Exhortation for 03/04 2007 The God of All Comfort Bro Jack Fallon
2007年3月4日讲道词 赐各样安慰的神 杰克法伦弟兄
characteristics like love, mercy, grace, are all things that are shown to us in
our lives. Of course, we first receive them and learn of them from
God. But as we develop His character, so we also have learnt to
extend these characteristics to each other - and hopefully also receive them
from one another.
神的诸如爱，怜悯，恩典在我们的生命中都有体现。当然，我们首先是从神那里得到和学习这些。当我们发扬神的品性时，我们也学会了将神的品性延伸到彼此之间 - 当然也希望从他人那里感受到这些品性。
Another of these characteristics is comfort. God comforts us, and as we start reading his second epistle to the Corinthians, (2Cor 1:3) Paul describes God as the “Father of mercies” and the “God of all comfort”. Paul also tells us the reason God comforts us in all our tribulation. God does this in order that that we may be able to comfort them who are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (v3,4). Therefore we are given a practical education in how we may “Let this mind be in us, as it was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).
Before we read on in Corinthians, we should consider very carefully another word that Paul used - tribulation. We know that Paul taught that we MUST through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22) and perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves that he said it three verses after having been stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). The apostles and martyrs of the first century gave their lives to witness to us that the miraculous events recorded in the New Testament really did occur. Why should they have suffered in that way for what they believed if it was a lie? They gave their lives in order that we may believe and accept the truth of the scriptures. However much we may feel we suffer, compared to the first century believers, we have little to complain out, and by God’s grace, we will meet those who suffered by giving their lives.
在我们读哥林多书前，我们应该仔细想想保罗用的另一个词—患难。我们知道保罗教导我们“进入神的国，必须经历许多艰难”（使徒行传 14：22）也许有必要提醒我们自己他在被用石头打，“以为他是死了，便拖到城外”（ 使徒行传14：19）还说了三节。一世纪的使徒们和殉教者们用他们的生命为我们见证了记录在新约中的神迹是真实发生的。如果这是一个谎言，他们为什么要为这个信仰受苦呢？为了我们相信和接受圣经中的真理，他们献出了自己的生命。与一世纪的信徒们相比，我们感到自己又受了多少苦呢？我们没有什么可抱怨的，因着神的恩典，我们将见到那些现身的受难者们。
This clear teaching of the apostle Paul is not always understood by all those in other denominations who would profess to follow Christ. Yet Christ also himself “though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb 5:8). If Christ was taught obedience by suffering, should we expect to learn obedience without suffering? We can see that what Paul is expounding to us in these first few verses of 2 Corinthians is fundamental to us if we are really going to develop the mind of Christ. We must suffer: we will be comforted. Other brethren and sisters will suffer: we must in turn comfort them also.
Yet some who profess to be in Christ say this is not so. They say that to become a believer is to gain the protection and favour of God and fail to accept that correction is necessary to put the flesh to death so the spirit can live. In our first reading in Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire before the Lord. In doing this they deliberately changed what God had said. Let us consider very carefully what God said, and what he did not say. We do not read of any complaint by God that these sons of Aaron had disobeyed him. Rather God spoke about being sanctified and being glorified by his people. And sanctification means that we should be clean, rather than unclean, that there should be a difference and a separation between those that believe God and those who do not believe him.
Of course we cannot sanctify and glorify God without obeying him. But to disobey is our loss, it is the end of us, not by any means the end of God’s sanctification and glorification.
God’s purpose will continue. It is unstoppable. Therefore God reminds us that He will be sanctified and glorified by his people. Nadab and Abihu had stopped being part of his people because they did not believe it was important to listen to God’s word. In our New Testament reading the God of all comfort is telling us that we will suffer tribulation, and the positive result of the tribulation that we will suffer is that we will learn how to comfort one another, just as our Heavenly Father comforts us.
So now we return with these thoughts to Paul’s teaching in 2 Corinthians. He continues to develop some interesting ideas in how God instructs us. In 2 Cor 1:5 he tells us that Christ’s sufferings abound in us. If our service to God is reasonable, Paul tells us that we present our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1). No-one says this is easy, though it can sometimes seem that it is easier for others than for us. We have considered that it is necessary that Christ’s sufferings abound in us, and we are obedient, not only in order that we may be part of God’s people, but also that God may be sanctified and glorified. If Christ’s sufferings abound in us, it does actually follow that we should be comforted by Christ. After all, Christ suffered once, he is not suffering now. Now he is freed from his suffering for all eternity, but from the suffering he endured in the days of His flesh he learned how to console us. Now in our turn WE must learn obedience by the things that WE suffer.
In verse 6, Paul has now established the principle and goes on to show how this works out in ecclesial life. He says if the apostles suffer, it is for the comfort (consolation) and salvation of the brethren and sisters. He also says that if the apostles are comforted, then this also is for the comfort and salvation of the brethren and sisters! This may seem strange at first, but the answer is simple: Paul’s hope in his brethren and sisters was steadfast. And in this context he is outlining two aspects whereby that steadfast hope would be accomplished: the suffering and tribulation that would develop obedience, and also the resulting consolation that would enable the suffering to be borne and also develop the characteristics of God in the one who suffered. Ultimately the sufferer would go on to give comfort to those around them.
We must develop an awareness of the needs of our brethren and sisters if we are to be able to learn this lesson and apply it in our lives. This calls for the sacrifice of self, not indulgence of self. If we are continually indulging self, then how can we have learned anything different? None of us needs to suffer in order to practise self-indulgence. We need to suffer in order to empathise with others who suffer.
In these few verses that we have already considered, the Greek word for suffering and consolation has been used ten times. Paul now continues to develop his theme. In another place when he catalogues the things he suffered for Christ he says “he speaks as a fool” yet he did it to make a point to those he addressed. Similarly now, he is making a point. It was expedient for the Corinthians not to be ignorant of his sufferings and those of his companions, their trouble, and how they were pressed out of measure… until they despaired of life itself. When we consider all the things that we have suffered, do we yet consider that we have learned enough to feel that we could help someone who had suffered like Paul?
在这几节中我们已经看到，希腊词苦楚和安慰已经被用了10次。保罗现在继续发展这个主题。在另外一个地方当他罗列他为基督受的苦楚时说“他像一个傻瓜一样说话”他对听众建立了一个论点。现在相似的，他在建立一个论点。对于哥林多人这是有利的，他们不会忽略他和他的同伴们受的苦楚，麻烦，压力 ... 直到他们对生命本身绝望。当我们想到我们受苦的这些事情，我们难道不能学会去感受像保罗那样受苦的人吗？
Perhaps we do not consider that we have learned enough to comfort the apostle in an active way. Ye he had learned enough to take comfort from the brethren and sisters who he was responsible for teaching, in a passive way. This is what he said in the middle of verse 6. It was the consolation and salvation of those Paul wrote to in Corinth that allowed Paul to endure that ‘same suffering’, that is his own suffering. So we see this cycle works. When we learn the lessons from suffering we learn consolation, salvation, and steadfast hope.
In verse 14 Paul describes the fellowship that we share: ‘we are your rejoicing, even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus’. We may not be able to do the things that Paul did. We may not be able to endure the same things. But by sharing the consolation of the sufferings of Christ with each other as we journey to the kingdom we can help each other and strengthen each other to complete the journey. We do not need to be everything that the apostle Paul was to do this; we just need to be with our brother or sister when they need us.
Even the miserable comforters that were Job’s friends managed that much when they sat down with him for a week because they saw his grief was very great. What they did after that can be read as an example of how not to do the things of which Paul is exhorting (or comforting) us. They did not speak the thing that was right, and they did it in a vindictive way that indulged their own righteousness at Job’s expense, for they said how much more wicked he was than they were. The God of all comfort was not well pleased with these miserable comforters, and we have much to learn from the Book of Job if we are to understand how to put into practice the teaching of the apostle Paul here.
In 2Cor 2:1 Paul now draws on his teaching for a practical example. He does not want to make the Saints at Corinth sad, because he relies on them for his happiness, and how could he be happy if they were sorrowful? This is logic that we might do we well to apply to ourselves sometimes. Do we ever deliberately cause upset to a brother or a sister? Do we become a miserable comforter? If so, can the God of all Comfort be pleased with us? Christ taught us to put down our gift unless and until we were reconciled to our brother. Matt 5:23-24. Remember that Nadab and Abihu sacrificed incorrectly…..
Paul next exhorts the brethren and sisters to extend this comfort to a brother who has been discouraged by many. No matter that the brother was originally at fault, now is the time to comfort him and extend love towards him that the adversary would not get the advantage of him (no, rather of “US” v11) while the ecclesia denied this brother the true fellowship. It has been rightly said that it can be an offence to be offended! We can be all the things Paul said in 1 Cor 13:1-2 and if we do not have love, then we are nothing.
保罗下一步劝勉弟兄姊妹把他的安慰传给一个不被多数人鼓励的弟兄。不管那个弟兄以前作了什么错事，现在是安慰他和给他爱的时候。这样敌人就没有可乘之机。此时教会否认这一位兄弟伙伴关系的时候。 准确的说的它可能造成过错! 我们可以成就所有的事物，保罗在 哥林多前书13:1-2 中说“没有爱，我就算不得什么。”
In a few days we will have a further opportunity to consider these things as we follow this theme through 2 Cor 7. Paul describes how empathy for suffering and also comfort passes between believers much as we will now pass bread and wine amongst ourselves.
We read 2Cor1:5 “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ”. We started to develop these thoughts, and as we think of the great suffering that Christ underwent, and share in his sorrow, he comforts us with the steadfast hope that he can save us from our sins.
In our first reading Moses promised Israel that they would see the glory of Yahweh, and they did (Lev 9:6,23). David also spoke of his own glory and that of the Father (Psa 109 v1, 5), and we have then considered the Lord Jesus Christ who manifested forth God’s glory to us (John 2:11).
在我们第一次读到摩西答应以色列他们会见到耶和华的荣耀，而且他们做到了(利未记9:6,23) 。大卫也谈到他自己光荣来自父亲 (诗篇109：1,5) , 然后我们思考对我们显示上帝的荣耀的耶稣基督(约翰福音 2：11)。
As we examine
ourselves, let us consider how the God of all comfort educates us by suffering
so that we can learn to comfort each other as Christ comforts us, and help each
other to come to the kingdom and glorify our Father, as we pray now that Christ
is also helping us.
当我们认清我们自己, 让我们思考赐各样安慰的神如何通过苦难教育我们，以便我们能学习同基督安慰我们一样来彼此安慰, 帮助彼此到达神国并且荣耀我们的天父, 当我们祈祷之时基督也正在帮助我们。