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Justification by Faith is Logical
faith alone
There is power in change of mindset so God can justify us by faith. When mindset changes, the action also changes. Corporations spend a lot of money in training. Most of the trainings are about awareness and mindset. Enhancement of technical knowledge is desirable but most importantly the mindset changes. Corporations seek to see the breakthrough in the level of thinking of their employees. First comes the heart, then comes the action.

Justification by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17) is the unique point of Christianity. It is called sola fide in Latin. Gospel gets its name due to its simplicity. If the completion of an assignment is needed, then it is not gospel (Romans 11:6). Salvation is from the grace of God. Under the bondage of sin, people think that gospel of mere change of mindset is too simple so they try to gild the lily. Once addition of action to the gospel is initiated, the standard is gone and there will be subjective determination of when the action is needed. The penitent thief needed no action? When there is government persecution, people can do less? Everyone is human so whose standard should be followed? Addition of one action as the requirement can lead to another and with all these actions, people will be pushed away further from the Lord. Baptised? Not enough, add good work. Good work done? Sorry, add monetary offering. Offering given? One more please, learn prayer in tongue. This shows that there is insufficient faith in Jesus' salvation so more things are done to purchase some insurance.

Baptism is not a condition for salvation. Even when being baptised, the person has to understand that baptism does not affect salvation. For example Simon had been baptised but Peter said he would perish because his heart was wicked (Acts 8:21). Then when Peter preached the gospel at Cornelius' house, Holy Spirit descended first on those who believed (Acts 10:44), only after that they were baptised. Baptism is a compulsory ceremony to gain church membership and it is part of Jesus' Great Commission. Besides circumcision, Jesus also received baptism according to Jewish tradition, called mikveh. If a region has no church due to persecution and all ceremonies cannot be conducted, although there is no church member, there will still be believers despite no baptism. Due to justification by faith alone, there will still be believers during critical times. Elijah thought he was the only believer, but God told him that there were still seven thousands under cover. During that time, belief in God was life-threatening. Obadiah hid one hundred prophets of God in a cave.

Gospel is simple but not wanton. One has to believe in Trinity, Jesus as God in flesh, crucifixion and resurrection, and to desire to stop sinning by accepting Jesus as Lord. Accepting Jesus as Lord means everything that the person has belongs to Jesus and everything that the person does is done in the name of Jesus. Many people will reject even just this understanding because they think everything they have or do is none of Jesus' business.

So a person without merit can enter Christianity undeservingly just like that? Correct. A person's conduct cannot save him from the bondage of sin, but mere reliance on Jesus. Good conduct is not the condition of salvation, but the fruit. From the moment of mind change, a person is free from the bondage of sin. Before change, the person sins and cannot stop. After change, the person has the ability to stop. Although occasionally the person still falls, but he will be able to stand up again and fight because Holy Spirit is in him. With the baptism of Holy Spirit, the person is born again and renewed. Due to fruits of the Holy Spirit, the person's lifestyle becomes automatic evangelism, honouring God and edifying people. Justification by faith by God is also analogous to case of child adoption by a king, in which the foster father chastises the child after granting the child sonship, not before.

Preaching salvation by works is a sign of lack of faith. Justification by faith does not say there is no good work needed in Christianity but the good work will come naturally after mind change. Conduct is the fruit of faith. A person will be influenced by what he worships, for example Baal worshippers will engage in self-mutilation and public fornication while money worshippers will do anything unscrupulously to accumulate wealth. You are what you believe. A good tree will bear good fruits so become a good tree first.

If a person is justified by mere change of mind, then will he get the licence to indulge in sin? Indeed there are people who think like this, but that is an ill intention to distort the gospel without mentioning their sin. So it is not the fault of preaching justification by faith, but those who distort the understanding. As mentioned above, gospel must be preached in full. If any point is omitted, it is not gospel, thus the listener will not be justified. If a person is still indulged in sin, even worse than before, but still claims he is justified with obvious contradiction, that only means he has not changed his mind at all. He rationalises his sin and says he will not go to hell, but his conduct shows that he seems to head towards hell. Paul already knew some people would have this evil thought (Roman 6:1-2). Can such wicked person be expected to have good conduct to earn his salvation? The adulterous woman was about to be stoned to death, but Jesus saved her and told her to go and sin no more. Would she still go to find the intrigant? Usually a normal person who has had a near death experience will not repeat the same mistake. If she still engaged in fornication, then she had not repented.

Jesus said having lustful thought is committing adultery. That proves that Jesus looks at the heart. He then immediately talked about gouging out eyes, did he mean a conduct, or a contrite change of mind (Matthew 5:28-29)? Eve fell since the very moment when her mind changed, not when she had the physical action of eating the forbidden fruit.

The crucifixion of Jesus was an important event. During such crucial event, a thief was justified by faith so it is not difficult to understand that God wanted to give this important message.

思維的轉變有力量,所以因信就能稱義

古人也明白行爲出於思維的道理。 其心不正,所動悉邪。誠意正心,方能修身齊家。 解鈴還須繫鈴人,心病還須心藥醫。 思維轉變的力量是大的,思維一變,行事就改變了。 不衹是古人,現代企業耗巨資培訓員工,大部分就是心態和意識類別的。 技術提升還是其次,最重要還是思維的改變呢,求的就是員工恍然大悟的那一刻。 行動的前提是心動。

因信稱義( 哈巴谷書2:4,羅馬書1:17)這個獨特點是別的宗教沒有的。 福音之所以是福音,其中原因就是簡單。 還要靠自己下山去納投名狀就不是福音了(羅馬書11:6)。 救恩來自上主的恩寵。 人被罪捆綁,覺得福音只是轉念太簡單,就來畫蛇添足。 一旦首開先河,附加動作來當作救恩的條件,標準就不見了,主觀就來了,自己做主意哪個時候需要行爲,哪個時候不用。 十字架上的強盜不用有行爲?政府壓迫的人可以做少一些行爲?一般人就要多做一些? 大家都是人,要跟誰的標準呢?加得了第一件,就加得了第二件,然後第三件,使人更遠離上主了。 領洗了?不夠啦,還要善行。善行了?抱歉,還要獻金呢。獻金了?呃其實咧,還有舌音祈禱哦。 這個也可以説是對耶穌的拯救沒有足夠的信心表現,覺得要多做一些,買個保險。

聖洗聖事不是救贖的條件。 甚至一個人領受聖洗的時候應該明白洗禮不影響救恩。 比如西滿領洗了,但伯多祿說他是喪亡的,因爲他在上主前心懷不正(宗徒大事錄8:21)。 接下來伯多祿在科爾乃略的家傳講福音時,聖神先降臨在信的人身上(宗徒大事錄10:44),過後伯多祿才給他們施洗。 洗禮是加入教會會籍成爲會友的必經儀式,包含在耶穌所吩咐的大使命之内。 除了割禮,耶穌也跟著猶太人的傳統領洗。 如果一個地區因爲逼迫而沒有教會,一切儀式也不能進行包括洗禮,雖然沒有會友但還是會有信徒的,不會因爲沒有洗禮就沒有信徒。 也因爲因信稱義,非常時期裏還是會有信徒。 厄里亞看到只剩下他一個信徒,但上主告訴他其實還有七千個潛伏著。 那時候信上主是會丟掉性命的,敖巴狄雅把上主的一百個先知藏在山洞裏。

福音雖然簡單卻不隨便。 一個人要信天主聖三、耶穌是上主成了肉身、被釘十字架、肉身復活等等,加上有心停止犯罪、把耶穌當成主等等。 把耶穌當成主,表示自己一切事物都是屬於耶穌的、做的事都是奉耶穌的聖名做的。 單單這一項認知,很多人就會說:“你都傻的,我的東西和我的事是我的,關耶穌什麽事?”

那麽一個毫無功德的人就可以入教了哦?會不會太便宜他了? 對,人外在的作爲不能救自己脫離罪的捆綁,而是單單依靠耶穌(迦拉達書5:22)。 善行不是救恩的條件,是效果。 轉念那一刻起就脫離了罪的捆綁,之前重復犯罪不能自拔,之後卻能有掙斷捆綁這個能力了,雖然還會跌到,但會重新爬起來,因爲聖神已經住在那個人裏面。 有了聖神在心靈上的施洗,就有了重生和更新(弟鐸書3:5)。 也因爲聖神的效果,日常生活自動成就福傳,榮神益人。 上主的因信稱義也好像義父給了義子兒子的名分后才管教他。

傳講靠行善得救,是對聖神沒有信心的體現。 因信稱義沒有講不必有好行爲,而是講在思想的轉變之後有對的信仰觀,就自動會有好行爲。 行爲是信仰的效果,從另外一個角度看,一個人的會受他所拜的神的影響,比如拜巴耳的就會有自殘和公開行淫的行爲,拜金的就會爲了錢不擇手段。 信什麽就會做什麽。 好樹結好果,先要做的是變成好樹。

如果一個人藉著單單轉念而稱義,不就是拿到可以沉溺罪惡的執照了嗎? 的確是會有這樣想的人,但那是出於居心不良,扭曲因信稱義,不講自己的罪,所以問題并不在于因信稱義,而是在於扭曲的人。 上面説了福傳是要講全套的,漏掉一個點不講就不是福傳了,聽的人也不能稱義。 如果一個人還會沉溺于罪惡,甚至變本加厲,更甚的是還說自己不會失去耶穌的拯救來脫離罪的捆綁,裏外不一自相矛盾,他根本就還沒決志轉念。 還毫無羞愧合理化自己的罪,自稱已經不會下地獄,但他的所作所爲卻讓人看見他仿佛正向地獄走去。 保祿已經知道有人會有這樣其心不正的邪念(羅馬書6:1-2)。 這種有邪念的人還指望他有好行爲來換取救恩嗎? 那個淫婦被抓到本來要被打死的,耶穌救了她一命,跟她說去罷從今以後不要再犯罪了。 她走后會不會轉頭又去找姦夫?一般死裏逃生的人不會那麽傻去重蹈覆轍,如果她還去,就是她根本還沒悔改。

耶穌講動淫念就是犯姦淫,證明耶穌是看心的,祂緊接著就說到剜眼睛,那祂是在講外在行動,還是心理上的痛悔轉變呢(瑪竇福音5:28-29)? 厄娃也是内在轉念的那一刻就墮落了,不是有了吃禁果這個外在動作才算墮落。

耶穌被釘十字架是一個重要事件,就在這個時候十字架上的一個強盜因信稱義,不難了解也是上主要表達的一個重要的信息。

Posted: 2016-12-06; updated:2016-12-28 by Ong Seng Aun.
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