参加崇拜众会或作个被动的旁观者,你绝对无法长大成熟。只有积极参加当地教会生活,灵命才会增长。圣经说:「教会中每一个人都各按其职、各尽所能,彼此相助,教会便在爱中建立起来,并且渐渐长大。」



Over fifty times in the New Testament the phrase "one another" or "each other" is used. We

are commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other's burdens, forgive each other, submit to each other, be devoted to each other, and many other mutual tasks. This is biblical membership! These are your "family responsibilities" that God expects you to fulfill through a local fellowship. Who are you doing these with?

新约圣经有五十多次用「彼此」和「互相」这两个词汇。神命令我们彼此相爱、彼此代求、互相勉励、彼此劝勉、彼此问候、彼此服事,互相教导,彼此接纳,彼此尊重、背负彼此的重担、彼此饶恕、彼此顺服、彼此忠心等等,这就是圣经所说的会员!这就是神期望你在当地的信徒团契当中履行的「家庭责任」!你要和谁完成这个目标呢?

It may seem easier to be holy when no one else is around to frustrate your preferences, but that is a false, untested holiness. Isolation breeds deceitfulness; it is easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are mature if there is no one to challenge us. Real maturity shows up in relationships.

We need more than the Bible in order to grow; we need other believers. We grow faster and stronger by learning from each other and being accountable to each other. When others share what God is teaching them, I learn and grow, too.

在没有人干扰你的选择时,生活比较容易过得圣洁,但这是虚假又经不起考验的圣洁。疏离独处衍生出虚假蒙骗,在没有别人挑战的情况下,我们很容易以为自己很成熟。真正的成熟只能在人际关系中表现出来。

若要成长,除了读圣经外,我们还需要其他信徒。从别人身上的学习和彼此督责,会令我们成长得更快、更强健。当别人分享神如何教导他们,我们也会从中有所学习并成长。

The Body of Christ needs you.

基督的身体需要你

God has a unique role for you to play in his family. This is called your "ministry," and God has gifted you for this assignment: "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church."

在神的家中,他给你一个独特的角色,这叫作你的「事工」,是神给了你恩赐去做的。「圣灵使各人有不同的才干,为要使整个教会都得益处。」

Your local fellowship is the place God designed for you to discover, develop, and use your

gifts. You may also have a wider ministry, but that is in addition to your service in a local body. Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his church.

是神把你摆在你当地的信徒团契当中,让你去发现、发展并使用你的恩赐。或许你有其他更多更广的事工,但那是你在地方教会事奉以外的事工。耶稣并没有应许建立你的事工,他应许建立他的教会。

You will share in Christ's mission in the world.

你要分担基督的普世使命

When Jesus walked the earth, God worked through the physical body of Christ; today he uses his spiritual body. The church is God's instrument on earth. We are not just to model God's love by loving each other; we are to carry it together to the rest of the world. This is an incredible privilege we have been given together. As members of Christ's body, we are his hands, his feet, his eyes, and his heart. He works through us in the world. We each have a contribution to make. Paul tells us, "He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing."

耶稣在地上时,神藉着他的肉身工作,现在神用他属灵的身体工作。教会是神在世上的器皿。我们彼此相爱不单只是表现神的爱,更是一起把这爱带到世界每个角落;这实在是神给我们的一个了不起的特权。作为基督身体的成员,我们是他的手、他的脚、他的眼,他的心,他透过我们在世上做工。我们各人都有所要作出的贡献。保罗告诉我们:「他藉着耶稣基督创造了我们来加入他的工作,就是他已经准备好要我们去做的善工。」

A church family will help keep you from backsliding.

教会家庭帮助你避免灵命退步

None of us are immune to temptation. Given the right situation, you and I are capable of any sin. God knows this, so he has assigned us as individuals the responsibility of keeping each other on track. The Bible says, `Encourage one another daily ... so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." "Mind your own business" is not a Christian phrase. We are called and commanded to be involved in each other's lives. If you know someone who is wavering spiritually right now, it is your responsibility to go after them and bring them back into the fellowship. James tells us, "If you know people who have wandered off from God's truth, don't write them off Go after them. Get them back."

没有人能免于受试探。在某种环境下,你我都会犯罪,所以神给每个人责任去帮助其他人走正路。圣经说:「天天彼此相劝,免得你们中间有人被罪迷惑,心里就刚硬了。」「自扫门前雪」不是基督徒应有的态度,我们被召、被命令参与在彼此的生命中。假如你知道有人的灵命岌岌可危,你有责任去带领他们回到团契生活来。雅各告诉我们:「你若知道有人迷失离开真道,不要不管他,要追上去,把他找回来。」

A related benefit of a local church is that it also provides the spiritual protection of godly leaders. God gives shepherd leaders the responsibility to guard, protect, defend, and care for the spiritual welfare of his flock. We are told, "Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God."

当地教会的另一个好处是属灵领袖能提供灵命的保护。神给牧羊人责任去领导、保护、防御,并关心他羊群的属灵福祉。圣经告诉我们:「他们常常看顾你们的灵魂,因为他们将来要向上帝交账。」

Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his church.

Satan loves detached believers, unplugged from the life of the Body, isolated from God's family, and unaccountable to spiritual leaders, because he knows they are defenseless and powerless against his tactics.

撒但喜欢游离的信徒,怂恿他们离开神的家和属灵领袖,因为它知道这样的信徒是失防的,没有能力抵抗他的计谋。

IT'S ALL IN THE CHURCH

一切都在教会

In my book The Purpose-Driven Church, I explain how being part of a healthy church is essential to living a healthy life. I hope you will read that book, too, because it will help you understand how God designed his church specifically to help you fulfill the five purposes he has for your life. He created the church to meet your five deepest needs: a purpose to live for, people to live with, principles to live by, a profession to live out, and power to live on. There is no other place on earth where you can find all five of these benefits in one place.

在我《直奔标竿》一书里,我曾解释为什么作一个健康教会的成员,是过健全生活的要领。我希望你也能读那本书,因为能帮助你了解神如何藉着他对教会的计划,帮助你完成人生的五个目的。他建立教会以满足你五个最大的需要:一个为之而活的目的,与之同度人生的伙伴,赖以为生的原则,一份活得出来的信仰,以及藉以生活的能力。世上没有其他地方可同时找到上述五个好处。

God's purposes for his church are identical to his five purposes for you. Worship helps you focus on God; fellowship helps you face life's problems; discipleship helps fortify your faith; ministry helps find your talents; evangelism helps fulfill your mission. There is nothing else on earth like the church!

神给予教会的五个目的,与给你的五个目的相同。敬拜让你注目仰望神;团契相交助你面对人生难题;门徒训练坚固你的信心;服事让你发掘才能;传福音使你完成使命。世上实在没有其他地方可与教会相比拟!

YOUR CHOICE

你的选择

Whenever a child is born, he or she automatically becomes a part of the universal family of human beings. But that child also needs to become a member of a specific family to receive nurture and care and grow up healthy and strong. The same is true spiritually. When you were born again, you automatically became a part of God's universal family, but you also need to become a member of a local expression of God's family.

婴孩一出生,自然就成为宇宙人类的一份子。但婴孩仍需要属于某个家庭,被喂养照顾而健康地成长。属灵的事也是这样。当你重生后,你就自然成为神家的一份子,但是你也要投身当地教会,成为教会的成员。

The difference between being a church attender and a church member is commitment.

Attenders are spectators from the sidelines; members get involved in the ministry. Attenders are consumers; members are contributors. Attenders want the benefits of a church

without sharing the responsibility. They are like couples who want to live together without committing to a marriage.

Why is it important to join a local church family? Because it proves you are committed to your spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory. God wants you to love real people, not ideal people. You can spend a lifetime searching for the perfect church, but you will never find it. You are called to love imperfect sinners, just as God does.

参加教会和成为会员的分别在于有没有委身。参加者是场外的旁观者,会员则参与事奉:参加者是消费者,会员则是贡献者;参加者想从教会中得到好处而不愿分担责任,他们就好像一对男女只要住在一起,却不愿意委身结婚。为什么加入当地教会很重要呢?因为这证明你真正投入了属灵的弟兄姊妹中,而不只是理论罢了。神要你爱真实的人,而不是爱完美的人。你可以穷一生之久去找寻完美的教会,但你永远没法找到。你乃是被召去爱不完美的罪人,如同神所做的一般。

In Acts, the Christians in Jerusalem were very specific in their commitment to each other. They were devoted to fellowship. The Bible says, "They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers." God expects you to commit to the same things today.

在使徒行传里,耶路撒冷的基督徒非常注重彼此的委身,对于团契生活非常地忠心。圣经说:「他们专心向使徒们领教,参加团契生活,分享爱筵,一起祷告。」神期望我们今天也一样。

The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ; it includes a commitment to other

Christians. The Christians in Macedonia understood this. Paul said, "First they gave themselves to

the Lord; and then, by God's will, they gave themselves to us as well." Joining the membership of a local church is the natural next step once you've become a child of God. You become a Christian by committing yourself to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourself to a specific group of believers. The first decision brings salvation; the second brings fellowship.

基督徒的生命不只是委身基督,也包括委身于其他的信徒。马其顿的基督徒明白这一点,保罗说:「他们首先将自己交给神,然后按神的旨意将他们自己给了我们。」当你成为神的儿女后,加入当地教会是顺理成章的下一步。你藉着委身基督成为基督徒,藉着委身一个特定的信徒群体成为教会的会员。第一个决定带来救恩,第二个决定则带来团契生活。



DAY SEVENTEEN THINKING ABOUT MY PURPOSE

第17天 我的人生目的省思

Point to Ponder: I am called to belong, not just believe.

思想要点:我不单被召相信神,更是属于神。

Verse to Remember: "In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5 (NIV)

背记经文:「我们这许多人,在基督里成为一身,互相联络作肢体,也是如此。」(罗马书十二章5节)

Question to Consider: Does my level of involvement in my local church demonstrate that I love and am committed to God's family?

思考问题:我对当地教会的投入程度,能否表现出我爱教会,并且委身于神的家庭?
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