作刚强的信徒 经文:提后1:7,2:1

时间:2014-09-23 20:30:38 点击: 作者:陈安俤
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作刚强的信徒
 
陈安俤 牧师
 
  经文:提后1:7,2:1  
“神赐给我们不是胆怯的心,乃是刚强、仁爱、谨守的心。”“我儿啊,你要在基督耶稣的恩典上刚强起来。”“刚强”可解释为力量、能力,它与胆怯、软弱的意思相反,人若惧怕就没有力量,人若软弱就易灰心丧志。“刚强”是基督徒的气质,而我们当何时刚强,又靠什么刚强呢?

一、在何时当刚强

1.在病痛患难时:人很软弱也很脆弱难免有生病的时候,人常在这时灰心、绝望。保罗是神重用的使徒,他的身体也有软弱的时候,他的身上有一根刺,三次求神叫刺离开他,神却告诉他:“我的恩典够你用的”(参林后12:7-9),保罗就顺服继续为主工作;保罗的助手提摩太及另一同工特罗非摩也一样有病痛,都未影响他们事主的心志;约11章中记载主所爱的拉撒路重病在身,主未马上医治,后来因病去世,主让他从死里复活,彰显神的奇妙大能;路16章记载讨饭的拉撒路浑身生疮,已无生存的能力,狗也来舔他的疮,但因他是敬畏神、爱神的人,最终神给了他永生的福份。从以上人物中看到他们不因身体软弱而软弱,仍然爱神敬畏神,不论身体状况如何都刚强壮胆。约伯在一天之中失去子女、家产倾荡,身上又长毒疮,妻子不理解反而攻击他,可他说:“赏赐的是耶和华,收取的也是耶和华;耶和华的名是应当称颂的”(伯1:21下)。他的信心从原来仅风闻有神到亲眼见到神(参伯42:5),这真是我们的榜样。人生本有苦难,不必软弱灰心,只要依靠神,有神同在,我们就能刚强壮胆。

2.人生挫折失意时:正因人生常有失意悲愁的事,人们才彼此祝愿说:“祝你一帆风顺”,“祝你万事如意”。主未应许我们凡事顺利,但神应许无论怎样他都顾念我们,在患难中有平安。

约瑟的人生多挫折,从小生长在财主的家中却被卖为奴隶,情同手足的兄弟杀他、卖他,因神的怜悯不至被杀,至主人家中受主人器重,主人的妻子爱他的英俊以目送情,约瑟不理会,她便陷害、冤枉他,使他背着莫须有的罪名坐牢。他的前途很渺茫,但他仍能靠着主刚强,苦难之后便是祝福,乌云过后是阳光,神向他施恩,从监牢中被提拔出来,成为埃及宰相。神既许可苦难加在我们身上,我们就当仰望神,神必赐福给我们。人生多挫折、苦难,古语云:“人生不如意事十常八九”,让我们靠神刚强壮胆。

3.遇仇敌攻击时:大卫面对强大的敌人歌利亚毫无惧怕,他对敌人说:“今日耶和华必将你交在我手里。我必杀你……将……尸首给空中的飞鸟、地上的野兽吃……”(撒上17:46),果然他在敌人面前得胜了。约书亚和迦勒面对迦南高大的敌人满有信心,神就祝福他,将迦南美地赐给他。或许会遭遇高考落榜、家庭不平安、工作不顺利,但我们在任何时候都当刚强壮胆。

二、靠何刚强

我们不是靠血气勇敢,不是靠自己刚强,乃是:

1.靠主恩典刚强:“我儿啊,你要在基督耶稣的恩典上刚强起来”(提后2:1)。这恩典是主耶稣所成就的救恩。主耶稣藉着十架上的死胜过死亡的权势,表面上看好像耶稣是毫无能力地被钉,而这正是神的智慧、神的大能。神是爱,主耶稣是为罪人而牺牲的,是爱的包含,是爱的赦免,是为救世人被钉十架的。十字架彰显神的恩典,彰显神的公义。我们将挫折痛苦交给神,神必告诉我们:“我的恩典够你用的”,所以我们当刚强壮胆。

2.有神同在就刚强:“以马内利”是神给我们的宝贵应许,没有神,我们就孤独痛苦,因靠人无法得到帮助。摩西去世前吩咐约书亚:“你当刚强壮胆……他必与你同在,必不撇下你,也不丢弃你。不要惧怕,也不要惊惶”(参申31:7-8),神也答应约书亚说:“我怎样与摩西同在,也必照样与你同在,我必不撇下你,也不丢弃你”(书1:5下)。神的同在是约书亚得胜的秘诀,是约书亚得胜的理由。“我虽然行过死荫的幽谷,也不怕遭害,因为你与我同在;你的杖,你的竿,都安慰我”(诗23:4)。泰坦尼克号下沉时许多人惊慌失措,但船上的信徒在死亡临到时保持平静的心唱起圣诗,更加与神接近。求主常与我们同在,引导我们走义路。

3.靠神的真理刚强:“用真理当作带子束腰……”(参弗6:14),刚强不是靠血气的,是在主真理的教导下靠主得胜,真理是我们的原则、方向,其对立面是谬误、邪恶的,让我们坚持真理,嫉恶如仇,为真理打那美好的仗。神的爱在我们心中,对神的爱要有恋慕的心,靠着强有力的真理阻止罪恶,不纵容罪恶。爱是“不喜欢不义,只喜欢真理”(林前13:6)。对异端当刚强不可接纳,“壁立千仞,无欲则刚,”愿我们都能学基督的样式,时时领受主的力量,“靠着那加给我力量的,凡事都能做。”(腓4:13)

你当刚强壮胆,因为神与我们同在。



To Be A Christian of Power


By Pastor Chen Anti

Bible Verse Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 7, 2: 1

"God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline." "You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." "Power" means strength, ability and it is opposite to cowardice and weakness. Those who are afraid won't have strength and who are weak will be utterly disheartened. "To be strong" is a characteristic of a Christian. But when shall we be strong? And how shall we have power?

1. When shall we be strong?

1.1 When we are suffering and in adversity, we should be strong. Human beings are weak and it is hard to avoid getting sick. Usually we are disheartened and feel hopeless in such a situation. Paul is used greatly by God, but at times he became weak. A thorn was given him in the flesh. Three times he appealed to the Lord to have the thorn leave him. But God told him, "My grace is sufficient for you." (Ref. 2 Corinthians 12: 7- 9) Paul then obeyed the Lord and continued working for the Lord. Trophimus and Paul's assistant Timothy both suffered from illness, and they persistently served the Lord as they used to. John 11 records that Lazarus, the one loved by the Lord, suffered from serious disease and the Lord did not cure him of his illness immediately. Later he passed away but our Lord raised him from the dead, which revealed His miraculous power. Luke 16 records the begging Lazarus, who was covered with sores. He was hopeless to survive, even the dogs would come and lick his sores. But he revered and loved the Lord. And ultimately, God gave him eternal life. We see from these people that in spite of their weakness in health, they worship the Lord all the same and always strong and courageous. Job lost his children and property within one day and was inflicted loathsome sores. His wife, not understanding him, reproached him. But he said, "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Ref. Job 1: 21) His faith grew from hearing of God into seeing God. (Ref. Job 42: 5) Job sets a good example for us. Life involves suffering, but we should not be weak or disheartened. As long as we depend on God and are with God, we can be strong and courageous.

1.2 When we are in adversity and disheartened, we should be strong. Life very often involves sad things, so people often give blessings to each other, saying, "Wish everything goes well with you." God does not promise that everything will be well with us, but HE promises to care about us and give us peace when we are in trials and tribulations.

Joseph's life is full of frustrations. He was born in a rich man's home and sold as a slave. His brothers tried to kill him, and they sold him finally. But God's mercy was with him, he was not killed, instead, he was highly valued by his master. When his master's wife seduced him, he ignored. He was framed up and wronged by her and sent to prison. But relying on the Lord, he kept strong when there seemed a dark future awaiting him. Blessings come after suffering and the sun shines after it is rainy. God gave grace to him. He was promoted out of the prison and became the prime minister of Egypt. Since God allows inflictions on us, we must look up to HIM and HE will definitely bless us!

1.3 When we are attacked by enemies, we should be strong. David was fearless when he faced his powerful enemy Goliath. He said to the enemy, "This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down…and…give the dead bodies…to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth…" (Ref. 1 Samuel 17:46) As expected, he defeated his enemy. Joshua and Caleb were full of confidence when they faced their powerful enemies in Canaan, and God blessed them richly and gave them the pleasant land of Canaan. Maybe you are not admitted by college, maybe there is disharmony in your family, or maybe your work is not so satisfactory. But whatever situations we are in, we should always be strong and courageous.

2. How shall we have power and be strong?

We are not strong by ourselves, but by the grace of the Lord:

2.1 "You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 2: 1) The grace is the saving grace fulfilled by the Lord. The death of Lord Jesus on the Cross has defeated the power of death. Superficially, it seems that Jesus was powerless and crucified. Nevertheless, it shows the wisdom and the power of God. God is love. Lord Jesus sacrificed himself for the sinners out of his love for us and out of his forgiveness of us. His was crucified on the Cross for the salvation of human beings. The Cross shows God's grace and justice.

2.2 Being with the Lord, we have power. "Immanuel" is the precious promise given to us by God. We will feel lonely without God because we cannot get help from human power. Before Moses passed away, he told Joshua, "Be strong and bold…He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Ref. Deuteronomy 31: 7 - 8) God also promised Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Do not be frightened or dismayed." (Ref: Joshua 1: 5- 9) Being with the Lord is the secret to Joshua's victory. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear not evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-they comfort me. (Psalms 23: 4) When the Titanic was sinking, the Christians on board peacefully sang the hymns in front of death while other people were dismayed and frightened. May the Lord be with us and lead us in the right paths.

2.3 Depending on the Lord's truth, we have power. "Fasten the belt of truth around your waist…" (Ref. Ephesians 6:14) We do not depend on physical body for strength, but rather, on the guidance of the Lord to win. Truth is our philosophy and gives us directions. It's opposite is absurd and evil. Let's hold on the truth and fight against evils. God's love is in our heart and we must long for his love. Stop evils with powerful truth and we must not wink at evils. Love "does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth." (1 Corinthians 13: 6) We should never allow heretical beliefs. May that we always learn from Jesus and have strength from God. "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)  
 
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