Entries by meiling

Don’t Waste Too Much Time On…

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Titus 3:9-15.  Let’s go!

Titus 3:9 (NIV) 
9  But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

On verse 9:   Whereas focusing on the Gospel is “excellent and profitable for everyone” (v8), quarreling with people who like to talk to cause trouble is “unprofitable and useless” (v9).   When read together, verses 8-9 are Paul saying to Titus:  Focus on what’s important.  Don’t waste your time on what’s not important. 
 
Titus 3:10-11 (NIV) 
10  Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 
11  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Five Verses That Sum It All Up

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Titus 3:1-8.  Let’s go!

Titus 3:1-2 (NIV) 
1  Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 
2  to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

On verses 1-2:  One of the big themes of the book of Titus is that Christians are to lead by example as much as by their words.  In verses 1 and 2 Paul identifies several characteristics by which Christians can lead by example.   How well do you demonstrate these characteristics?  For example, are you law-abiding (v1)?  Are you quick and ready to do what is good (v1)?  Do you slander (speak maliciously about) no one (v2)?  Do you get along with others (“peaceable” – v2)?  Are you thoughtful and considerate in the way you treat others (v2)?   Do you show true humility to everyone you meet (v2)?  Which of these characteristics do you especially need to live out more? 

On verses 3-7:  One of the best and most beautiful summaries of the Christian faith that you can find in the Bible is right here in these five verses.   I encourage you to memorize these verses.   Through these five verses we are reminded of the foundational truths called the Gospel:

法利赛人的七祸(下)

马太福音23: 29_36_法利赛人的七祸(下)

29 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们建造先知的坟,修饰义人的墓,说: 30 『若是我们在我们祖宗的时候,必不和他们同流先知的血。』 31 这就是你们自己证明是杀害先知者的子孙了。 32 你们去充满你们祖宗的恶贯吧! 33 你们这些蛇类,毒蛇之种啊!怎能逃脱地狱的刑罚呢? 34 所以我差遣先知和智慧人并文士到你们这里来,有的你们要杀害,要钉十字架,有的你们要在会堂里鞭打,从这城追逼到那城, 35 叫世上所流义人的血都归到你们身上,从义人亚伯的血起,直到你们在殿和坛中间所杀的巴拉加的儿子撒迦利亚的血为止。 36 我实在告诉你们:这一切的罪都要归到这世代了。

假如我们服侍神一辈子,到了审判台前,主说我们是杀害祂仆人们的凶手,要去接受地狱的刑罚,那实在是太可怕了。服侍神到这样的地步,真的不如做一个平凡的老百姓,单纯地爱主就好了。耶稣己经在向他们施行审判了,而这些话好像是神呕心沥血吐出来的愤怒。

从义人亚伯的血起,直到先知撒迦利亚的血,这批血债何等沉重! 亚伯不是该隐杀的吗?跟法利赛人有什么关系啊?耶稣说的是血脉相承,他们承认自己的祖宗杀害属神的人和先知,表面上虽然是在为义人和先知修坟墓,却正是默认了祖宗的罪行,而其血脉相承,他们正在计划杀害神的儿子。

法利赛人的七祸(中)

马太福音23: 23_28_法利赛人的七祸(中)

23 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们将薄荷、茴香、芹菜献上十分之一,那律法上更重的事,就是公义、怜悯、信实反倒不行了。这更重的是你们当行的,那也是不可不行的。 24 你们这瞎眼领路的,蠓虫你们就滤出来,骆驼你们倒吞下去!

25 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们洗净杯盘的外面,里面却盛满了勒索和放荡。 26 你这瞎眼的法利赛人,先洗净杯盘的里面,好叫外面也干净了。

27 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们好像粉饰的坟墓,外面好看,里面却装满了死人的骨头和一切的污秽。 28 你们也是如此,在人前,外面显出公义来,里面却装满了假善和不法的事。

假如我们相信耶稣是以神子的身份来到这世上,那么这就是神在跟法利赛人等,所说的放在心里很久了的一段话。这段话表明了为何他们在神面前的敬虔是完全无效的,他们所做的一切在神的眼里都是可咒诅,没有希望的。但愿当我们在敬拜神或是奉献时,先确定一下我们的心态是否能为神所悦纳,否则做再多,奉献再多,也是多余。神若不悦纳,我们所做的便都成为垃圾。

Jesus Is All You Need + Making Your Faith in Christ Attractive

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Titus 2:9-15.  Let’s go!

Titus 2:9-10 (NIV) 
9  Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,
10  and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 

On verses 9-10:  When Paul tells slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, is Paul condoning slavery?  Nowadays whenever we think of slaves, we might think of the barbaric practices of more recent Western slave trading, where people are kidnapped, treated inhumanely and forced to work as slaves against their will for little or no compensation. We might also think about the cruel enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians in Exodus. Keep in mind that slavery during Paul’s time probably looked quite different. 

We Need Self-Control

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Titus 2:1-8.  Let’s go!

Titus 2:1 (NIV) 
1  You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

On verse 1:  Once again Paul emphasizes to Titus the need to teach what is doctrinally sound.  It’s one of the big themes of the book of Titus: right living requires right believing, and part of defending against lies and falsehood is teaching the truth.  It’s no wonder one of Jesus’ favourite sayings during his ministry was “I tell you the truth”. 

On verses 2-6:   When Paul tells Titus what to teach the older men, older women, younger women and younger men in his church, there is a common theme that emerges no matter what the group he’s talking about:  the need to be self-controlled.   For example, in verse 3, when Paul says that the older women should not be “slanderers or addicted to much wine”, another way of saying this is that we must be self-controlled in our words (“not be slanderers”) as well as in our physical appetites (“not addicted to much wine”).  In other words, we must have self-control not just over what goes into our mouths but also what comes out of our mouths.

法利赛人的七祸(上)

马太福音23: 13_22_法利赛人的七祸(上)

13 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们正当人前把天国的门关了,自己不进去,正要进去的人你们也不容他们进去。15 「你们这假冒为善的文士和法利赛人有祸了!因为你们走遍洋海陆地,勾引一个人入教,既入了教,却使他做地狱之子,比你们还加倍。16 「你们这瞎眼领路的有祸了!你们说:『凡指著殿起誓的,这算不得什么;只是凡指著殿中金子起誓的,他就该谨守。』 17 你们这无知瞎眼的人哪!什么是大的?是金子呢,还是叫金子成圣的殿呢? 18 你们又说:『凡指著坛起誓的,这算不得什么;只是凡指著坛上礼物起誓的,他就该谨守。』 19 你们这瞎眼的人哪!什么是大的?是礼物呢,还是叫礼物成圣的坛呢? 20 所以,人指著坛起誓,就是指著坛和坛上一切所有的起誓; 21 人指著殿起誓,就是指著殿和那住在殿里的起誓; 22 人指著天起誓,就是指著神的宝座和那坐在上面的起誓。

耶稣在走上十字架之前道出法利赛人的七祸。七祸在信息圣经里是指法利赛人的七件恶事。在希腊文化里,相信好人必有好报,也可以上天堂,很多人觉得自己是好人,不需要耶稣的救赎也可以上天堂。但是耶稣对他们的评价让他们傻眼了。我们是否也如此,自我感觉良好,但是在圣灵的光照下竟然有超多的污点。

耶稣先指责他们假冒为善。在希腊文中,假冒为善(Hypocrite)含有演戏的意思,在古典希腊文中,这个字没有任何不好的意思;自从耶稣用来批评宗教界人士,带给这字全新的意思。耶稣强调人的内心与外在表现之对比,将表里不一带进道德的层面。今天我们先看三点,也顺便看看自己有没有这方面的盲点。

能说不能行

马太福音23: 1_12_能说不能行

1那时,耶稣对众人和门徒讲论, 2 说:「文士和法利赛人坐在摩西的位上,3 凡他们所吩咐你们的,你们都要谨守遵行,但不要效法他们的行为,因为他们能说不能行。 4 他们把难担的重担捆起来,搁在人的肩上,但自己一个指头也不肯动。5 他们一切所做的事都是要叫人看见,所以将佩戴的经文做宽了,衣裳的穗子做长了; 6 喜爱筵席上的首座、会堂里的高位,7又喜爱人在街市上问他安,称呼他『拉比』。 8 但你们不要受拉比的称呼,因为只有一位是你们的夫子,你们都是弟兄。 9 也不要称呼地上的人为父,因为只有一位是你们的父,就是在天上的父。10 也不要受师尊的称呼,因为只有一位是你们的师尊,就是基督。 11 你们中间谁为大,谁就要做你们的用人。 12 凡自高的,必降为卑;自卑的,必升为高。

毕德生牧师说,大多数人一开始参与服事时都抱着很单纯的意念和爱主的心志,然后随着时间的磨移和环境的影响,才开始假冒为善。我很赞同他的观点。因为当法利赛人不是一件容易的事,要把所有的律法都背起来,而且一天到晚装得十分圣洁;就像天主教的神父,是抱着清心寡欲的意愿去服侍神和人,但是有许多无法战胜生理的欲望,以致于犯下了许多见不得光的事,又一件件地被挖出来,重现于众人面前。

Protect the Truth

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Titus 1:10-16.  Let’s go!

Titus 1:10-11 (NIV) 
10  For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group.
11  They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

On verses 10-11: Paul warns Titus to guard against those who try to deceive the church in Crete with false doctrine.  In particular, Paul warns Titus about the “circumcision group” (also known as the Judaizers) who taught that in order to be saved it was not enough to believe in Jesus but that you must also be circumcised and follow the ceremonial and food regulations of the Jewish law.   Paul warns Titus sternly about them.  He tells Titus to speak for the truth and silence those false teachers.  It’s no wonder that when picking leaders, Paul especially emphasized that a leader must “hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refuse those who oppose it” (v9).