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Romans 10 – The ‘Do Not’ of the Israelite 罗马书 10 – 以色列人的不            

Wednesday, 8th December 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-4 Do Not Understand

The Israelites are the chosen people, even though they are not worthy, but God still chose them. Not all of Abraham’s children are Israelites, but God chose them to be His people. He led them out of Egypt and take the Promise Land as inheritance. V1-2 ‘Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.’ Paul wanted all the chosen people to receive salvation, but he also noticed that even though they had the passion, they were still in the ‘doing’ mode.

Luke 1:67-69 says, ‘Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,’ Paul realise that the Israelites had fallen, and they needed to be saved. They had the passion for God but not according to the knowledge. If we only let our passion and zeal become an emotion, it will go away and it will not last. We need the true knowledge to follow God, not by the emotions and not by just ‘doing’.

V3-4 ‘For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.’ The Israelites did not believe in God’s righteousness, they did not believe that simply by believing they could be saved. They really focused on following the laws and doing good deeds to ‘earn’ salvation. At the end of the day, God is challenging the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fragrance of the Tree of Life is to humble, to obey, to deny ourselves and to benefit others. This is against the worldly values, and this is unnatural. When Adam told Eve that she was not allowed the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, what was his attitude? Did he just pass on a message from God? Did the way he pass on the message made Eve think that she was being controlled?

Genesis 2:16-17 says, ‘And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”’ But when Adam passed the message to Even, she received it differently as it says in Genesis 3:2-3 ‘And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’

God only told Adam that he should not eat the fruits, but when he passed on the message to Eve, it became that they should not eat or touch the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Eve. Even felt controlled and God’s Words were manipulated. We often twist the messages from God, we do not see the loving intention behind God’s actions, instead we see punishment, we see judgment, and we see control. Therefore, the devil has a loophole to temp Eve, who already felt controlled because of the messages passed on from Adam. When we receive apples, to we give out bananas? God’s Word is the Truth, and it’s all in the Bible, we must not twist it and we cannot twist it. Spend more time in the Word of God, let the true knowledge come into our lives.

We must learn to be like little children, to simply believe in what God says to us, do not overthink God’s intention. Eve had the rebellious attitude, she was dissatisfied with the messages passed on by Adam, she did not believe in the love of God, and she did not want to follow the instructions of God. The Israelites were dissatisfied in simply believe the Word of God, they refuse to comply, and therefore, they could not understand the Truth and God’s good intention behind the laws.

Section Two V5-13 Do Not Believe

V8-9 ‘But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.’ Do we believe that when we are baptised, our past pains and hurt will die with Jesus? Do we believe that the water and the fire of the Holy Spirit have the power to resurrect us and give us a new life? Do not be lied by the devil, but declare that we are a new person, our past cannot haunt us. Jesus faced the same temptation after He was baptised. He faced the temptations with the Word of God, and He rebuked the devil. The devil continues to lie to us, it wants us to go back to our old lives, and it wants us to have excuses to live in our old ways. Everything is possible through God, do not leave a loophole for the devil’s lies to come in.

V10 ‘For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ In the past our hearts were weak, but when we are baptised, when we proclaim and confess, God’s power will come upon us. We must believe firmly, our lives will be changed, even when we do not realise it ourselves, people around us will see. Our personality will change, our behaviour will change, our attitude towards life will change, and we will be closer to the image God first created us to be.

V11-13 ‘For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’ Do not let our past become our excuse to move forward, if we do, then we are showing God that we do not believe in His Salvation.

Section Three V14-21 Do Not Listen

V14 ‘How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?’ God did not tell Adam that he should not touch the fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He only told Adam not to eat it, but on the other hand, Adam could eat all the fruits he wanted on the Tree of Life. Did Adam treasure the fruits on the Tree of Life? Or did he only focus on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that he could not eat? Did Adam really hear God? We tend to only hear the things we want to hear and focus on the things we cannot have. But when the truth comes into our lives, we will realise that what we see and what we focus on might not be the full picture.

We like to enlarge the things we want to focus on and ignore the things we do not think are important. When we are in rage, we only focus on our hurt feelings, we do not listen, and we do not see the whole truth. May God help us to have listening ears so we can receive the Gospel. The Israelites did not understand, did not believe, and did not listen, even though they were the chosen people, they still lived in the lives of slavery.

V15 ‘And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”’ Only when we learn to listen, then we can preach. And when we listen and pass on God’s messages truthfully and faithfully, then good things will pour out to us and to all those following us.

罗马书 10 – 以色列人的不            

2021年12月8日 星期三

潘锡安牧师

蒙召的人本是不配的,但神仍然拣选。神所拣选的“真以色列人”一生还是要面对很多挑战。我们作为蒙召的人,有神的恩典,但是否知道自己生命中有什么东西阻挡我们领受神的福音?我们的“信”是否有生命?我们虽然信主,心里仍有很多负面思想,本章的经文就是探讨这个问题。

一、不懂 v.1-4

V1 “以色列人”就是蒙召的人,是神所拣选的民族,被神带领出埃及,进入应许之地。保罗希望每一个以色列人都能得救。

V2 路加福音1:67-69第一次提到保罗所讲的“得救”:“。。。在他仆人大卫家中,为我们兴起了拯救的角”- 保罗希望每一个蒙召的人都能被“拯救”。这些人之前是跌倒的,所以需要被拯救。他们跌倒是因为“向神有热心,但不是按着真知识”。我们刚信主时或许心里火热,但之后是否能够维持?我们的“大发热心”是一种情绪,然而我们跟从神不能只靠情绪,而是要“按着真知识”。

V3 当我们“不知道神的义”,我们就陷入doing。以色列人当初不觉得因信称义足够,所以还守了很多条规。生命树的教导(谦卑顺服、舍己利他)其实是与人里面叛逆的本性相反的。当初在伊甸园神清楚跟亚当说园子里唯独分辨善恶树上的果子不能吃,然而最后传到夏娃那里却说他们连“摸”都不能摸(创世纪3:2-3)。神对我们的本意是好的,但我们因为不谦卑,听到神的话后常会将神的美意歪曲。“不可摸”这个人自己订出来的规矩挑动我们里面的叛逆,认为我们自己失去了自由。这也是我们在日常生活中会面对的问题,知道某样东西“不可吃”,我们要么赌气完全不去理会,要么偏偏就要去违反。神的话是带着权柄和能力的,但蛇会利用人自己的话来挑战我们的信心。当我们的信不是按着真知识而是建立在自己的想法上时,我们就容易跌倒。这份“叛逆”是从亚当夏娃那一代就传下来的。但神给我们的是没有混淆的,圣经里的话都是“真知识”,我们却没有愿意花时间在圣经上。神的出发点是爱,他看他的孩子都是单纯的,所以耶稣基督才说我们要回转像小孩一样。我们的权柄给我们的信息其实是很简单的,可惜我们“听不懂”,因为我们里面有“不服”。以色列人因为不服,所以没有办法领受神的福音。我们的不服使我们领受不到从神和权柄而来的爱。当我们自己扭曲的时候,我们传递给下面的人的信息和情感也都是扭曲的。当我们不服的时候,我们就“想要立自己的义”,多做一些自以为义的事。亚当和夏娃自己做错事,不仅没有认错,还要躲起来,这是出于对神的不爱。其实我们的信仰是很简单的,只要去爱去信任。神的救恩也很简单,只要信耶稣基督就够了。

二、不信 v.5-13

我们都是“信他的人”- 当我们“口里认耶稣为主,心里信神叫他从死里复活”,我们的过去就真的已经死透,我们就有了复活的生命。我们不是被叫醒,而是仿佛从母腹中产出来的“重生”。我们是从圣灵重生的,有全新的生命,所以不要再用过去的问题和伤害来当作自己不信的借口。当试探来的时候,我们要宣告神的话,神已经叫耶稣从死里复活了,他也叫我们与耶稣一起从死里复活,我们就不再是过去的旧我,不再整天需要被医治释放。我们的洗礼是有能力的,要相信我们已经不一样了,是新造的人,因为神的拯救是完全的,没有任何分割。我们不能刚强壮胆,常常用过去当作软弱的借口,是因为我们不相信神的救恩。面对恶者的攻击,我们要口里宣告、心里相信我们的过去已经死去,现在的我们是复活的新人。

三、不听 v.14-21

神对以色列人说“我整天伸手招呼那悖逆、顶嘴的百姓”-“悖逆”就是不服、不听、骄傲,这是与生命树完全相反的分辨善恶树上的果子。亚当明明可以吃生命树上的果子,但他眼目还是盯着分辨善恶树。我们其实也是如此,嘴上说不理,注意力却全部都在那“不可吃不可摸”的事情上,完全没有理会生命树。在人际关系的处理上,当我们不喜欢某人时,我们常会把那人的某个问题放大到“整天都这样”,但事实是这人的问题只发生了一次。当我们情绪化的时候,可以将具体事情写下来,让自己平静,不要被情绪牵着走,而是用从神而来的智慧去思考、行动。

以色列人不听神的话,因为他们不信。我们若不来晨祷,就听不到神的道,生命就无法改变,更无法传道。我们要有能听的耳,生命才会不一样,不要像以色列人那样活在为奴为仆的生命里。我们听了道,就要去懂、去信,才能成为会传道、多结果子的葡萄树。