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Children Grow Up 孩子会成长


The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. – Romans 8:16

One of the things that really warm my heart is when Facebook sends me reminders of memories, moments of my children and I captured in photos. The smiles after movies, funny faces at the mall, satiated looks after meals, not only show that they have grown up, but they are still growing in the safety and assurance of our love for them.

“Authentic growth takes place when there is security and love in a relationship.”48 The Holy Spirit’s assurance that we are God’s children, means that we “do not have to live with a ‘hope-so, think-so, maybe so’ faith.”49 However, Wesley regarded this assurance as not merely certainty of our relationship with God, but “he believed that we would be joyously motivated to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.”50 So what are the distinguishing markers of growth in God’s children? Wesley lists four elements of growth-prompting grace in our lives in his sermon “The Witness of the Spirit:” (1) A conscious repentance of sin. (2) An awareness of a change in our lives. (3) An awareness of the new life produced in us, characterized by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). (4) A joy in the service of God: Wesley said, “A true lover of God hastens to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven.”51


圣灵与我们的灵一同作证:我们是上帝的儿女。《罗马书》8:16

一个让我真正感到心里温暖的事情是脸书向我发送回忆照片提醒时,那是我和孩子一起拍摄的时刻。电影之后的微笑,商场里有趣的面孔,饭后的饱足感,不仅表明他们已经长大了,而且他们仍然在我们对他们的爱的安全和保证下而成长。

“真正的成长是发生安全和爱的关系中。” 圣灵印证我们是神的儿女,这意味着我们不必活在“希望如此,以为如此,也许如此”信仰中。但是,约翰.卫斯理认为这种确据不仅仅是表明我们与上帝的关系确定,而且他相信“得出的结论也是有根有据的,他相信这会使我们充满喜乐地积极在耶稣基督的恩典和知识上不断成长。那么上帝的儿女们有什么特别的成长标志呢?约翰.卫斯理列举了在他的讲道‘圣灵的印证‘中提醒我们促进恩典中的生命成长的四个要素:(1)有意识地认罪悔改。 (2)意识到我们的生命发生了变化。 (3)意识到我们产生了新的生命,以圣灵的果子为特征(加拉太书5:22-23)。 (4)以服事上帝为乐。卫斯理说:“一个真正爱上帝的人遵行他旨意,在地上如同在天上一样。”


反思

四个元素中哪一个最能表明你是一个成长的基督徒?

Reflection

Which of the four markers best characterizes your growth as a Christian?

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