第36问:律法与福音之区别如何?

答:律法包含了上帝在创造时与人类里的自然之约(covenant of nature),即这是给人类的一个自然标记,要求我们对上帝完全顺服。它应许那些遵行它的人永生,不遵行的人永刑。而福音则包含恩典之约,即完全无法在自然之下知道它。此约向我们宣告在基督里律法所要求的义已经实现,我们藉着基督的灵被挽救。对那些信靠他的人,它因基督的缘故白白应许他们永生。

——乌尔西努,Summa Theologiae (或被称为《乌尔西努大要理问答》 Larger Catechism),1562年首版。

Q.36 What distinguishes law and gospel? A: The law contains a covenant of nature begun by God with men in creation, that is, it is a natural sign to men, and it requires of us perfect obedience toward God. It promises eternal life to those keeping it, and threatens eternal punishment to those not keeping it. In fact, the gospel contains a covenant of grace, that is, one known not at all under nature. This covenant declares to us fulfillment of its righteousness in Christ, which the law requires, and our restoration through Christ’s Spirit. To those who believe in him, it freely promises eternal life for Christ’s sake (Larger Catechism, Q. 36).


律法与福音的区别在哪里?对这个问题的理解是必要的,特别是当我们理解了二者之间的差异时,我们就对法律和福音有了正确的理解。律法的定义乃是说它对那些完全顺服的人应许奖赏;并且它是白白的给予应许,因为没有什么顺服在上帝眼里是有功德的;如此一来,看似它与福音并无两样,福音也白白的应许永生。然而,尽管有这种表面上的相似性,律法与福音之间有非常大的区别。他们的区别在于:1. 启示的方式不同。律法是自然而知的;而福音则是在人堕落之后由上帝启示出来的。2. 主题或教义不同。分开来看,律法宣告上帝的公义;而福音虽也宣告公义却是与上帝的怜悯相连。律法教导我们该如何才能得救;而福音在此之上还教导我们如何能够达到律法所要求的,即通过信靠基督。3. 条件或应许不同。律法应许永生和一切美善,条件是我们自己完美的义和顺服;而福音应许同样的祝福,条件是我们信靠基督,藉此我们接受了另一个人,即基督,替我们所作的顺服;或者说福音教导我们通过信靠基督而白白称义。与这信心紧密相连的是新顺服的状态。4. 效果不同。律法产生忿怒,它是死亡的职事;而福音是生命和圣灵的职事。(罗4:15,林后3:7)

——《海德堡要理问答注释》第92问。(Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 92.)

In What Does The Law Differ From The Gospel? The exposition of this question is necessary for a variety of considerations, and especially that we may have a proper understanding of the law and the gospel, to which a knowledge of that in which they differ greatly contributes. According to the definition of the law, which says, that it promises rewards to those who render perfect obedience; and that it promises them freely, inasmuch as no obedience can be meritorious in the sight of God, it would seem that it does not differ from the gospel, which also promises eternal life freely. Yet notwithstanding this seeming agreement, there is a great difference between the law and the gospel. They differ, 1. As to the mode of revelation peculiar to each. The law is known naturally: the gospel was divinely revealed after the fall of man. 2. In matter or doctrine. The law declares the justice of God separately considered: the gospel declares it in connection with his mercy. The law teaches what we ought to be in order that we may be saved: the gospel teaches in addition to this, how we may become such as this law requires, viz: by faith in Christ. 3. In their conditions or promises. The law promises eternal life and all good things upon the condition of our own and perfect righteousness, and of obedience in us: the gospel promises the same blessings upon the condition that we exercise faith in Christ, by which we embrace the obedience which another, even Christ, has performed in our behalf; or the gospel teaches that we are justified freely by faith in Christ. With this faith is also connected, as by an indissoluble bond, the condition of new obedience. 4. In their effects. The law works wrath, and is the ministration of death: the gospel is the ministration of life and of the Spirit (Rom. 4:15, 2 Cor. 3:7) (Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 92).

 


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