by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
於公元1505 年之際, 當馬丁·路德進入修道院的時候，其內心有一股強烈的不協調感，在理性上他的信仰与靈性上的感受相互掙扎，在神面前他承認自己的罪，但卻不能感受到上帝對他的饒恕。你我之中，有時也會有同樣的感受。馬丁·路德的掙扎經歷被其形容為「自覺罪孽深重，無法得到上帝的喜悅」，為了要與神和好，他深入探討羅馬天主教教義中一切有關稱義的教導，諸如齋戒、禱告、自我懲戒等等，但這並未能解開其內心的矛盾。其後他在德國威登
堡大學教授聖經課程時，在深思《羅馬書》第一章17 節「義人必因信得生」時，體會到自己的罪並不能依靠自己的力量与努力去換取上帝的拯救，「義人必因信得生」這一句是引自哈巴谷書二章四節，指出人是因信而被神稱義，因此得以在神面前免去死亡而有永生，當然因信稱義是上帝的「恩典」。研究馬丁·路德生平的學者認為，從那一刻開始，馬丁·路德才領會到人在上帝面前之所以可以稱義斷非是依靠他個人的善行和自身的努力，他的心靈因此得以釋放。 當馬丁·路德將新約從希臘文譯成德文時，他特別在《羅馬書》第3 章第28 節將「唯獨」這兩個字加在「信」字之前，目的是強調一個人「唯獨信心」才能得救稱義，因此人稱義是因著信、並不在乎遵行律法。
根據基督教的「原罪」理論，人人都在罪惡之下，人的原罪令人虧缺上帝的榮耀，有罪的人和聖潔的上帝因罪而隔離，必須靠著聖子耶穌的恩典，從罪惡中被救贖，十六世紀宗教改革是根據聖經提出了「唯獨信心」，其意即「唯獨因信稱義」，正如《創世記》15:6 節亞伯蘭(即亞伯拉罕) 信耶和華、耶和華就以此為他的義。亞伯拉罕是憑信心而不是憑道德和行善得到稱義與神和好。 《以弗所書》2:8 節又說：「你們得救是本乎恩、也因著信、這並不是出於自
When Martin Luther entered the monastery in 1505, he encountered an inner conflict. His rational belief and spiritual feelings could not be completely reconciled. He admitted his sins but yet he could not feel God's forgiveness. Some among us may sometimes feel the same way. Martin Luther’s situation was described as someone who “consciously feels sinful and is at lost to please God.” In order to reconcile himself with God, Luther continued to explore all the teachings in the Roman Catholic doctrine on justification, including topics on fasting, prayer, and self-punishment. Still, he was unable to untie the troubling knot in his heart. Later when he was teaching the Bible at the University of Wittenberg in Germany, he suddenly realized that he could not rely on his own ability and effort to get rid of his sins. Romans 1:17 contains this verse: “The righteous will live by faith.” This verse also appears in Habakkuk 2:4, which points out that man is justified by God through faith, so he can live without the fear of death before God. Of course, this is also God’s "grace". Those who study the life of Martin Luther believe that from that moment on, Martin Luther was spiritually set free because he realized a person’s justification before God does not depend on his personal good deeds and morals. Hence when Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek to German, he added the word "alone” to the word "faith" in Romans 3:28. He did that to emphasize that the book of Romans clearly states that a person is saved and justified by "faith alone", and not by observing the law.
In Christian theology, “original sin” signifies the tendency to sin innate in all human beings. This original sin of man deprives them the glory of God. Sinful people are separated from the holy God, and must be redeemed from sin by the grace of Jesus, the Son of God. Therefore, the Bible with the Reformation emphasis put forward "faith alone" which means "justification by faith alone". As in Genesis 15:6 when Abram (that is, Abraham) believes in Jehovah, and Jehovah credits it as his righteousness. Abraham is justified and reconciled to God by faith, not by morality and good deeds. Ephesians 2:8 also says: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” In other words, it’s important for us first to confess our corruption, inadequacy, weakness, and emptiness, and return to God willingly. We must accept God’s grace that is freely given to us, the unworthy. Then truly, we are God’s people saved by grace.
May God have mercy on us and strengthen our faith in Him. Thank You Lord that we not only are saved by grace, but You have also given us the assurance of salvation. Amen!