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Romans 16 – The Expectations of God for the One Being Called 罗马书 16 – 神如何对蒙召的人期待

Friday, 17th December 2021

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-16 God Expects us to be Remembered

Everyone Paul greeted in this chapter has the same characteristic, they all lived their lives for God. They were willing to offer for God, to suffer for God, to serve for God… how can we have the same motivation to live for God every day? This is what we have been talking about in the past two weeks, to have love and to have trust. In Paul’s times, Rome was very prosperous, there were a lot of temptations for people to enjoy the world, instead of becoming Christians, who were prosecuted by the Government. These people let go of all the good things of the world and had a willing heart to follow heart. Paul respected and uplifted these people, he also trained and encouraged them, through Paul’s greetings, he brought out life and the truth of Jesus.

What are God’s expectations for us as the ones being called? How to live as Christians according to God’s standards? V1-2 ‘I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.’ Phoebe was elected to lead the church, but here it says that she was a servant of the church. Matthew 20:25-26 also says, ‘But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”’

Being a leader is to be a servant, who will assist and support many people, including the church and Apostle Paul. God wants to see if we are willing to humble and obey, to deny ourselves and benefit others. Paul brought the teaching of the Tree of Life into the church of Rome. The churches of Rome were a big community of Gentile believers, and because of many people working together with Paul for the benefit of this community. We need to work in unity, it’s never a one-man show. Paul knew that everything he could do was not by himself but with the support of many others. We also need to recognise those who support us along the way so we can continue to live our lives as the one being called.

God has a purpose for every individual and for every church. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ in the eternity, but we also have a home in our church. Every church is a unique community and God wants us to have unity in this community. We must be committed in our church and be willing to offer for our church. In our family, we don’t have to hide ourselves, we can be true to ourselves and true to others. In our family, it may not be perfect, but if we know this is where God wants us to be, then we should be committed wholeheartedly. All the people Paul mentioned in his letter have given their lives to God and to the church. They had their own work and families, but they continued to offer, and God expected them to be remembered.

Section Two V17-20 God Expects us to Avoid

V17-18 ‘Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.’ Paul used the first section of this chapter to talk about those who are committed in church, then he revealed the people, who used fluttering words to attract people, but did not have a commitment to the churches of God. They only wanted applauses for themselves, and they only thought about themselves. Even Paul when he was called by God, he still went back to the church of Jerusalem and gained the approval of the Apostles before he went out to build and serve the churches.

We all belonged somewhere, as Christians, we know we belong to Christ, but at the same time, we also belong to the community, where God puts us in. In this community, God will appoint authorities over us to cover and guide us; and if we think God wants us to go somewhere else, then there must also be confirmations from our authorities. Christians nowadays like to follow the worldly trend, we listen to preachers with lots of followers, instead of Pastors in our own church.

V19 ‘For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.’ Paul reminded us to have wisdom and to stay away from temptation. We must learn to be a simple person in Christ, to simply believe whatever God gives us is good. V20 ‘And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.’ How can Satan trip us over? By using our pride, flesh desires, rebellious… only when we live under the fragrance of the Tree of Life, then we can overcome the world.

Section Three V21-27 God Expects us to Preach

A true leader from God will never boast about themselves. Paul knew he had a team, and he knew everything he could do was not by his own strength. Paul lifted Jesus Christ and his team. V23 ‘Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.’ Paul also knew that when people accommodate him, they accommodate the whole church. Paul brought his church with him wherever he went, he continued to put the people focus away from him and towards God. Do we allow people to see the power of Jesus Christ? Do we lead people to ourselves or to God?

V25-27 ‘Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.’ We follow God because it is the heart of Jesus Christ, may God help us to live out this fragrance of the Tree of Life.

罗马书 16 – 神如何对蒙召的人期待               

2021年12月17日 星期五

潘锡安牧师 

保罗是外邦的使徒,他在罗马书所分享出来的氛围是一个团体,里面有很多人的摆上。在本章保罗所问安的人所表现出来的并非自己,都是为神而活的。这一切都是神的恩典。这些人与保罗一起同工,所以有很好的关系。他们愿意为神吃苦、奉献、服事。他们能如此愿意,就是因为有爱有信任。在当时的罗马城充满着很多诱惑,成为基督徒是要被逼迫的,然而他们愿意为神摆上,一定是因为亲自经历神。保罗如何教导、鼓励这一群愿意的人呢?在问安中,保罗带出生命、教导、耶稣基督的真理,这就是天国的文化。别人从他的问安也可以学习,知道跟从神不是随便聚一聚就好了。保罗再次在这里带出因信称义的大能。我们能够做成事,就是因为一颗单纯跟随的心。神对我们这些跟随的人是怎样期待的呢?

一、要被记念 v.1-16

V1-2 神期待我们的生命被记念,是活出先神后人再大地、谦卑顺服舍己利他的生命。保罗在一开始跟罗马教会的人推荐坚革哩教会中的女执事非比姐妹。“坚革哩”意思是“小米”,“执事”这个词第一次在圣经出现是在马太福音 20:26 “只是在你们中间不可这样,你们中间谁愿为大,就必做你们的用人”- 执事就是去服事人的“用人”。非比姐妹在教会里愿意为主成为用人。非比“素来帮助许多人,也帮助了”保罗,她就被记念被举荐了。神看重我们是否愿意有谦卑顺服、舍己利他的生命树气息。非比姐妹所要的不是为了自己,而是为了教会。

V3-4 保罗借着百基拉和亚居拉带出生命的见证。他们为了保罗的命“将自己的颈项置之度外”,愿意舍己让别人成功,就被神、被保罗、以及“外邦的众教会”记念。神期待我们的生命也能如此去影响生命。一个蒙召的人不应该整天只想着自己,因神看重的是在主里的合一。我们要从心里愿意将我们的爱活出来,但不是为了被人记念而做这些事。

V5 “以拜尼土”是一个罗马基督徒,是愿意接受福音的外邦人。当时的罗马统治者凯撒要求他的民去拜他,而成为基督徒可能要被处死,所以这个“在亚细亚是归基督初结的果子”是被记念的。“以拜尼土”意思是值得称赞的。保罗并没有说这人多厉害,但他就是愿意因信摆上自己的生命,他在保罗的书信里就被认同了。

V6 马利亚为罗马的教会“多受劳苦”。我们不要觉得自己做太多事而抱怨其他人,我们的每一份劳苦神都记念。

V7 保罗的“亲属”就是与他一起坐牢的人,被保罗视为家人。“家人”不是普通的朋友关系,而是愿意为彼此摆上、谦卑顺服、舍己利他。我们与其他的基督徒在永恒里是弟兄姐妹,但神也给我们地上的教会作为我们自己的家,在这个家我们不会担心别人看不起我们,因家人是互相帮助、互相委身的。现在的一些思想让人不看重教会,使教会变成好像一个酒吧一样,人喜欢就来,不喜欢就不来。保罗提醒罗马教会,神看重的是我们愿意成为家人、为彼此吃苦。安多尼古和犹尼亚愿意与保罗一起受苦,但他们不是保罗的“粉丝”,是“在使徒中是有名望的”,在神的家里愿意摆上自己。神的家不是一个帮派,我们不仅要爱主任牧师,也要爱教会的其他弟兄姐妹。

V9-13 这些人被认同和记念,不是因为他们做得多好,而是合乎神所期待的。教会不是只有一个人被记念,神期待我们每一个人都被记念。这个世界教导我们,我们有空再去帮助别人,但在圣经里,这些人愿意为神的家摆上自己,没有为自己的繁忙找借口。神期待我们能“先神后人再大地”。

二、要躲避 v.17-20

V17-18 保罗讲的就是那些离开了教会但还说自己是家人的人。当时的教会聚会时,每个人都有机会分享,有些到处在不同教会游走却不属于任何教会的人就在聚会中讲一些好听的话。他们要的是人给他们的掌声,但没有一个愿意为教会舍己、摆上的生命。保罗就算是到处宣教,他也还是属于耶路撒冷的教会。教会有从神而来的权柄,我们是否愿意谦卑顺服在神给我们的权柄之下,还是只想要自己的自由?那些不属于任何教会的“自由传道人”跟我们讲的话可能让我们觉得很舒服,但我们要小心。我们不要把从外面请来的讲员当成神一样崇拜。我们能做成任何事,不是因为自己有多厉害,一切都是因为神。我们是否谦卑在自己牧师的教导下,是否已经将自己在教会学到的东西落实到实际生活中,还是在网络上到处找自己想听的讲道?“花言巧语”的原文就是让人觉得很舒畅的话,满足人魂里面的欲望。然而,神期待的不是我们满足自己的欲望,而是愿意舍己、被记念。

V19 在神的家里要聪明,对于不属于神的家的东西我们就单纯、不要什么都拿过来给自己。

V20 在伊甸园中,人的骄傲叛逆使我们被撒旦绊倒,但因为耶稣基督的缘故,撒旦就能被践踏在我们脚下。

三、要传扬 v.21-27

V21-24 从神而来的人永远都不会高举自己。保罗是有团队的,他不高举自己,而是传扬耶稣基督。人接待保罗,也会接待保罗的团队。

V25 保罗高举的是神,他就算讲得再动听,若没有神,听道的人生命也不会改变。神期待我们不要高举自己,而是让人看到耶稣基督的能力和天父的真实。

V26 我们跟从神,不是为了自己。求神帮助我们愿意谦卑顺服、舍己利他,活出生命树的气息。