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Triumphant Grace 得胜的恩典


‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

What comes to your mind when you think of “heaven”? Singing hymns and praises, a never-ending buffet, sitting in the presence of God listening to a never-ending sermon? Would you like to be doing that for all eternity? Does our Christian growth grind to a halt because we are already perfected?

For Wesley, the final dimension of salvation is the deliverance from the very presence of sin by the experience of triumphant grace.115 Wesley asks rhetorically in “On Faith,”

Can we reasonably doubt but that those who are now in paradise, in Abraham's bosom, - all those holy souls who have been discharged from the body, from the beginning of the world unto this day, - will be continually ripening for heaven; will be perpetually holier and happier, till they are received into ‘the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world?’116

For Wesley, the experience of triumphant grace surpasses the Western understanding of “paradise as a blessed place of rest.” Instead, paradise is a continual experience of God’s grace; place of growth in grace to all eternity.117


上帝要擦去他们一切的眼泪;不再有死亡,也不再有悲哀、哭号、疼痛,因为以前的事都过去了。《启示录》21:4

当你想到“天堂”时会联想到什么?一直唱赞美诗,不必散席的自助餐?坐在上帝面前聆听无尽的讲道?你觉得我们倘若在天堂不禁地这么做有意义吗?我们基督徒是否因为我们认为已经完全而停滞不前?不再成长? 对约翰.卫斯理来说,救恩的最终尺度就是通过得胜的恩典而经历从罪恶状态中解脱出来。约翰.卫斯理在“论信仰”中反问道, “我们是否可以有理由怀疑,那些在天堂,在亚伯拉罕的怀抱中的人 - 所有那些从世界之初,直到今天,已经脱离尸体的圣洁的灵 ,将会不断为天国而迈向成熟; 将会永远更加圣洁和快乐,直到他们被接纳到‘为建立世界起初起就为他们预备的国度?’” 对于约翰.卫斯理来说,得胜恩典的体验远胜过西方对“天堂是一个休息享福的地方”的理解。相反,天堂是一个对上帝恩典的持续体验的地方;是一个在恩典中成长而迈向永恒的地方。


反思

约翰.卫斯理得胜恩典的天堂愿景与你设想的天堂的有何不同之处?

Reflection

How is Wesley’s vision of triumphant grace different from what you make heaven out to be?

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