1 你要提醒他們服從執政的和掌權的，聽從他們，隨時準備作各種善工。 2 不可毀謗人，要與人無爭，謙恭有禮，向眾人表現充分溫柔的心。 3 我們從前也是無知、不順服、受了迷惑、被各種私慾和逸樂所奴役，生活在惡毒和嫉妒之中，是可憎可惡的，並且互相仇視。 4 然而，到了 神我們的救主顯明他的恩慈和憐愛的時候， 5 他就救了我們，並不是由於我們所行的義，而是照著他的憐憫，藉著重生的洗和聖靈的更新。 6 聖靈就是 神藉著我們的救主耶穌基督豐豐富富澆灌在我們身上的， 7 使我們既然因著他的恩典得稱為義，就可以憑著永生的盼望成為後嗣。 8 這話是可信的，我願你確實地強調這些事，使信 神的人常常留心作善工；這些都是美事，並且是對人有益的。 9 你要遠避愚昧的辯論、家譜、紛爭和律法上的爭執，因為這都是虛妄無益的。 10 分門結黨的人，警戒一兩次之後，就要和他絕交。 11 你知道這種人已經背道，常常犯罪，定了自己的罪。
- 坊間流行減肥廣告的使用“前後照片”作效果宣傳 ，其實這“前後”對照的果效，對基督信仰比減肥計劃更適用，而且使用的方法也更可靠。基督在我們的生命中使我們改變，我們的生命也確實得到改變。救恩不僅是永生的事——讓我們得救可以上天堂。救恩乃是整個信仰群體的生活形態，不是個人與神的私事，而是夫妻之間，父母兒女之間，朋友之間，同事之間，牧者與會友之間的公開關係。
- 再次慢慢地讀這段經文，用些時間來思想“前後照片” 的比喻。想想我信仰路途上“前後照片” 是怎樣的？照片上的差距很明顯嗎？
1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. 9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
- The “before and after” snapshot is as applicable to Christian faith as to diet clinics. In fact, the approach is much more reliable in faith than diet fads. Christ in the life makes life different. And makes us different too. Salvation is not merely a matter of eternity, of getting “saved” so we can get to heaven. It’s a way of life for the community. It isn’t a private matter between the soul and God but a very public matter between husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and co-workers, pastors and parishioners.
- Slowly read through this passage again. Take a moment to think of the metaphor of the “before and after” snapshot. What is the “before and after” snapshot of my faith journey? How obvious is the contrast shown?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2012 “Spiritual Journal” book.