一起读经 | 马太福音 5:7-8

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马太福音5:7怜恤人的人有福了!因为他们必蒙怜恤。

在罗马书12章里,保罗曾说,“按我们所得的恩赐,各有不同……怜悯人的,就当甘心”,他认为“怜悯人”是圣灵的恩赐之一。实际上,八福也显示了信徒的敬虔品格,类似于保罗在加拉太书中所说的“圣灵的果子”。

这节经文经常被误解为是一个公式,教导如何与人相处-对他们好,他们反过来也会对你好。从逻辑上讲,从人们那里得到好处的方式就是给他们一些好处。从我们的个人经历中我们都知道,虽然这在某些时候可能是真的,但并不总是真的。显然,这不是耶稣所教导的。他也没有教导信徒,通过怜悯人,他们就得着功德,以致有一天在审判的时候,上帝会因他们对人的怜悯而怜悯他们。简而言之,这节经文的要点是——怜悯人并不能使我们成为信徒(这不是上帝在让我们进入天国之前要求我们的条件)。怜悯人显明我们是信徒。耶稣所指的这种敬虔的(类似上帝的)怜悯,并不是人心自然流露的特征。怜悯是属于上帝的,上帝把它给他的孩子们,让他们给那些需要帮助的人。在帮助过程中,这些人显示出他们是真正的信徒,也从上帝那里得到更多怜悯的奇妙回报。我们付出。他给予更多。

在中国西安有一个人,他的仁慈使人印象深刻。他用他的小教堂作为艾滋病患者的收容所。并没有很多人关心艾滋病人。他们是被轻蔑和厌恶的对象。这位基督教牧师照顾许多爱滋病患者,并照顾他们直到他们死。他怜悯他们,给他们带来福音的盼望,以致有许多人相信耶稣。可以说怜悯人是一种最像上帝的品质。

祷告:主耶稣,你的怜悯每天早晨对我都是新的!你的信实何等伟大!我今天的祷告是,请将你的心肠和眼目交给我,使我能看见我周围的苦难,并怜悯在苦难中的人。奉你的名求。阿门。

Matthew

Listen: Matthew 5:7:  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

In Romans 12:8 Paul identifies “showing mercy” as one of the gifts of the Spirit. Remember what we the Beatitudes are all about. They show the godly character of the believer and are similar to the “fruit of the Spirit” that Paul speaks about in Galatians.

This verse is often misinterpreted as a formula for how to get along with people – be nice to them and they in turn will be nice to you. The logic is that the way to receive benefit from people is to bestow some benefit on them. We all know from our personal experience that while this may be true some of the time, it is not always true. Clearly, this is not what Jesus is teaching. Neither is He teaching that by a believer’s demonstration of mercy, he or she earns credits so that one day at the judgment God will show them mercy because they had earned it. Here is the point in a nutshell – Showing mercy does not make us believers (it’s not the a condition God demands of us before He lets us in the Kingdom). Showing mercy demonstrates we are believers. This godly (God-like) mercy Jesus is referring to is not a natural characteristic of the human heart. Mercy belongs to God and He gives it to His children to dispense to those in need. In the dispensing process, those individuals show that they are true believers and also receive the wonderful reward of more mercy from God. We can’t out give His mercy to us. We give. He bestows more.

I met a man in Xi’an China who impressed me with his ministry of mercy. He used his small church as a hospice for AIDS patience. No one in China cares for AIDS patience. They are the object of scorn and disgust. The government doesn’t care for them at all. This Christian pastor cared for many AIDS patients and nursed them until they died. He showed them mercy and brought them the hope of the gospel so that many died in the faith.  I cannot think of a more God-like quality than showing mercy.

 Prayer:  Lord Jesus, your mercies are new to me every morning!  Great is your faithfulness! My prayer today is that you will give me your heart and your eyes so that I might see the suffering around me and show them mercy and compassion.  I ask this in your name. Amen.

马太福音5:8清心的人有福了!因为他们必得见 神。

当我读这些话时,我的最初反应是这样。也许我能在其他八福中看到自己,但我却在这一条上看不到自己。然后,我想起了以前学到的东西,即圣灵赐给基督徒品格的时候,他并不是只赐予一部分,而没有赐予另一部分。他进入了我的心,给了我基督徒所有的品格,使我真正地蒙福。

“清心”的基本意思是正直,单一的心,而不是双重的,分裂的心。当上帝饶恕罪人并使他们成为自己的儿女时,他所做的不仅仅是洗净罪恶。他使他们有一颗新的心,完全地专注于上帝。 “我要使他们彼此同心同道,好叫他们永远敬畏我,使他们和他们后世的子孙得福乐(耶利米书32:39)。在以西结书36:26中:“我也要赐给你们一个新心,将新灵放在你们里面,又从你们的肉体中除掉石心,赐给你们肉心。”这是属灵上和道德上的正直诚实。正是这种正直使大卫成为成功的国王,而缺乏这种诚实则让扫罗堕落失败。

我内心深处有一颗清心,因为圣灵已将它赐给了我。但是我也有罪恶的本性,这意味着每天战争都在我心中肆虐,正如保罗在罗马书7:22-23中所述:“因为按着我里面的意思,我是喜欢 神的律;但我觉得肢体中另有个律和我心中的律交战,把我掳去,叫我附从那肢体中犯罪的律。”当你感觉自己没有一颗纯洁的心时,你正在注视着你的罪性。但是,如果你内心真的没有新人的纯洁之心,那你心中就不会争战了,对吗?拥有纯洁的心意并不意味着你不会挣扎。但是,这却意味着您将永远不会在挣扎中放弃。

祷告:神啊,求你为我造清洁的心,使我里面重新有正直的灵。不要丢弃我,使我离开你的面;不要从我收回你的圣灵。求你使我仍得救恩之乐,赐我乐意的灵扶持我,(诗篇51:10-12)。阿们

Matthew

Listen: Matthew 5:8:  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

My initial reaction when I read these words was this. Maybe I can see myself in the other beatitudes, but I cannot see myself in this one. And then I remembered what I had learned earlier, that the Holy Spirit doesn’t give a Christian some parts of a Christian character and not others. He has entered into my heart and given me all the characteristics of that make me truly blessed.

The basic idea of a “pure heart” is that of integrity, singleness of heart, as opposed to duplicity, a double heart, a divided heart. When God cleanses sinners and makes them His children, He does more than merely wash away sin. He puts within them a new heart that wants to focus wholly on God. “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them” (Jeremiah 32:39).  And in Ezekiel 36:26: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” This is spiritual and moral integrity. It was this integrity that made David a successful king, and it was the lack of this integrity that corrupted and defeated Saul.

I have the integrity of a pure heart in my inner being because the Spirit has given it it me.  But I also have my sinful nature, which means that a war is raging inside of me every day, as Paul described in Romans 7: 22-23:  “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind…”  When you feel like you don’t have a pure heart, you are looking at your sinful nature.  But if you didn’t have the pure heart of your new man in you as well, there wouldn’t be a war raging in you, would there?  Being blessed with a pure heart doesn’t mean you don’t struggle.  It means you will never give up the struggle.

 Prayer:  Create in me pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:10-12).  Amen.

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