EXHORTATION 6/6/04 - Reading James 1 - Bro Des Manser

2004年6月6日讲道词 读经 雅各书第一章 戴斯 曼瑟弟兄

We are about to commence reading through the Epistle of James again. James deals with many practical issues of our walk in Christ which we do well to consider as we now come to remember our Lord in the appointed way. 我们的读经又一次轮到了雅各书。雅各针对很多我们在基督里行的实际生活问题展开讨论,就象现在我们按着神所指示的来这里纪念耶稣一样。

We learn in Mark 6:3 that James was one of Jesus' half-brothers and was therefore among "his brethren who did not believe in him" (John 7:5). However after Jesus' resurrection he appeared to James at some time after he had appeared to the apostles [1 Cor 15:7]. This no doubt had a striking effect upon James who was converted to become one of the most influential leaders of the early ecclesia in Jerusalem. In fact he appears to be the leading brother in that ecclesia and is called by Paul a "pillar" in Gal 2:9 and he presided over the conference of all the apostles in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15:13. 我们从马可福音6:3里知道雅各是耶稣的弟兄,而且是“他的弟兄说这话,是因为不信他”(约翰福音7:5)的其中之一。然而,在耶稣复活以后,先显给雅各看,再显给众使徒看(哥林多前书15:7)。这对后来转变成为耶路撒冷早期教会最有影响力的领袖之一的雅各无疑是一大震撼。实际上,他后来成为教会的领导者,在加拉太书2:9里被保罗称为“教会柱石”,并且就象使徒行传15:13里所记载的一样,他还主持了由所有使徒参加的耶路撒冷会议。

The Jerusalem brethren and sisters suffered great persecution and hardship in those early days and James provided strong leadership and example. See Acts 8:1;11:27-28. 耶路撒冷的弟兄姐妹在早期遭受了极大的逼迫和患难。雅各给大家树立了坚强的信心,显示了极强的领导能力。参看使徒行传8:1,11:27-28 His letter would seem to have been written in these early years after the ascension of the Lord to heaven and during these days of persecution and trial. Evidence of this fact is found in the use of the word "synagogue" instead of ecclesia in James 2:2, and the heavy emphasis on the Law of Moses with no mention of Gentile or non-Jewish disciples. There is a strong Jewish emphasis here. 据推测,他的书信是写在主升天不久之后,信徒遭受逼迫和患难的早期时候的。可以说明这一点的证据是在雅各书2:2里,雅各用“会堂”这个词代替“教会”,还有书里重点强调摩西旅法,但是没有提到外邦人或是非犹太人使徒,而是重点强调了犹太人,也证明了这一点。

The epistle deals therefore with the sovereign and universal principles, which transcend race and nationality. 这封书信讲到了至尊的,最大的原则,这样的原则超越了种族和国籍。 They are set out as follows: 1 Salvation comes through faith, not law, and "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). This means that our way of life must reflect what we believe. 2 A disciple must be a "doer of the word, not a hearer only" (James1:22).This teaching is taken directly from the Lord's own words in Matt 7:24 where he said that the one who hears his word and does it is like "a man who builds his house on a rock". He will stand against all the trials and forces which come against him. 3 We are to "love our neighbour as ourself" and not to be a "respecter of persons" (James 2:8; 2:1). 本书提出的观点如下: 1. 救恩是从信道而来,而不是从律法而来,“信心没有行为也是死的”(雅各书2:26)。这话的意思是我们生活的方式必须表现出我们所信的东西。 2. 使徒必须“要行道,不要单单听道”(雅各书1:22)。这个教导直接引用了主自己的话语。在马太福音7:24里,主讲到听他的话就去行的人像是“把房子盖在磐石上”的人。这样的人在所有的试炼和压力面前都能站立得住。 3. 我们要“爱人如己”,不可“按着外貌待人”(雅各书2:8)。

In the first chapter the problem of trials and suffering is dealt with. James says that trials develop patience and like the apostle Peter in I Peter 1:7 who says that trial refines our faith, James also emphasises this. Our trials are God's way of testing our faith and developing our character. We can only endure trials if we really believe in God's plan of salvation, the coming of our Lord Jesus and the reality of the kingdom of God in which we hope to have a place. The characteristic of patience is essential, otherwise we will collapse under the trial. "Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4). These words have the idea of being mature and equipped to endure until Christ comes. James says: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" [see also 2 Tim 4:7,8] 书信的第一章讲到了试炼和受难的问题。雅各说患难生忍耐,就象门徒彼得在彼得前书1:7里讲到的患难使信心经受试验一样,雅各同样强调了这一点。我们的试炼是神测试我们的信心和增进我们的品性的方式。只有我们确实相信神救恩的计划,主耶稣的复临,神国的建立,盼望自己也能成为其中的一分子,才能经受这些试炼。

In this context then we cannot blame God for our own weaknesses or sin. God tests us by bringing circumstances upon us to test our faith and our love for Him and our trust in Him that He will never forsake us. But He does not tempt us to sin for James says: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (James 1:13). He tells us that we are drawn away [like a fish to a bait] by our own lust. We know from 1 John 2 :16 that this is either the lust of the flesh [physical needs], the sight of our eyes or pride. This results in a "conception" in thought or action which matures into a "birth" [bringeth forth]. What is born is sin and James uses a word which means an abnormal or deformed birth because the result is abhorrent - a fitting symbol of death. The apostle Peter speaks of a different conception which is generated by the Word of God and that will result in a birth of spirit and eternal life [1 Peter 1:23] 我们不能因为自己的软弱或是罪过而怪罪神。神用我们周围的环境考验我们的信心,对他的爱,以及对他的信靠。他永不离弃我们。但是正如雅各所说,他不会试探人:“人被试探,不可说:‘我是被神是谈;’因为神不能被恶试探,他也不试探人。”(雅各书1:13) 他告诉我们被自己的私欲牵引(好像鱼儿上钩一样)。我们从约翰一书2:16里知道有肉体的情欲(自然需求),眼目的情欲,并今生的骄傲。私欲怀了胎,就生出罪来。雅各用了一个形容因为恶的事情发展导致生出不正常或是畸形婴儿的词-生出死来。 门徒彼得用另一个生死的概念描述了神的道,神的道是活泼长存的道(彼得前书1:23)。

So we are responsible for our actions and many examples are provided in this epistle of "good works" which are generated by faith and love of God. Some of these are visiting and helping those in need including the sick, the fatherless and widows (James 1:27; 2:15,16). James also warns us that we must not use our tongue to slander or speak evil of each other. "The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity" he says in Ch 3:6, and it is a poison if allowed to be unruly. It can also cause strife and quarrels: "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts glory not and lie not against the truth" (James 3:14). A wise man will be seen by his actions and his speech (James 3:13). This wisdom comes from God through His Word: "The wisdom that is from above is first pure then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (James 3:17). 所以我们要对自己的行为负责。这封书信里提到了很多有关信心和爱神的“善行”的例子。有些是看顾在患难中的孤儿寡妇(雅各书1:27;2:15,16)。雅各还警告我们一定不能口出诽谤。雅各在雅各书3:6讲到“舌头就是火,是个罪恶的世界”,如果任其发展,就会污秽全身。舌头还会引起嫉妒和纷争:“你们心里若怀着苦毒的嫉妒和纷争,就不可自夸,也不可说谎话抵挡真道”(雅各书3:14)。 智慧的人可以从他的言行里看出来(雅各书3:13)。这种智慧是从神的话语来的:“唯独从上头来的智慧,先是清洁,后是和平,温良柔顺,满有怜悯,多结善果,没有偏见,没有假冒”(雅各书3:17)。

One of the faults in the Jerusalem Ecclesia was a tendency to "respect persons". They would seem to have been very impressed by riches and rich men. (James 2:1-4). Those with expensive clothing were given pride of place in the congregation, yet James says in v 6: "Do not rich men oppress you?" They were the ones who oppressed them and took them before the authorities to retrieve debts, he says, so why pay undue respect to them? 耶路撒冷教会的错误之一是倾向于“偏心待人”。他们像是对有钱人留下很深的印象(雅各书2:1-4)。他们让衣着华丽的人在会众中坐上位,然而雅各却在2:6说道“那富足人岂不是欺压你们吗?”雅各的意思是说,这些富足人就是压迫弟兄,让他们在强权下偿还债务的人,为什么还要对他们特别地偏待呢?

When we live by the royal law or sovereign principle "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (James 2:8), then our relationships with others and our treatment of them is balanced and according to God's will. 如果我们活在至尊的律法和诫命下-“要爱人如己”(雅各书2:8),那么我们和其他人的关系,和对待别人的态度都应当出于神的旨意。

In the epistle James shows two examples to demonstrate that God is no respecter of persons but all are made righteous by God through belief or faith and then a demonstration of that faith by works. The two examples represent extremes; one is Abraham the father of the nation of Israel and the Jewish race, and the other is Rahab, a Canaanite and a harlot. Both believed in God and left their past lives and led a new life in faith and good works (see James 2:21-26). 在书信里,雅各用两个例子说明神不偏待人,我们若靠着信心,在神一切都是公义的,然后讲到信心因行为才得成全。这两个例子代表的是两个极端,一个是以色列之父亚伯拉罕-犹太人;另一个是喇合-一个迦南人,还是一个妓女。两人都信神,弃绝了旧有的生命,开始了在信心里的新生和善行(参看雅各书2:21-26)。

The ecclesia at Jerusalem also tended to be quarrelsome and concerned with external observance of the Law of Moses and a judgemental attitude toward others as a consequence: "Whence cometh wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence even of your lusts that war in you members" (James 4:1). Again we note that the problem is caused by our own sins which come from our own lusts. 耶路撒冷教会容易就是否遵守摩西律法引起争论,还有论断人的趋势:“你们中间的征战斗殴是从哪里来的呢?不是从你们百体中战斗之私欲来的吗?”(雅各书4:1)我们又一次注意到,问题是从我们自己的私欲引起的罪中来的。

As to living by the Law James says in Ch2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point , he is guilty of all". So we see the impossibility of living by Law since no man can keep law perfectly. Only one has lived a perfect life in obedience to God and that is the Lord Jesus Christ [Phil2:8,9]. If we all fail it is futile to sit in judgement of our brothers and sisters (James 4:11,12). We must live a life which is motivated by the fact that if we try to copy that perfect life, then God will forgive our sins and cover our deficiencies which prevent us from reaching the standard set by Christ. This is a different motivation, though we still need to obey commandments. James calls it "the law of liberty" (Ch 2:12). 就靠律法来活的人,雅各在2:10里说到:“因凡遵守全律法的,只在一条上跌倒,他就是犯了众条。”所以我们看到了靠律法得以完全是不可能的,因为没有人可以完美地遵守律法。只有一个人在他的生命中完美的顺服了神,那就是主耶稣基督(腓立比书2:8-9)。如果我们都跌到的话,那么论断弟兄姐妹就是无益的(雅各书4:11-12)。有一个事实就是如果我们效仿耶稣完美的生命,那么神就会赦免我们的罪,遮盖阻碍我们达到基督的标准的不足。我们必须由这一点激发自己活出新的生命。尽管我们仍然需要遵守神的诫命,但动机已经不同了。雅各称此为“自由的律法”(雅各书2:12)。

In the first Chapter at verse 25 James says: "But whosoever looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed". He warns us in the preceding verses though not to be like a man looking in a mirror and seeing a reflection of himself as God sees him, and then going away and forgetting what sort of man he should be. Paul uses this same illustration of us looking into a mirror in 2 Corinthians and in that place the reflection we gaze at is the Lord Jesus Christ whose image we are trying to become. [2 Cor 3:18]. 雅各在雅各书1:25里说道:“唯有详细察看那全备,使人自由之律法的,并且时常如此,这人既不是听了就忘,乃是实在行出来,就在他所行的事上必然得福。”他在前面的经节里提醒我们不要做对着镜子看自己本来的面目,看见,走后,随后忘了自己的相貌如何的人。保罗在哥林多后书里用到照镜子这样相同的例子,在这里讲的是我们在镜子里看到要效仿的主的形象(哥林多后书3:18)。

We are instructed to "humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up" (James 4:10). This is almost identical to Peter's instruction to "humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:6). This is one of several quotations which are almost identical in James and Peter's epistles. 神教导我们“务要在主面前自卑,主就必叫你们升高”(雅各书4:10)。这观点几乎和彼得讲的“你们要自卑,服在神大能的手下,到了时候,他必叫你们升高”(彼得前书5:6)如出一辙。这是雅各和彼得在书信中阐述一致的观点之一。

The final section of the epistle of James is really a summary of several issues he has addressed, but the main lesson for us is of patient endurance in our life in the Truth: "Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord... be patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5:8). He uses the figure of a farmer who has to have patience as first he waits for the rains and then for the fruit of the harvest. 雅各书的最后一部分是对之前讲到的几个话题的总结,但主要的功课是我们要在真理的生命中忍耐等候:“你们也当忍耐,坚固你们的心,因为主来的日子近了”(雅各书5:8)。他用了首先必须耐心等候雨水,然后得到丰收的果实的农夫的形象。

He exhorts them from the examples of the prophets who endured affliction and suffering. Job is brought forward as an example of both suffering and patient endurance when he says: "You have seen the end of the Lord that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy" (James 5;11). 他用受苦忍耐的先知的例子劝勉众人。约伯是既能受苦又能忍耐的榜样,雅各说道:“你们听见过约伯的忍耐,也知道主给他的结局,明显主是满心怜悯,大有慈悲”(雅各书5:11)。

As we read through the Epistle of James we have a wonderful story of an unbelieving brother who has now embraced what he once disbelieved and is bearing the burden of leading and exhorting the ecclesia of his day to follow the life and example of the One we remember now who died for our sins. His words can help us also to endure until the end and be ready to meet our Lord at his coming. 我们读到雅各书时,学习了一个美好的故事。这是关于一个非信徒的故事。他后来相信了自己以前不相信的东西,承担起领导和劝勉教会的责任,跟从我们今天来纪念为我们的罪而死的主的榜样。他的话语也可以帮助我们忍耐到最后,预备好在我们的主复临时与他相聚。