萬古十架似枯殘, 風吹雨打冰雪寒, 矗立孤山两千年, 光芒萬丈照宇環.
人子耶穌肯犧牲, 代替你我十架伸, 七傷寶血洗我罪, 一生甘為主見証. 樓鎧
This Section contains the following: 本網頁的內容包含如下:
1. Centrality of The Cross in Our Faith 十字架是信仰中心
2. The Beloved Hymn: The Old Rugged Cross 十 字 宝 架
3. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told (New) 最偉大的愛情故事
4. Necessity of the sufferings of The Son of Man
5. 十架頌 (1/2016)
6. The Battles of The Cross十架風雲 (Part 1)(9/4/2017, new)
7. The Battles of The Cross十架風雲 (Part 2)(9/4/2017, new)
Lately, the world events are quite chaotic. Particularly, there are many wars in the Middle East. We saw that the Islam terrorists try to use extreme cruelties such as beheading innocents and mass killing in a village to demonstrate their belief. They will use any means including genocide to rule. This web page was added to remind Christians the centrality of the Cross in our belief and we need to be watchful in our prayers to request strength to carry our own cross in following our Lord Jesus Christ. It is essential and necessary that we follow the church fathers and thousands of faithful believers in defending our faith lest you and I and our next generation and our villages would not be free to worship our God.
Throughout the New Testament history, even since the early church era, the centrality of the Cross has been the battle ground of our faith. There will be no true Christianity without the Cross as the true foundation of Christian faith.
This is why Apostle Peter , standing up with the eleven, gave the sermon in the Day of Pentecost emphasizing centrality of the Cross in Acts 2:29-36.
29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so,
because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was
neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having
received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
This is also why Apostle Paul emphasized centrality of the Jesus Christ crucified in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2,
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
Through out church history, this has been the truth gospel handing down from faithful to faithful, generation after generation just as it was indicated in Jude 1:3,
3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
So you might ask why the centrality of the cross has been all along the battle ground of our faith and whom were the enemies the saints battled with throughout the church history.
First, let the Bible tells us why this is the case.
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).
We all know that crucifixion was used in the New Testament time by the Romans to execute criminals. So the cross represented very cruel punishment and anythings dealing with crucifixion was a taboo subject to avoid. Thus, for those who are perishing, they will not accept how can a Savior be killed and died in such a disgraceful way. Who are they? The Scripture told us clearly and we can also testify by our experience as well.
22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.(1 Corinthians 1:22-25)
Even today, we saw that the nation of Israel is still waiting for their Messiah and still refuses to believe a crucified Savior Jesus Christ. As for gentiles, the enemies of the cross range from atheists on the left to new age illuminati, evolutionists, materialists in the middle, and to all false religions including religion terrorists on the right.
It is interesting to note that the confessed sinners are seldom the enemy of the cross because the cross of the Son of God Jesus Christ is the basis of God 's mercy in forgiving sin. indeed, the Gospel is good news to those sinners like us who believe. People who hate Jesus Christ and His cross are self righteous and very prideful in their ideologies. They either do not believe the existence of God, or worshiped an idol god or gods, or redefined God in whatever their deprived minds felt fit.
Even in post-modernism 21 century, the enemies of the cross are still the same. Thousands upon thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria got slaughtered by the Islam terrorists because the terrorists hate the cross bearers. This is nothing new. Let us hear what our Lord Jesus Christ warned us in John 15:18--19, in John 15:23, and in John 17:14
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.(John 15:18-19)
23 He who hates Me hates My Father also.(John 15:23)
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)
In the following, we need to address two major topics: (1) Centrality of the cross in our faith, and (2) Necessity of defending our faith
A. Centrality of the Cross in our Faith
For Christians, Jesus Christ our Lord indeed died a horrible death at the cross as a ransom to pay the penalty of each and all of our sins in full. We should have a very clear understanding about the centrality of the cross in our faith;
1. He died at the cross not for His sin because He is sinless, but as a sacrifice for our sin in order to save us
2. His death was foretold and God willed it before the creation of the universe.
3. Necessity of His blood as a propitiation to reconcile us with the angry holy God because of our disobedience to God's Holy Law.
4. No salvation without the cross i.e., we have no justification, no sanctification, no resurrection, and no eternal life.
5. His cross is the God's matchless love to us.
6. The cross paid the penalty of our sin, procured us from the slavery of sin, and has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His Love in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
7. The cross demonstrates the righteousness of God
B. Necessity of defending our Faith because our eternal life depends on it.
Just look at the struggles of our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. Some of them were beheaded by the Islamic terrorists. Most of them escape and flee away from their homes into desert and mountains. Similarly, recognize the terrors and daily slaughters of the innocents in some Africa countries. These Islamic terrorists have shown their true cruelties by beheading journalists and religious minorities including Christians.
DEFEND YOUR FAITH SO THAT YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR COUNTRY MAY BE FREE TO WORSHIP GOD.
29 弟兄們，先祖大衛的事，我可以明明地對你們說，他死了，也葬埋了，並且他的墳墓直到今日還在我們這裡。 30 大衛既是先知，又曉得神曾向他起誓，要從他的後裔中立一位坐在他的寶座上， 31 就預先看明這事，講論基督復活說：他的靈魂不撇在陰間，他的肉身也不見朽壞。 32 這耶穌，神已經叫他復活了，我們都為這事作見證。 33 他既被神的右手高舉，又從父受了所應許的聖靈，就把你們所看見、所聽見的澆灌下來。 34 大衛並沒有升到天上，但自己說：『主對我主說：「你坐在我的右邊， 35 等我使你仇敵做你的腳凳。」』 36 故此，以色列全家當確實地知道：你們釘在十字架上的這位耶穌，神已經立他為主、為基督了。」
2 弟兄們，從前我到你們那裡去，並沒有用高言大智對你們宣傳神的奧祕。 2 因為我曾定了主意，在你們中間不知道別的，只知道耶穌基督並他釘十字架。
18 因為十字架的道理，在那滅亡的人為愚拙，在我們得救的人卻為神的大能。 19 就如經上所記：「我要滅絕智慧人的智慧，廢棄聰明人的聰明。」 20 智慧人在哪裡？文士在哪裡？這世上的辯士在哪裡？神豈不是叫這世上的智慧變成愚拙嗎？ 21 世人憑自己的智慧既不認識神，神就樂意用人所當做愚拙的道理，拯救那些信的人，這就是神的智慧了。
22 猶太人是要神蹟，希臘人是求智慧， 23 我們卻是傳釘十字架的基督——在猶太人為絆腳石，在外邦人為愚拙， 24 但在那蒙召的，無論是猶太人、希臘人，基督總為神的能力、神的智慧。 25 因神的愚拙總比人智慧，神的軟弱總比人強壯。(哥林多前書 1:18-21)
18 「世人若恨你們，你們知道，恨你們以先已經恨我了。 19 你們若屬世界，世界必愛屬自己的。只因你們不屬世界，乃是我從世界中揀選了你們，所以世界就恨你們。(約翰福音 15:18-19)
23 恨我的，也恨我的父。(約翰福音 15:23)
14 我已將你的道賜給他們，世界又恨他們，因為他們不屬世界，正如我不屬世界一樣。(約翰福音 17:14)
各 各 他 山 岭 上, 孤 立 一 十 字 架
On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross
这 是 羞 辱 痛 苦 记 号
The emblem of suffering and shame
神 爱 子 主 耶 稣,
And I love that old cross
为 世 人 被 钉 死
where the dearest and best
这 十架 为 我 最 爱 最 宝
For a world of lost sinners was slain
故 我 爱 高 举 十 字 宝 架
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
直 到 在 主 台 前 见 主 面
Till my trophies at last I lay down
我 一 生 要 背 负 十 字 架
I will cling to the old rugged cross
此 十 架 可 换 公 义 冠 冕
And exchange it some day for a crown
主 宝 贵 十 字 架, 乃 世 人 所 轻 视
On the old rugged cross, so despised by the world
以 我 却 是 真 神 仁 慈
Has a wondrous attraction for me
神 爱 子 主 基 督
For the dear lamb of God
离 天 堂 众 荣 华
Left His glory above
甘 愿 为 世 人 背 此 苦 架
To bear it to dark calvary
故 我 爱 高 举 十 字 宝 架
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross
直 到 在 主 台 前 见 主 面
Till my trophies at last I lay down
我 一 生 要 背 负 十 字 架
I will cling to the old rugged cross
此 十 架 可 换 公 义 冠 冕
And exchange it some day for a crown
In a postmodernism era like ours in the 21th century, love have been used and abused in various enterprises to such an extent that the meaning of love is being confused and marginalized. It is indeed very hard to convince people of true love when there is a 60% of newly weds in California ends up in a divorce. That is why this website reminds all of us to return to our Creator to live a righteous and blessed life.
The Bible reminds us that in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6, what true love is and is not;
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
4 愛是恆久忍耐，又有恩慈，愛是不嫉妒，愛是不自誇，不張狂， 5 不做害羞的事，不求自己的益處，不輕易發怒，不計算人的惡， 6 不喜歡不義，只喜歡真理；7凡事包容，凡事相信，凡事盼望所有的事情，忍受一切。
If we truly love our spouses with a pure heart, then it is easy and natural to love according to the bible verses mentioned above. However, if we love with hidden agenda, then it is easy to love according to the world value system, but not according the scriptural instruction to love with a self denial love. Perhaps we should like little children who love to hear stories, even the greatest love story ever told.
This story just like most of the children's stories starts with the phrase "Long long time ago." Indeed long long time ago even before the foundation of the world was laid, it was the will of God for the Father to demonstrate His love to HIs only begotten Son by giving Him a beautiful wife (Part 1); for the Son to demonstrate His love to His Bride by redeeming her with His blood (Part 2); and for the Holy Spirit to glorify the Son by protecting and sanctifying the Bride in a hostile world (Part 3).
Now the details of the greatest love story ever told:
Part 1- The Love of The Father 第1部分-天父的愛
Eon and eon ago in a far far away place, Father wants to show His great love to His only Son by giving Him a wife. As the story goes, this will of the Father was established even before creation of the world and the human race. So God created the universe and everything in it, even angels and mankind for this purpose.
Angels were created to serve God. One of the chief angels rebelled against God and led a third of the angels awry with him. It is indeed an intriguing part of the story to know the revolt story of the Devil.
The Devil was one of the archangels and was given great power in God's kingdom. The Bible told us that he had a seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. He was the anointed cherub and was placed in Eden, the garden of God, with every precious stone as his covering. He became the Devil because he rebelled against God. He was blameless in the beginning until he sinned against God. Why the Devil sinned against God? Because of his pride. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty; and he corrupted his wisdom by reason of his splendor. Amazing, isn't it. He was honored by God with such high powerful position and with such beautiful environment as Garden of Eden. He was corrupted by his power because he wanted to be worshiped like the Most High. He was very good in trades and hence corrupted himself and a third of angels with multitude of lies, violence, and evils. Not only corrupted himself but also profaned his sanctuaries. Very sad indeed.
Once angels sinned, there was no redemption for angels according to God. So the Devil continues to sin. He was the father of lies and will continue to lie and to deceive. As a matter of fact, he became the old serpent in the garden of Eden and deceived Eve to sin against her Creator by a lie that she will become like god. Thus, to be like god is an age-old deceptive scheme, even today.
The Devil is very smart, full of wisdom by creation. He thought that if he could corrupt the whole human race, there would be no perfect human beings to be chosen as a bride. Hence, God won't be able to give a perfect bride to God's Son. Of course, Almighty God knows in advance what will happen even before the creation of human beings. But the cost of redeeming human beings to be a bride for His Son is so severe that it would cost God to lose His Son to save us. Do you ever trade your only son for any thing? Of course not. In order to show this love, there was a very moving story about Abraham's offering his son Isaac as a test of his love for God. As the Bible told us that in the end, God provided a lamb so Isaac was spared. But for God to demonstrate His love to us, there is no substitute but He has to offer His Son as the Lamb of God to take away sin of the world. The Scripture reminds us the following:
John 3:16- “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God's offering His Son for us is indeed greatest love to us. This is so incredible that an infinite God would even do that to save a wretched man like
me. Our precious Lord Jesus Christ told us in John 15:13,"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. What a difference between this love to the self love today in
this world. Indeed, Romans 5:7-8 tells us :
7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
上帝提供祂的兒子，對我們來說、的確是給我們、最偉大的愛。如此令人難以置信的是，一個無限的神、甚至會做到這一點，來拯救、如你我般、醜惡的人。我們寶貴的主耶穌基督，在約翰福音15:13告訴我們，" 13 人為朋友捨命，人的愛心沒有比這個大的
7 為義人死是少有的，為仁人死或者有敢做的； 8 唯有基督在我們還做罪人的時候為我們死，神的愛就在此向我們顯明了。
In fact, the Bible reminds us this great love from our Father to us:
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:8-9)
8 沒有愛心的，就不認識神，因為神就是愛。 9 神差他獨生子到世間來，使我們藉著他得生，神愛我們的心在此就顯明了。（約翰一書4：8-9）
Part 2- The Love of The Son
Part 2A- Context of God's Love towards His People in the OT (Old Testament) Scripture
The greatest love story ever told is about the love God shows to His people. This love story portrayed our Lord Jesus Christ Son of God as a husband who loves His Bride without limits, even to shed His blood to redeem her. This love is too deep to describe, too wide to be comprehended, and too high to be understood by finite men. How can a finite man comprehend the love of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, infinite God! Why an infinite God would love His created mankind so much that He came to live with them to set an example and even willingly to die at the cross to redeem His own. Amazing love indeed!
In order to enable us to appreciate this love and to enjoy sweet fellowship with God, God created the universe and all things in it, especially human societal infrastructures such as friends, families, professional associations, marriages and churches. Generally speaking, we enjoy different kinds of love. For example, love in friendship is indeed different from love in family. Similarly, love among family members is different from love between husband and wife. Most of all, love between finite man and infinite God is different from that between human beings. The Scripture reminds us that everything in the universe was created by God and for God for His purpose. Man was created very uniquely as a living soul with God's image so that we can enjoy and glorify God by following Jesus Christ’s self denial practices as described in the Bible.
As described in the Bible, mankind was separated from God after Adam's fall. As a matter of record, Adam and Eve were removed from the garden of Eden after the monumental fall. Adam had to sweat in his work to produce foods for the first family to survive. This was a far cry from the worry- free environment in Eden.
The preciousness of the love of Jesus Christ is even more precious because it was shown among the monumental conflicts between Satan and God. After the Fall of Adam, Satan continued to corrupt the human race by his demons taking human daughters as wives and propagating to such an extent that God caused a great flood to destroy the human race except eight people. This is the story of the Noah's ark which was an Old Testament(OT) type of Christ in saving God's people through tribulations.
The greatest love story between God and His people was portrayed in the OT as a story of a faithful husband and a treacherous unfaithful wife. Let us see how the Bible describes this. In God's eternal plan, He, by His sovereign will, chose Abraham about 2000 years before Christ to be the father of a nation of Israel. Genesis 12:1-3 gives the details:
12 Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
1 耶 和 華 對 亞 伯 蘭 說 ：你 要 離 開 本 地 、 本 族 、 父 家 ， 往 我 所 要 指 示 你 的 地 去 。
2 我 必 叫 你 成 為 大 國 。 我 必 賜 福 給 你 ， 叫 你 的 名 為 大 ； 你 也 要 叫 別 人 得 福 。
3 為 你 祝 福 的 ， 我 必 賜 福 與 他 ； 那 咒 詛 你 的 ， 我 必 咒 詛 他 。 地 上 的 萬 族 都 要 因 你 得 福 。
Abraham believed in God and hence inherited great blessings that God promised to him. This is a great lesson for us. If we really believe in the promises of our Lord with all our heart, our blessing is endlessly abundant beyond our comprehension.
In the human recorded history, there were a few tragedies which were of epoch proportion. One of those was the unfaithful story of the Israel nation towards her God. Here is a sample of this tragical history:
1. After 400 years of slavery in Egypt, God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt through many miracles. In fact, God opened the red sea to lead them away from the pursuing Egyptian army and even led them visibly by a column of cloud in day time and a column of fire in the night time in front of them in the wilderness. Yet, Israel people was not grateful and had so much complaints about God that God truly was disappointed about that generation.
2. After settled down in the land of milk and honey, Israel people has a brief period of prosperity under King David and King Solomon. After that, Israel entered split kingdoms of the North ( Israel) and of the South (Judah). Of the Northern Kingdom, there were no faithful kings among 20 kings. They truly forsook their God and hence was destroyed by Assyrians and no more. Of the Southern Kingdom, there are a few good kings trying to follow God but Israel had too many evil kings that the Southern Kingdom was destroyed by the Babylonian empire and Israel people was scattered.
3. Old Testament, especially Exodus, Israel people were highly impressed by the solemn occasion of the Law given to them through Moses in Mt. Sinai. Yet, the Law was lost in the dark years of the split kingdoms. Truly amazing and incredible indeed.
The Bible tells us that even with disobedience of Israel, God is still faithful. Jeremiah 31:3-7 indicates:
3 The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
4 “Again I will build you and you will be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
Again you will take up your tambourines,
And go forth to the dances of the merrymakers.
5 “Again you will plant vineyards
On the hills of Samaria;
The planters will plant
And will enjoy them.
6 “For there will be a day when watchmen
On the hills of Ephraim call out,
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
To the Lord our God.’”
7 For thus says the Lord,
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
And shout among the chief of the nations;
Proclaim, give praise and say,
‘O Lord, save Your people,
The remnant of Israel.’
3 古時耶和華向以色列顯現，說：『我以永遠的愛愛你，因此我以慈愛吸引你。』4 以色列的民哪，我要再建立你，你就被建立。你必再以擊鼓為美，與歡樂的人一同跳舞而出。 5 又必在撒馬利亞的山上栽種葡萄園，栽種的人要享用所結的果子。 6 日子必到，以法蓮山上守望的人必呼叫說：『起來吧！我們可以上錫安，到耶和華我們的神那裡去。』」
Indeed, our God is a faithful God. Deuteronomy 7:7-9 tells us so:
7 “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
7 耶和華專愛你們，揀選你們，並非因你們的人數多於別民，原來你們的人數在萬民中是最少的。 8 只因耶和華愛你們，又因要守他向你們列祖所起的誓，就用大能的手領你們出來，從為奴之家救贖你們脫離埃及王法老的手。 9 所以，你要知道耶和華你的神，他是神，是信實的神：向愛他守他誡命的人守約施慈愛，直到千代；
In fact, we may ask why God's love is so deep, so wide, so high and endure forever. It is beyond our understanding and can not be measured. It is part of His infinite glory. God is love. Deuteronomy 32:8-12 further describes His love towards His people.
8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 “For the Lord’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12 “The Lord alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
Part 2B- Christ came to fulfill the OT prophecies about Him and to demonstrate His love to His Bride
第二部分2B - 基督來履行舊約中，關於祂的預言，和證明祂給祂的新娘之愛
Our Lord told us that He came to the earth two thousand year ago to fulfill the Scripture about Him. Actually, the main theme of the Bible, OT included, is Christ. The OT told this love story from the failure of man due to sin and the endurance of God's love in sustaining and saved the remnant of Israel who believe. Failures to follow the Mosaic law and to hear prophets’ warnings by Israel were to show the depravity of human natures due to sin. The law is to show us that we all need the Savior promised in OT to save us. This is why Romans 10:4 shows us this truth. Romans 10:4 " For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Thus, Israel people was waiting for her Messiah before Jesus Christ was born two thousand years ago, particularly there was no prophet came for 400 years of silence prior to the first coming of Christ.
When we read the New Testament Gospel books, we frequently encounter the phrase uttered by our Lord that His time was not yet coming during His ministry. This phrase refers to the time of going to His cross to be glorified. So our Lord is always mindful of His mission to redeem His beloved disciples like us with ultimate sacrifice. Jesus was ordained before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation in His blood to appease an angry God due to the offense of our sins to a holy and righteous God. Amazing and speechless indeed of God’s love--A Savior to die to redeem His Bride
當我們讀新約福音書時，我們經常會遇到，我們的主在祂事工中、說出了那句，祂的時間還沒有來到的話。這句話指的是，祂去祂的十字架被榮耀的時候。所以，我們的主永遠銘記祂的任務，是用最終的犧牲來贖回、像我們這樣的愛徒。在世界的立基之前、耶穌已被預定了，將用祂的血作贖罪祭，來安撫、因我們犯罪而憤怒的聖潔、公義的上帝。多麼奇異，實在令人無話可說的真神之愛 ---- 一位救主以死來贖回他的新娘。
Let us hear what our Lord tell us recorded in John 15: 9-17 shortly before going to the cross.
9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.
9 「我愛你們，正如父愛我一樣，你們要常在我的愛裡。 10 你們若遵守我的命令，就常在我的愛裡，正如我遵守了我父的命令，常在他的愛裡。 11 這些事我已經對你們說了，是要叫我的喜樂存在你們心裡，並叫你們的喜樂可以滿足。 12 你們要彼此相愛，像我愛你們一樣，這就是我的命令。 13 人為朋友捨命，人的愛心沒有比這個大的。 14 你們若遵行我所吩咐的，就是我的朋友了。 15 以後我不再稱你們為僕人，因僕人不知道主人所做的事。我乃稱你們為朋友，因我從父所聽見的，已經都告訴你們了。 16 不是你們揀選了我，是我揀選了你們，並且分派你們去結果子，叫你們的果子常存，使你們奉我的名無論向父求什麼，他就賜給你們。 17 我這樣吩咐你們，是要叫你們彼此相愛。
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of eternal God, came to the Earth which He created to demonstrate to the world how to love God with all our mind, our soul, and our strength; and how to love our neighbors like ourselves.
Let us join the hymn of "The Church's One Foundation" and adore the matchless Jesus Christ love for us. This hymn has been a beautiful song sung by many churches in expressing great hope of the Bride in anticipating final event of Banquet of The Lamb in heavens.
Let join Apostle Paul in expressing our gratitude to His love to His Bride, the Christian Church, and adore our God for His never ending forever enduring matchless love onto us.
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what
is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and
the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through
faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:8-21)
8 我本來比眾聖徒中最小的還小，然而他還賜我這恩典，叫我把基督那測不透的豐富傳給外邦人， 9 又使眾人都明白，這歷代以來隱藏在創造萬物之神裡的奧祕是如何安排的，10 為要藉著教會，使天上執政的、掌權的現在得知神百般的智慧。 11 這是照神從萬世以前在我們主基督耶穌裡所定的旨意。 12 我們因信耶穌，就在他裡面放膽無懼，篤信不疑地來到神面前。 13 所以，我求你們不要因我為你們所受的患難喪膽，這原是你們的榮耀。
14 因此，我在父面前屈膝—— 15 天上地上的各家，都是從他得名—— 16 求他按著他豐盛的榮耀，藉著他的靈，叫你們心裡的力量剛強起來， 17 使基督因你們的信住在你們心裡，叫你們的愛心有根有基， 18 能以和眾聖徒一同明白基督的愛是何等長闊高深， 19 並知道這愛是過於人所能測度的，便叫神一切所充滿的充滿了你們。
20 神能照著運行在我們心裡的大力，充充足足地成就一切，超過我們所求所想的。 21 但願他在教會中，並在基督耶穌裡得著榮耀，直到世世代代，永永遠遠！阿們。(以弗所書 3:8-21)
Part 3--The Love of The Holy Spirit and Mystery of Trinity
第3部分 - 聖靈的愛與三位一體之謎
There was an interesting revelation by our Lord concerning the salvation of a christian in His discourse with the Jewish teacher Nicodemus recorded in
John Chapter 3. In order to inherit eternal life from God, a christian needs to be born again. That is, salvation is to be through an alien righteousness gifted to us and we enter God's kingdom not
by our own righteousness through our work, but through born into God's family by water and the Holy Spirit. John 3:5, Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the
Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Thus, our salvation is heavily upon the involvement of Holy Spirit. As a matter of record, the infrastructure for our salvation involves all three persons of the triune Godhead.
It is important to note at this point to side step the main topic and mention that mystery of Trinity of an infinite Triune God is beyond the comprehension of a finite created being. What we know about God comes from things revealed by this infinite God. The Bible reminds us the following:
a. Romans 1:18-19
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
b. God's attributes and power can be understood from His creation
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
c. In last days, God is declared in His Son. See Hebrews 1:1-4
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
a. 羅馬書 1:18-19
18 原來，神的憤怒從天上顯明在一切不虔不義的人身上，就是那些行不義阻擋真理的人。19 神的事情人所能知道的，原顯明在人心裡，因為神已經給他們顯明。
20 自從造天地以來，神的永能和神性是明明可知的，雖是眼不能見，但藉著所造之物就可以曉得，叫人無可推諉。 21 因為他們雖然知道神，卻不當做神榮耀他，也不感謝他，他們的思念變為虛妄，無知的心就昏暗了。
1 神既在古時藉著眾先知多次多方地曉諭列祖， 2 就在這末世藉著他兒子曉諭我們；又早已立他為承受萬有的，也曾藉著他創造諸世界。 3 他是神榮耀所發的光輝，是神本體的真像，常用他權能的命令托住萬有。他洗淨了人的罪，就坐在高天至大者的右邊。 4 他所承受的名既比天使的名更尊貴，就遠超過天使。
Now back to the story of the greatest love ever told. There are many phases of our salvation. We all know, per Romans 8:28-30, that selection, call, justification, sanctification, and glorification are all parts of the different phases of a salvation.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
28 我們曉得萬事都互相效力，叫愛神的人得益處，就是按他旨意被召的人。 29 因為他預先所知道的人，就預先定下效法他兒子的模樣，使他兒子在許多弟兄中做長子； 30 預先所定下的人又召他們來，所召來的人又稱他們為義，所稱為義的人又叫他們得榮耀。
Holy Spirit was sent by our Lord after His ascension to heavens as another Comforter to usher us to our heavenly home. One way to help us understand the abiding and unbounded love of the Holy Spirit is to be a parent for raising a child all the way from baby through little child to teenager; particularly, the hardship, patience, and love to be endured for raising a sick, stubborn, and rebellious child.
The Bible reminds us the love of the Holy Spirit frequently. The following are just a few samples:
a. Romans 8:14-17
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
b. John 14:26
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
c. Galatians 5:16-25
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
d. Romans 8:26-27
26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
e. 1 Peter 1:5
5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
f. Jude 1:20-21
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
g. 1 Peter 1:2
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
14 因為凡被神的靈引導的，都是神的兒子。 15 你們所受的不是奴僕的心，仍舊害怕；所受的乃是兒子的心，因此我們呼叫：「阿爸！父！」 16 聖靈與我們的心同證我們是神的兒女。 17 既是兒女，便是後嗣，就是神的後嗣，和基督同做後嗣。如果我們和他一同受苦，也必和他一同得榮耀。
b. 約翰福音 14:16
c. 加拉太書 5:16-25
16 我說，你們當順著聖靈而行，就不放縱肉體的情慾了。 17 因為情慾和聖靈相爭，聖靈和情慾相爭，這兩個是彼此相敵，使你們不能做所願意做的。 18 但你們若被聖靈引導，就不在律法以下。 19 情慾的事都是顯而易見的，就如姦淫、汙穢、邪蕩、 20 拜偶像、邪術、仇恨、爭競、忌恨、惱怒、結黨、紛爭、異端、 21 嫉妒、醉酒、荒宴等類。我從前告訴你們，現在又告訴你們：行這樣事的人必不能承受神的國。 22 聖靈所結的果子，就是仁愛、喜樂、和平、忍耐、恩慈、良善、信實、 23 溫柔、節制；這樣的事沒有律法禁止。 24 凡屬基督耶穌的人，是已經把肉體連肉體的邪情私慾同釘在十字架上了。25 我們若是靠聖靈得生，就當靠聖靈行事。
d. 羅馬書 8:26-27
26 況且，我們的軟弱有聖靈幫助。我們本不曉得當怎樣禱告，只是聖靈親自用說不出來的嘆息替我們禱告。 27 鑒察人心的，曉得聖靈的意思，因為聖靈照著神的旨意替聖徒祈求。
e. 彼得前書 1:5
f. 猶大書 1:20-21
20 親愛的弟兄啊，你們卻要在至聖的真道上造就自己，在聖靈裡禱告， 21 保守自己常在神的愛中，仰望我們主耶穌基督的憐憫，直到永生。
g. 彼得前書 1:2
Indeed, we christians are so much blessed that we need to thank our God day and night in each day of our life. May we obey our God; adore our God; worship our God and enjoy our greatest love story ever told by the Bible now and ever more, Amen!
Centrality of the Cross is the foundation of Christianity and the center of our brief in Jesus Christ who died to save us. The love of God is beyond our
comprehension but should be meditated daily to remind us that we owe our eternal life to our Lord.
Necessity of the sufferings of the Son of Man in His first coming is indeed a worthy subject for our deep meditation to better comprehend our Lord's
immense love and sacrifice for us.
You may recall, in Matthew 26:36-39, our Lord's prayer concerning this issue at the Garden of Gethsemane;
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, Sit here while I go over there and pray. 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me. 39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.
36 耶穌同門徒來到一個地方，名叫客西馬尼，就對他們說：「你們坐在這裡，等我到那邊去禱告。」 37 於是帶著彼得和西庇太的兩個兒子同去，就憂愁起來，極其難過， 38 便對他們說：「我心裡甚是憂傷，幾乎要死。你們在這裡等候，和我一同警醒。」 39 他就稍往前走，俯伏在地，禱告說：「我父啊！倘若可行，求你叫這杯離開我！然而，不要照我的意思，只要照你的意思。」
Thus, it was necessary in God's plan for the sufferings of the Son of Man in His first coming. We may meditate why our Lord willingly forsook His
heavenly glory as God's only begotten Son and came to this earth to endure the unimaginable sufferings. At least there are the following reminders from the Scripture
1. The unthinkable evil of sin in dooming us and unthinkable sufferings and ultimate sacrifice of our sinless Lord to cleanse us from for our sin.
In Old Testament time, God gave the law, the priesthood, and the sacrificial offering system to teach Israel that the sin needs to be cleansed through the sacrificial offerings before the access to the Holy God is possible. However, The Bible teaches us that animal sacrifices does not cleanse sin but the whole sacrificing system was given to point to the Lord's cross.
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
11 但現在基督已經來到，做了將來美事的大祭司，經過那更大、更全備的帳幕，不是人手所造，也不是屬乎這世界的。 12 並且不用山羊和牛犢的血，乃用自己的血，只一次進入聖所，成了永遠贖罪的事。
Apostle Peter reminded us the unthinkable price and sufferings that our Lord had to pay to save us;
1 Peter 1:17-21
17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each ones work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
17 你們既稱那不偏待人、按各人行為審判人的主為父，就當存敬畏的心度你們在世寄居的日子， 18 知道你們得贖，脫去你們祖宗所傳流虛妄的行為，不是憑著能壞的金銀等物， 19 乃是憑著基督的寶血，如同無瑕疵、無玷汙的羔羊之血。 20 基督在創世以前是預先被神知道的，卻在這末世才為你們顯現。 21 你們也因著他，信那叫他從死裡復活，又給他榮耀的神，叫你們的信心和盼望都在於神。
2. For the Kingdom of God to destroy the works of the Devil
1 John 3:7-8
7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
All the evils of this world including deaths and sufferings are due to the works of the Devil first by deceiving Adam and Eve in sinning against God and
then by usurping to become the ruler of the kingdom of air. The necessity of the sufferings of the Son of man at the cross was to render powerless him who had the power of death and to free us as
revealed in Hebrews 2:14-15:
14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
7 小子們哪，不要被人誘惑。行義的才是義人，正如主是義的一樣。 8 犯罪的是屬魔鬼，因為魔鬼從起初就犯罪。神的兒子顯現出來，為要除滅魔鬼的作為。
這個世界上的一切罪惡，包括死亡和痛苦，都是由魔鬼所造成；首先是欺騙、誘惑亞當和夏娃、得罪上帝，然後通過篡奪、成為空中掌權者的首領 。人子受十字架上的痛苦的必要性是揭示於 為了要藉著死、敗壞那掌死權的魔鬼、成無能為力，和來釋放我們。希伯來書2：14-15;
14 兒女既同有血肉之體，他也照樣親自成了血肉之體，特要藉著死敗壞那掌死權的，就是魔鬼， 15 並要釋放那些一生因怕死而為奴僕的人。
3. For the righteousness of God
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The wickedness of Sin needs to be paid in full in order that a sinner can be reconciled with the holy and righteous God.
25 神設立耶穌做挽回祭，是憑著耶穌的血，藉著人的信，要顯明神的義。因為他用忍耐的心寬容人先時所犯的罪， 26 好在今時顯明他的義，使人知道他自己為義，也稱信耶穌的人為義。
4. Set an example for us to follow so that we can be perfected.
8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.
8 他雖然為兒子，還是因所受的苦難學了順從。 9 他既得以完全，就為凡順從他的人成了永遠得救的根源，
5. For His unsurpassing Lordship to all of us to the glory of God the Father
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
5. 告訴我們，祂不容置疑的主權， 使榮耀歸於父神
5 你們當以基督耶穌的心為心。 6 他本有神的形象，不以自己與神同等為強奪的， 7 反倒虛己，取了奴僕的形象，成為人的樣式； 8 既有人的樣子，就自己卑微，存心順服以至於死，且死在十字架上。9 所以神將他升為至高，又賜給他那超乎萬名之上的名， 10 叫一切在天上的、地上的和地底下的，因耶穌的名無不屈膝， 11 無不口稱耶穌基督為主，使榮耀歸於父神。
In conclusion, it is important to recognize that God does not lack anything. The necessity for the Son of Man to suffer even to die on a cross was not for God but was for us due to God’s love to save those who believe in Jesus Christ our Lord. May all of us be truly grateful for what our Lord Jesus Christ had done to save us. The Bible reminds us the following:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Our Lord through His sacrifice at the cross showed His love and grace to us. Indeed, our salvation is all grace upon grace. May we live by faith and give glory to God by our obedience to our Lord in all things in our lives, Amen!
For Christians, the cross represents our salvation through faith on the unsurpassed sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. Just as 1 John 2:2
indicates, “ He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
It is very important to point it out that the cross is the core fundamental of the Christian belief. As such, the cross has been the center of the fighting
grounds for the world to attack christianity throughout the last two thousand years. As the history reveals so vividly that the world hates Christians because Christians do not belong to the world.
This means that Christians do not follow the values, traditions/ customs, and the fads of the world. So the world hates Christians because they represent a deterrent force to the world’s
It is also very important to point it out that the world hates Christians because it hates their Lord Jesus Christ first. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the
Light of the World. People who live in darkness and love their life styles do not want their darkness revealed by the Light of the World. For example, Jesus Christ represents that the world was
created by God and that people shall love their Creator first and then love their neighbors as themselves. This worldview has been vehemently rejected by the world which advocates self as god and
that, through self effort, the human race can control its own destiny. Just look at the world’s fads today such as sexual liberation, relative truths, evolution teaching, and extreme violent means in
promoting various ideologies, will convince us that these fads are nothing but various schemes against God and hence against what the cross represents.
Christians need to have a clear understanding about the history of the battles of the Cross。
First of all, the Christian’s conflicts are of spiritual ones. Just as the Bible clearly teaches us in Ephesians 6:12, “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Thus, Christians should not lose this spiritual sight in discerning the ever-changing issues of our days.
Secondly, we should not forget that Adam and Eve sinned because of the temptation of the Devil. As always, the Devil’s scheme is the same, by tempting us
through the lust of our eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of our life. However, the infrastructural format of people and background of the temptations change due to the status of
customs, technology, and commerce.
It is important then for us to review various historical battles of the cross. After the Devil corrupted the cream of the creation, Adam and Eve, the Devil knew that God would send a Savior to save the mankind. So the following are a few examples of the Devil’s schemes to defeat the cross.
A. Devil tries to mingle the human race with the fallen angels so that there is no pure human race to be saved. This was recorded in Chapter 6 of the Genesis:
1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they
chose. 3 The Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain in human beings forever, because they are flesh. They will live only 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also later. That
was when the sons of God had sexual relations with the daughters of human beings. These women gave birth to children, who became famous and were the mighty warriors of long ago.5 The Lord saw how
great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human
beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the
creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Thus, God sent a great flood to wipe out the human race except eight people of the Noah’s family. It is also relevant to point it out the Chinese language “boat” actually preserved this story of salvation of the eight people.
A.魔鬼試圖將人類與墮落的天使交織在一起，這樣就不能保存、將來再也無法拯救出純種的人類。這是記錄在創世紀的第六章：1當人在世上多起來，又生女兒的時候， 2 神的兒子們看見人的女子美貌，就隨意挑選，娶來為妻。3 耶和華說：「人既屬乎血氣，我的靈就不永遠住在他裡面，然而他的日子還可到一百二十年。」4
那時候有偉人在地上，後來神的兒子們和人的女子們交合生子，那就是上古英武有名的人。5 耶和華見人在地上罪惡很大，終日所思想的盡都是惡。 6 耶和華就後悔造人在地上，心中憂傷。 7 耶和華說：「我要將所造的人和走獸並昆蟲，以及空中的飛鳥，都從地上除滅，因為我造他們後悔了。」 8 唯有挪亞在耶和華眼前蒙恩。
B. After the failure of trying to co-mingle the race, the Devil tried to destroy the Jewish race. We know that Jewish nation was chosen by God as a vehicle of
saving the human race. This was recorded in Esther Chapters 3 through 10. The Devil tried to use Haman to eliminate the Jewish people, but God raised Queen Esther and Mordecai to fight Haman to
preserve the Jewish people.
C. Next, the Devil tried to kill all the Jewish male babies born in Egypt. This was recorded in Exodus chapter 1. God preserved Moses through the adoption by
the daughter of Pharaoh as recorded in Exodus chapter 2.
D. Since the Devil could not kill all Jewish males, the Devil tried next to interrupt the genealogy of the Messiah so that Messiah could not be born in the
King David’s line. We knew that King David was on the line of Messiah’s genealogy. 2 Chronicles 21:5-7 described it as follows:
5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 7 Nevertheless, because of the covenant the Lord had made with David, the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.
In 2 Chronicle 21:17, 17 They (the Philistines and the Arabs) attacked Judah, invaded it and carried off all the goods found in the king’s palace, together with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah, the youngest. Ahaziah was also called by the name of Jehoahaz. The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah king. However, Ahaziah was later kilt when he visited Joram. In 2 Chronicle 22 10-12, God preserved the King David line as described below:
10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 12 He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.
5 約蘭登基的時候年三十二歲，在耶路撒冷做王八年。 6 他行以色列諸王的道，與亞哈家一樣；因他娶了亞哈的女兒為妻，行耶和華眼中看為惡的事。 7 耶和華卻因自己與大衛所立的約，不肯滅大衛的家，照他所應許的，永遠賜燈光於大衛和他的子孫。
歷代志下 21:17中，記載著: "17 他們上來攻擊猶大，侵入境內，擄掠了王宮裡所有的財貨和他的妻子、兒女，除了他小兒子約哈謝之外，沒有留下一個兒子" 。亞哈謝又名約哈斯。耶路撒冷的人擁亞哈謝為國王。然而，當他訪問Joram時，被殺死了。在歷代志下22 10-12中，上帝保護了國王大衛的血脈，如下所述：
10 亞哈謝的母親亞她利雅見她兒子死了，就起來剿滅猶大王室。 11 但王的女兒約示巴將亞哈謝的兒子約阿施從那被殺的王子中偷出來，把他和他的乳母都藏在臥房裡。約示巴是約蘭王的女兒，亞哈謝的妹子，祭司耶何耶大的妻。她收藏約阿施，躲避亞她利雅，免得被殺。 12 約阿施和她們一同藏在神殿裡六年。亞她利雅篡了國位。
E. Since the Devil could not interrupt the Messiah’s genealogy, he tried to kill Messiah when Jesus was born. This was described in Matthews 2:16, 16 When
Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the
time he had learned from the Magi. But God led Joseph and Mary with baby Jesus to flee to Egypt.
E. 因為魔鬼不能打斷彌賽亞的血脈，所以當耶穌出生時，他試圖殺死彌賽亞。這是記載在在馬太福音2:16,"16 希律見自己被博士愚弄，就大大發怒，差人將伯利恆城裡並四境所有的男孩，照著他向博士仔細查問的時候，凡兩歲以裡的都殺盡了"。 但是上帝指引、約瑟和瑪麗亞與嬰兒耶穌逃到埃及。
F. Failure to kill Messiah as a baby, the Devil tried to tempt Jesus to destroy the Messiah’s ministry as recorded in Matthews chapter 4. But our Lord was
victory in this temptation.
G. The Devil tried many times to kill Jesus during His ministry.
(i) For example, Jesus was not respected in His hometown. Luke 4:24-30
24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
24 又說：「我實在告訴你們：沒有先知在自己家鄉被人悅納的。25 「我對你們說實話，當以利亞的時候，天閉塞了三年零六個月，遍地有大饑荒，那時以色列中有許多寡婦， 26 以利亞並沒有奉差往她們一個人那裡去，只奉差往西頓的撒勒法一個寡婦那裡去。 27 先知以利沙的時候，以色列中有許多長大痲瘋的，但內中除了敘利亞國的乃縵，沒有一個得潔淨的。」 28 會堂裡的人聽見這話，都怒氣滿胸， 29 就起來攆他出城。他們的城造在山上。他們帶他到山崖，要把他推下去。 30 他卻從他們中間直行，過去了。
(ii) Jews tried to kill Him. John 8:55-59
55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
55 你們未曾認識他，我卻認識他。我若說不認識他，我就是說謊的，像你們一樣。但我認識他，也遵守他的道。56 耶穌言己在亞伯拉罕之56 「你們的祖宗亞伯拉罕歡歡喜喜地仰望我的日子，既看見了，就快樂。」 57 猶太人說：「你還沒有五十歲，豈見過亞伯拉罕呢？」 58 耶穌說：「我實實在在地告訴你們：還沒有亞伯拉罕就有了我。」 59 於是他們拿石頭要打他，耶穌卻躲藏，從殿裡出去了。
(iii) Another instance was described in John 10:30-39
30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
30 「我與父原為一。」 31 猶太人又拿起石頭來要打他。 32 耶穌對他們說：「我從父顯出許多善事給你們看，你們是為哪一件拿石頭打我呢？」 33 猶太人回答說：「我們不是為善事拿石頭打你，是為你說僭妄的話；又為你是個人，反將自己當做神。」 34 耶穌說：「你們的律法上豈不是寫著『我曾說你們是神』嗎？ 35 經上的話是不能廢的。若那些承受神道的人尚且稱為神， 36 父所分別為聖又差到世間來的，他自稱是神的兒子，你們還向他說『你說僭妄的話』嗎？ 37 我若不行我父的事，你們就不必信我。 38 我若行了，你們縱然不信我，也當信這些事，叫你們又知道又明白：父在我裡面，我也在父裡面。」 39 他們又要拿他，他卻逃出他們的手走
H. Since the Devil could not kill Jesus during His ministry, the Devil tried to stop Him from going to the cross. This was described in Matthew 16:21-23
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”.23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
21 從此，耶穌才指示門徒，他必須上耶路撒冷去，受長老、祭司長、文士許多的苦，並且被殺，第三日復活。 22 彼得就拉著他，勸他說：「主啊，萬不可如此！這事必不臨到你身上。」 23 耶穌轉過來，對彼得說：「撒旦，退我後邊去吧！你是絆我腳的，因為你不體貼神的意思，只體貼人的意思。」
In summary, the battles of the cross were indeed very furious. Throughout history, the Devil and his cohorts have
been trying many times to prevent the cross because the Devil knows without the cross, there would be no salvation for any human being. Although our salvations were completed at the cross by
our Lord Jesus Christ, the battles of the cross still rampage hard today in the 21 century. To Christians, the cross represents our salvation and is indeed our glory in this evil and perverted world.
As Christians, we need to participate in this battle of the cross. Apostle Paul gave us a pointed instruction in Galatians 6:14: 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
總而言之，十字架的爭戰確實非常激烈。縱觀歷史，魔鬼和他的隊伍，持續、努力多次，想阻止十字架。因為魔鬼知道，沒有十字架，任何人都不會得到救贖。雖然我們的救贖，在我們的主耶穌基督的十字架上完成，但十字架爭戰、在二十一世紀的今天，仍是持續的激烈橫行。對於基督徒來說，十字架代表著我們的救贖，確實是我們在這個邪惡和變態世界中的榮耀。作為基督徒，我們需要參加這場十字架的爭戰。使徒保羅在加拉太書6:14給了我們一個明確的指示: 14 但我斷不以別的誇口，只誇我們主耶穌基督的十字架。因這十字架，就我而論，世界已經釘在十字架上；就世界而論，我已經釘在十字架上。
Saint Paul said that if we boast on anything in our lives, we should only boast the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ. Do we know why?! Because through eternal Spirit by offering Himself once, our Lord has completed the sin offerring once and for all. Just as Romans 3:25 so greatly illustrated: "25 God
presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins
committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." When our Lord said
"Finish" in John 19:30, He indeed completed the greatest accomplishment in whole human history. He finished what His Father gave Him to accomplished in this world as indicated in John
聖保羅說，如果我們要吹噓誇口生活中的任何東西，我們只能誇口我們主耶穌基督的十字架。我們知道為什麼嗎!？因為主耶穌基督藉著永遠的靈，將自己無瑕無疵獻給神，一次就完成了罪的獻祭。就像羅馬書3:25所說明一樣: 25 神設立耶穌做挽回祭，是憑著耶穌的血，藉著人的信，要顯明神的義。因為他用忍耐的心寬容人先時所犯的罪，26 好在今時顯明他的義，使人知道他自己為義，也稱信耶穌的人為義。 當我們的主在約翰福音19:30 宣告“完成”時，祂確實完成了整個人類歷史上驚天動地最偉大的成就。祂完成了、祂父所要祂在這個世界上、必須完成的工作，如約翰福音17：4所示。
Once again, do we know we should only boast the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?
(1) Because at the cross, He has demonstrated the greatest love onto us who believe--1 John 4:7-11
(2) Because of His sacrifice at the cross, He healed us and made us whole--Isaiah 53:3-5; 1 Peter 2:23-25
(3) Because of the cross, He destroyed the deeds of the Devil--1 John 3:8
(4) Because of the cross, He demonstrated the love of God to the human race--John 3:16
(5) Because of the cross, He reclaimed the ownership of the creation --Rev 5:6-14
(6) Because of the Cross, He ---- ----
— — —
It is our Lord Jesus Christ who won the ultimate cosmo conflict at the cross. He fully paid the penality of our sin and reconciled us with our loving heavenly Father. He utterly destroyed the power of sin. It is our Lord who finished the redemption of those that the Father gave Him and He bestowed them eternal lives to be with Him to behold His glory.
It is our Lord Jesus Christ who is our wisdom, our righteourness, our sanctification and our redemption. It is our
Lord Jesus Christ who blessed us to be children of God and granted us sweet fellowship with our heavenly Father. It is our Lord Jesus Christ who blessed us by sending our Comforter Holy Spirit to
dwell within us to guide us into the truth. As Christians, we shall all echo the blessing of Saint Paul so vividly acclaimed in Philipians3:7-8, " 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ ". May all of us love our Lord Jesus Christ with all our
heart, with all our mind, and with all our might in all our days forever and ever , Amen.
(1) 因為在十字架上，祂已經向我們顯明了最大的愛，給所有相信祂的人 -- 約翰一書4:7-11
7 親愛的弟兄啊，我們應當彼此相愛，因為愛是從神來的。凡有愛心的，都是由神而生，並且認識神。 8 沒有愛心的，就不認識神，因為神 就是愛。 9 神差他獨生子到世間來，使我們藉著他得生，神愛我們的心在此就顯明了。 10 不是我們愛神，乃是神愛我們，差他的兒子為我們的罪做了挽回祭，這就是愛了。 11 親愛的弟兄啊，神既是這樣愛我們，我們也當彼此相愛。
(2) 因為祂在十字架上的犧牲，祂醫治了我們，我們得已完整--以賽亞書 53:3-5，彼得前書
4 他誠然擔當我們的憂患，背負我們的痛苦，我們卻以為他受責罰，被神擊打苦待了。 5 哪知他為我們的過犯受害，為我們的罪孽壓傷。因他受的刑罰我們得平安，因他受的鞭傷我們得醫治。
23 他被罵不還口，受害不說威嚇的話，只將自己交託那按公義審判人的主； 24 他被掛在木頭上，親身擔當了我們的罪，使我們既然在死，就得以在義上活。因他受的鞭傷，你們便得了醫治。 25 你們從前好像迷路的羊，如今卻歸到你們靈魂的牧人監督了。
(4) 因為十字架，祂向人展示了上帝的愛 - 約翰福音3:16
5 我看見坐寶座的右手中有書卷，裡外都寫著字，用七印封嚴了。 2 我又看見一位大力的天使大聲宣傳說：「有誰配展開那書卷，揭開那七印呢？」 3 在天上、地上、地底下，沒有能展開、能觀看那書卷的。 4 因為沒有配展開、配觀看那書卷的，我就大哭。 5 長老中有一位對我說：「不要哭。看哪，猶大支派中的獅子，大衛的根，他已得勝，能以展開那書卷、揭開那七印！」
6 我又看見寶座與四活物並長老之中有羔羊站立，像是被殺過的，有七角七眼，就是神的七靈，奉差遣往普天下去的。 7 這羔羊前來，從坐寶座的右手裡拿了書卷。 8 他既拿了書卷，四活物和二十四位長老就俯伏在羔羊面前，各拿著琴和盛滿了香的金爐。這香就是眾聖徒的祈禱。 9 他們唱新歌，說：「你配拿書卷，配揭開七印，因為你曾被殺，用自己的血從各族、各方、各民、各國中買了人來，叫他們歸於神， 10 又叫他們成為國民做祭司，歸於神，在地上執掌王權。」
(6) 因為十字架, 祂---- ---- ---- --- --- ---
我們的主耶穌基督是我們的智慧、我們的公義、我們的聖潔和我們的救贖。我們的主耶穌基督祝福我們成為神的兒女，並且給了我們、和我們的天父甜蜜的團契。我們的主耶穌基督，派遣了聖靈保惠师，內住我們裡面，引導我們進入真理。作為基督徒，我們都會回應聖保羅的祝福，在腓立比書3：7-8中如此生動地宣讚：“7 只是我先前以為於我有益的，我現在因基督都當做有損的。 8 不但如此，我也將萬事當做有損的，因我以認識我主基督耶穌為至寶"。願我們所有的人，永永遠遠的在我們的生命裡，全心全意全力地愛我們的主耶穌基督，阿們。
以色列阿，你要聽！耶和華 ─ 我們神是獨一的主。
萬物都是藉著他有的, 我們也是藉著他有的。(歌林多前書 8:6)
Supremacy of Jesus Christ our Lord - Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20
主耶穌的絕對優越性—無不口稱耶穌為主 (西 1:15-20)
Inerrancy of Holy Scripture - Psalm 19:7-9, Matt 5:18
Glorious Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ which demonstrates the love of God - John 3:16-18
Obedience to God is much better than offering sacrifices - Hos 6:6
For I delight in loyalty
rather than sacrifice.
And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
The righteous shall live by faith alone - Habbakuk 2:4
Self-denial and be patient in enduring afflictions are the God's ways for us in following Jesus Christ our Lord - Matthew 16:24