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Perfecting Grace 完全恩典


Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Matthew 5:48

“It’s perfect!” Kristlyn exclaimed with glee. I smiled. We had spent the last fifteen minutes making a unicorn hairband for her class photo shoot; spray painting the paper cone carefully to achieve a glittering flamboyance of red, orange, pink and silver. But perfect wasn’t quite perfect. The silicone that I used to adhere the cone to the hairband was showing from the back. The scotch-tape used to hold the cone together was visible from an angle. Yet, the unicorn hairband was perfect in the eyes of this seven-year-old.

When “perfect” is not perfect. Wesley’s explained that “sanctification is the process of growing in holiness by God’s grace… [that leads to] entire sanctification or Christian perfection.”88 According to Wesley’s sermon “On Perfection,” entire sanctification is “the fulfillment of the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37-39) to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbour as yourself. It is also having the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.”89 Strong elaborates, “Christian perfection is a dynamic experience of growth, not a fixed state or condition. When we are asked, ‘Do you expect to be perfected in love?’ and we answer affirmatively, we are making a claim about Christ’s work and God’s power, not our ability.”90 Maddox adds, “Wesley was convinced that the Christian life did not have to remain a life of continual struggle. He believed that… God’s loving grace can transform our lives to the point where our own love for God and others becomes a ‘natural response’… To deny this would be… to make the power of sin greater than that of [God’s empowering] grace.”91


所以,你们要完全,像你们的天父完全一样。《马太福音》5:48

“这很完美!”祈恩高兴地喊道。我笑了。我们花了十五分钟时间制作为她的班级拍照用的独角兽发带;仔细喷涂锥形纸筒,以达到红,橙,粉红和银色的闪亮光彩。但并不完全完美。我用来将锥形纸筒粘在发带上的硅胶从后面露出来。用于将锥体粘在一起的透明胶带从某个角度是可看到的。然而,麒麟发带在这个七岁的孩子眼中是完美的。

当“完美”不完全时。约翰.卫斯理解释说:“成圣是在上帝的恩典中成长为圣洁的过程。。 以致完全成圣或基督徒的完全。” 根据约翰.卫斯理的讲道“完美”,完全成圣是实现最大的诫命(《马太福音》22:37-39),要尽心,尽性,尽意爱主,并且爱人如己,这是在基督耶稣里与主同心。约翰.卫斯理强有而有力的阐述,“基督徒的完全是一种成长的动态体验,而不是处于固定的状态或情形。当我们被问及'你期待完全的爱吗?',我们的回答是肯定的,我们正在声明基督的工作和上帝的大能,而不是我们的能力。” Maddox补充说,

“约翰.卫斯理确信基督徒的生命并不一定要活在持续的挣扎中。他相信。。上帝慈爱的恩典可以改变我们的生活,直到我们对上帝和其他人的爱成为自然的回应。。否认这一点。。将会让罪的权势大于上帝所赋予的大能恩典。”


反思

想一想你认识的人,他们似乎正在迈向完全。你在他或她的生命中看到了哪些特征?

Reflection

“Think of someone you know who seems to be ‘going on to perfection.’ What characteristics do you see manifest in his or her life?”92

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