When Promises Seem Far Away——

Abraham’s Journey of Faith Message of No.8



《创世记》Genesis 15


This is the 8th message based on Abraham’s Journey of Faith这个是亚伯拉罕信心之旅的第八次的信息。Our text is from 《Genesis》Chapter 15我们的经文是《创世记》第十五章。We will read a few verses from this very crucial chapter我们从这个非常重要的一章我们读几段,we start verse 7我们从第七节开始:And he that is God said to him“I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”第七节:耶和华又对他说:“我是耶和华,曾领你出了迦勒底的吾珥,为要将这地赐你为业。” verse 8:But he said“O Lord God,how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 亚伯兰说:“主耶和华啊,我怎能知道必得这地为业呢?” verse 9:He said to him“Bring me a heifer three years old,a female goat three years old,a ram three years old,a turtledove and a young pigeon.”他说:“你为我取一只三年的母牛、一只三年的母山羊、一只三年的公绵羊、一只斑鸠、一只雏鸽。”(verse 10:)And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other.But he did not cut the birds in half. 亚伯兰就取了这些来,每样劈开,分成两半,一半对着一半地摆列,只有鸟没有劈开。Verse 17我们跳到17节:When the sun had gone down and it was dark,behold a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces第17节:日落天黑,不料有冒烟的炉并烧着的火把从那些肉块中经过。On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram当那日耶和华与亚伯兰立约。We will just read these verses for now经文暂时就读到这里。

We Christians celebrate we rejoice in God’s love to us 我们基督徒常常夸耀上帝对我们的慈爱。We celebrate:we rejoice in Christ’s love to us我们会夸耀耶稣基督对我们的大爱!我们会赞美他的慈爱的!We will sing His love is amazing and how wonderful his love is诗歌里我们都会唱:基督的爱是多么的奇异、多么的奇妙!Jesus himself says: No greater love is there except a man lays down his life for his friends主耶稣也说,人为朋友舍命,人间没有比这个更大的爱的——《John》15:13《约翰福音》十五章第13节。

But we must ask the basic question但是我们必须问一个很基本的问题,and question is:what is love这个基本的问题就是:「爱」是什么?In our day and age in the past century, psychology、existentialist philosophy、movies and music have really downgraded and degraded love过去一个世纪,心理学、存在主义、电影、流行音乐都把「爱」贬低了。They teach us the love is feeling or sentiment他们告诉我们爱是一种感觉或者一种的情绪。And often that feeling is simply in another word for lust 很多时侯,这个感觉只不过是情欲的另外一个代词而已。Or they often equate the expressions of love with love itself或者很多时候他们把表达爱的方法与「爱」等同了。We hear about the   languages of love我们听到爱有不同的语言,and so often the languages of love,the way love is expressed become the substitute for love itself很多时候我们怎么样表达爱,这个表达的方式就取代了爱。But what is the true meaning of love可是「爱」的真意是什么呢?We ought to receive the answer of this question,we must first learn: HOW DOES GOD LOVE我们若要回答这个问题的话,我们首先要学一件事就是:神是怎样爱的呢?

Let us count the way我们来数算一下上帝是怎么样爱的。First of all,(1)第一方面:Love knows the object「爱」认识他的对象:God knows those whom he loves上帝是认识那些他所爱的人的:He knows their true condition上帝认识他们的真相;he knows the true needs他认识他们真正的需要——not the feel needs but the true needs不是他们感觉上有什么需要,乃是他们真正的需要。May I suggest that as we human’s love one and another, we must begin there as well我可以做个建议吗?我们人与人之间的爱,也必须以这个作出发点。We also must know the person that we want to love我们也必须认识那位我们要爱的人。

(2)第二:Love makes a plan「爱」是会做出计划的:We all know 《John》3:16我们都知道《约翰福音》三章16节:God so loves the world上帝是那么的爱世界或者世界上的人。What does God do? 神作什么事呢?He sent his beloved son他差派他的独生子。Now when did God love神什么时候爱的?When did God so love the world神爱世人是什么时候爱的?He loved the world before the foundation of the world他爱世人是在创世之前的,God made a plan上帝做了一个计划。So love is not random,love involves planning所以爱不是随意的、不是任意的,爱会做出计划的。

(3)第三方面Love persists in that plan「爱」会坚持实现那个计划。Love takes action「爱」会采取行动的;and that’s exactly God did神就是这样做的:He made a plan and he realized that plan in action他做了计划,然后他付诸行动。Now let me just stay for here现在我马上就这样说好了:Love is commitment爱是委身或者坚持:Love is making a promise、a pledge,and love is commitment to keep that promise and that pledge爱是承诺,爱也是承诺必定会兑现他的承诺。Love is commitment爱是委身,in fact love is a covenant commitment其实爱是一个立约的承诺或者是委身——约里面的委身。

Now sometimes love comes with other things有的时候爱是有其他东西和爱一起来的。For example比如说,sometimes love involves a ceremony有的时候爱会有一种的仪式:The most common in mankind would be the marry ceremony人间最普遍的仪式就是婚礼。Ceremonies comes with signs and symbols仪式会有各种的表征、各种的记号。Also,love sometimes becomes institutionalized还有,爱有的时候是制度化的:Marriage and family are institutions that God established in creation, 婚姻和家庭都是神在创造人类的时候就设立的制度。So love between man and woman becomes institutionalized所以一个男人跟一个女人的爱是由一个制度来管理的。

Are there feelings in love爱里面有没有感觉?Yes of course当然有。But feelings at best are used to express their commitment但是感觉,充其量是用来表达爱这个委身、这个承诺的,but the essential ingredient of love is commitment to a covenant但是爱不可以没有的那个因素就是委身、守约——covenant commitment. 委身、守约。So if we think about God’s love,then God’s love is inseparable from his faithfulness所以当我们想到上帝的爱的时候,上帝的爱和他的信实是分不开的。When we think about human beings especially Christians, then love becomes inseparable from faith当我们想到人的爱、信徒的爱的时候,那么信徒的爱和信心是分不开的。Because both love and faith are covenant acts因为爱和信心都是守约的行动。Love and faith are both commitments that we make in covenant爱和信心都是当我们立约的时候,在约里面所承诺的委身。 So therefore we must first learn about God’s faithfulness and God’s love before we learn how to love ourselves, how to love other people on our part所以我们首先要学习上帝的慈爱和信实,这样子我们才能够(从)我们这方去学习爱别人的。


Let us now review the background of 《Genesis》 15我们现在来再次温习一下《创世记》十五章的背景:What has God done so far到目前为止神做了什么事:Chapter 12:God issued a command、a calling to Abraham(《创世记》)十二章上帝给了亚伯拉罕命令、呼召,along with the promise同时有应许跟着来的;Abraham obeyed亚伯拉罕顺服了。And then the second half of Chapter 12,God provided protection and provision to Abraham even as he sinned《创世记》十二章下半章,上帝保护亚伯拉罕、供应亚伯拉罕所需要的,就算他在犯罪。

Chapter13(《创世记》)十三章,God approved of Abram’s actions第十三章,上帝赞许亚伯拉罕的行动,as Abram acted in charity亚伯拉罕活出他的爱心。And God gave him again a promise上帝再一次的把应许给亚伯拉罕。

Chapter 14(《创世记》)十四章,Abraham engaged in a war out of charity亚伯拉罕出于爱心去打仗去了。God provided power and protection as well上帝再次提供保护,也给他力量。Then Abraham returned victory亚伯拉罕打胜仗回来了。God provided Abraham with his presence and his blessing上帝在亚伯拉罕胜利那一刻,他与亚伯拉罕同在,也赐福给他。God’s presence came through Melchizedek上帝的同在透过麦基洗德临到亚伯拉罕

Chapter 15(《创世记》)第十五章,1-6第1节到第6节:God here again gave Abraham his promise上帝再一次给亚伯拉罕他的应许。Abraham was in need of assurance that God will realize his promise亚伯拉罕需要确据、把握,知道上帝一定会实现他的应许的。So first of all God promised himself to Abraham你看到第一件事情:上帝把他自己应许给亚伯拉罕。God promised himself to be Abraham’s reward and Abraham’s shield上帝应许他自己作亚伯拉罕的大赏赐、作亚伯拉罕的盾牌。

And God renewed his promises concerning the seed、the land and blessing on Abraham在第十五章,上帝再一次地向亚伯拉罕说他的应许:应许他后裔、应许他那块、应许他必定赐福给亚伯拉罕的。And how has Abraham done so far亚伯兰到目前为止表现如何呢?In Chapter 12 we see both of obedience and failure(《创世记》)十二章我们看到亚伯拉罕的顺服,也看到他失败。In Chapter13 &14 we see acts of charity,and then humility and worship(《创世记》)十三、十四章我们看到亚伯拉罕活出他的爱心,打了胜仗回来,看到他的谦卑和奉献。And now in Chapter 15现在我们来到第十五章:Abraham believed God,but needed assurance我们看亚伯拉罕信上帝——他有信心,但是需要确据。


Thirdly today今天第三方面,now we come to see that God will formally、officially establish his covenant with Abraham今天我们第三方面看到:在第十五章上帝会正式的与亚伯拉罕立约。We here read about a formal establishment or inauguration of God’s covenant with Abraham这里是上帝正式与亚伯拉罕立约的记载。Now we live in the New Testament我们今天是新约的信徒,God gives us promises in Christ上帝在基督里给我们应许;God commands us、calls us to obey him in Christ上帝在基督里吩咐我们、呼召我们要顺服他;God protects us and provides for us through Christ上帝藉着耶稣基督来保护我们、供应我们的需要;God blesses us with Jesus himself上帝也透过耶稣他自己本身赐福给我们。God is presence with us because Christ is presence with us上帝与我们同在,因为基督与我们同在。All of this is true because God has establish his covenant in Christ with us这一切都临到我们,因为上帝在基督里与我们立约。Then he established his covenant at last supper and through Jesus’death on the cross上帝在基督里与我们立约是在最后的晚餐,然后透过耶稣基督在十字架上为我们死。Christ——Jesus Christ is our covenant耶稣基督就是约;Jesus Christ is our covenant mediator耶稣基督是我们约的中保,Jesus Christ is everything in our covenant、in our salvation耶稣基督在这个约里面、在我们的救恩里面,是我们一切的一切。

Now please note something请注意一件事:Ceremonies are important,especially those that God has established仪式是重要的,特别是上帝所设立的仪式。In the Bible from Old to New Testament,we read the God speaks、God acts、God is presence to his people从旧约到新约,我们看到上帝说话,上帝有他大能的作为;上帝与他的子民同在。And sometimes God uses ceremonies with the signs and symbols of the ceremonies to teach us something有的时候上帝用仪式——仪式里面有记号,是要教导我们一些功课的。So don’t despise ceremonies,especially God established them所以不要轻看仪式,特别是上帝所设立的仪式。未经同意,请勿擅自在其它网站或平台转载和刊登课程的逐字稿;课程的逐字稿的版权归「中华展望」,禁止复印出版等商业用途。ccnci.org中华展望圣约学院[email protected]

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