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摆脱罪疚感

作者:道格·巴契勒 牧师日期:2018-03-17 14:11:16浏览数:2065
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奇妙真相:截肢患者常会经历一种被称为“幻痛”的感觉。例如,虽已失去了整条腿,却仍会感到脚趾疼痛,膝盖发痒。纵然失去了脚趾和膝盖,却幻觉早已不在的脚趾能自由屈伸,并感到一条根本不存在的腿变得十分有力,可以支撑整个身体。还有些失去手臂的人,幻觉自己的手指正在抓握某个东西。对于此类患者,医生也无能为力。毕竟他们要求治疗的肢体早已不复存在。同样,有许多基督徒,不管新老教友,虽然承认并抛弃了自己的罪,用耶稣的血洗净了,却仍能感到罪疚的幻痛。

一天,有位好心的农夫驾着马车赶路。途中遇到一位老人扛着一大袋土豆,气喘吁吁地赶往集市。于是,农夫停下来,让老人搭乘他的马车。这位饱经风霜的老者吃力地爬上了马车,而农夫发现,老人并未卸下肩上的袋子。农夫说:“朋友,把麻袋放下来吧,好好休息休息。”疲惫不堪的老人却回答:“先生,你让我乘车,我已感激不尽了,怎敢请求你让这袋土豆也搭乘你的马车呢!”当然,我们会觉得老者的做法很可笑。而事实上,不计其数的基督徒虽已悔改并接受了基督赦罪的恩典,却仍觉得自己必须继续背负罪担。

基督徒若要获得平安与保证,就必须熟知罪与赦免的道理。不幸的是,这一道理恰恰是最常被人误解的主题之一。常有人问我,罪和赦免对基督徒意味着什么。在上帝的儿女当中,有太多人一生都背着原本不须背负的重轭。

保罗说:“就当放下各样的重担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。”(来12:1,2)为了成功跑完这段路程,我们不仅要放下罪,还要丢掉妨碍我们的罪担。

圣经也说:“我们若认自己的罪,上帝是信实的,是公义的,必要赦免我们的罪,洗净我们一切的不义。”(约壹1:9)这不仅是“洗净”我们的罪,也洗除了罪疚的幻痛。

何为罪疚?

为了领悟约翰一书所记述的赦免,我们需要明白何为罪疚,并消除种种使人伤心困惑的误解。

当看到公路巡警时,你会不会本能地把脚从油门上挪开?看到限速标志时,你可能会条件反射般踩一下刹车,为什么?是不是因为你经常超速,不由地担心自己做错了什么?

你有过罪疚感吗?有时候,这种感觉是有必要的,也是有益的。如果你从未有过罪疚,或许是你的良心出了问题。经上说:“时常行善而不犯罪的义人,世上实在没有。”(传7:20)

当然,谁也不喜欢这种负罪感。但任何一个良知没有泯灭的人,都会经历这种感受。流行的哲学,甚至某些神学家认为,所有的罪疚都是有害的。为此我们不必惊讶,有些单单注重感觉的传道人,劝人要避免负罪感,免得平添烦恼。然而,他们对于负罪之人所做的恶事却不闻不问。

令人紧张也好,不适也好,负罪感并不总是有害的。

生命的感觉

毋庸置疑,没有痛苦的生活一定很美好。然而,为你带来痛感的神经,也能帮助你经历快乐。甚至,我们的生命不能没有这些神经。麻风病会攻击人的神经系统,最终使四肢失去知觉。麻风病人触到燃烧着的炉子,烫到了指头,也都无动于衷。令人惊讶的是,麻风病甚至会让人忘记眨眼。因为人的眨眼,也需要由神经系统来完成,以便于润滑眼睛。若没有神经,我们就不会感觉眼睛需要润滑,也就不会眨眼,从而患上干眼症,更易感染,甚至失明。因此,些微的痛感其实是一种福气。

照样,虽然罪疚感让你在灵性上有些不快的感觉,但它能让你的良心不至泯灭。耶稣称圣灵为保惠师,但圣灵也让人知罪。(约16:8)当做了坏事而产生负罪感时,便可知道圣灵在我们生命中做工。为罪懊悔的感觉,恰恰是从上帝而来之新生命的迹象。

如何面对罪疚?

你是否曾遇到过“说曹操,曹操就到”的事情?你们正在背地里议论某个人,那人就走了进来。于是,你愣了一下,马上岔开话题,若无其事地谈起了天气。为什么会有这样的反应?负罪感,这种反应好不好呢?是好的。人应该为这种行为感到羞耻。

彼得在五旬节被圣灵充满,向群众布道,透过听众的反应便可看出布道的果效——“众人听见这话,觉得扎心。”(徒2:37)这些听众深觉有罪,便问道:“我们当怎样行?”

这样的反应很好。正因此,彼得才能告诉他们悔改得赦的道理。但他们必须先要感受到自己的罪。以赛亚面见上帝时,便呼喊:“祸哉!我灭亡了!因为我是嘴唇不洁的人,又住在嘴唇不洁的民中,又因我眼见大君王万军之耶和华。”(赛6:5)由于目睹了上帝的圣洁与良善,以赛亚便看出自己的污秽,随后上帝洁净了他的罪。

人越靠近基督,负罪感就越发强烈。听起来似乎有些矛盾,却又是事实。你越靠近光,对自己生活中的错误看得就越清,而这些错误是你之前从未注意到的,这时,你或许会感到有罪和羞愧。

但当祈求赦免时,你会经历恩典与平安。“务要在主面前自卑,主就必叫你们升高。”(雅4:10)

谁更有罪?

约翰福音8章记载了一位行淫时被捉的妇人。人们把她带来耶稣跟前,控告说:“摩西在律法上吩咐我们,把这样的妇人用石头打死。你说该把她怎么样呢?”耶稣并不理睬他们的指控,而是弯着腰,用指头在圣殿的地上写字。他们还是不住地追问,耶稣就直起腰来,对他们说:“你们中间谁是没有罪的,谁就可以先拿石头打她。”说完,耶稣弯下腰继续写字。圣经记载:“他们听见这话,就从老到少一个一个地都出去了。”这是因为他们意识到了自己的罪。

我相信,耶稣所写的,乃是那些控告这妇人之人所违犯律法的罪,这些人清楚地看明自己犯了什么罪,便因羞愧而离开。有些人的表现则截然不同,若被证明有罪,他们就会恼羞成怒。当宗教领袖听到司提反使人知罪的讲论时,就恼羞成怒,将他杀害。他们十分反感,于是塞住耳朵,用石头将他打死。(徒7:57,58)

向别人动怒时,我们要自问:我的怒气是由于他人的错行,还是由于他人的善行显出了我的不义。我们动怒是不是因为他人的行为暴露了我们的罪,让我们有了负罪感?事实上,有些人之所以远避教会,恰恰是想避开这种令他们自知有罪的场所。

罪疚之心

在上帝面前一生坦然无愧,无疑是人生最美好的目标之一。约伯宣告:“我持定我的义,必不放松;在世的日子,我心必不责备我。”(伯27:6)经上说,约伯完全正直,敬畏上帝,远离恶事,但我并不认为约伯自称无罪。那么,他为何能说自己的心必不责备他呢?因为无论何时,一旦约伯意识到自己的失败,便立即解决他的罪,在上帝面前始终保持为义的状态。约伯每日为自己和家人献祭,他始终在上帝面前保持着清洁的良心。

你曾否感受过内心的责备?有时候,它仿佛一道闪电击中了你。还有些时候,这种罪疚感会慢慢积累,仿佛你知道自己的错行,却又试着无视它的存在,直到有一天幡然醒悟,瞬间看清了自己的面目。我们会像大卫一样为自己的罪深感愧疚,于是大声说:“我得罪耶和华了!”罪恶的毒苗一旦萌芽,就该当即从心田里连根拔出。

我们的心若像约伯一样“必不责备我们”,那该是多么美好啊!“亲爱的弟兄啊,我们的心若不责备我们,就可以向上帝坦然无惧了。”(约壹3:21)

罪疚误区!

有些人——或许包括你在内——存有一些原本不必要的负罪感。魔鬼会蛊惑你,对已蒙赦免的罪感到羞耻。我读过一个故事——魔鬼手持一个卷轴出现在马丁·路德面前,上面列有路得的罪状。魔鬼说:“你当真以为上帝会赦免所有这些罪吗?你注定要灭亡了。”路德看到这个罪状,心想:“完了,我的确没有希望了。”但这时,他注意到魔鬼的手遮盖着卷轴最上方的一些文字,路德问:“你掩盖的是什么?”魔鬼说:“没什么,你只需要关注这些罪就够了。”路德以命令的口吻说:“奉耶稣的名,挪开你的手。”终于,魔鬼挪开了手,这时一行醒目的大字映入眼帘:“以下的罪都已蒙赦免!”


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Freedom from Guilt
By Pastor Doug Batchelor

An Amazing Fact: Amputees often experience a sensation called "phantom pain." For example, they might have lost their entire leg, but their toes hurt or their knee itches even though they no longer actually have them. They sense this phantom feeling coming from an absent member and their invisible toes will curl and their imaginary fingers will grasp. Even a nonexistent leg might feel sturdy enough to stand on. Doctors watch helplessly, unable to treat this part of the body that is screaming for attention even though it no longer exists. In the same way, there are many Christians, new and old, who have confessed and forsaken their sins and applied the blood of Jesus for cleansing, yet still feel the phantom pain of guilt.

 A kind farmer offered a ride in his wagon to an old man carrying a large sack of potatoes to market. After the weathered man had struggled into the back of the cart, the farmer noticed his new passenger was still hoisting the sack of potatoes on his shoulder. "Friend," the farmer encouraged, "Set down your load and rest your back." But the weary fellow responded, "Mister, you were kind enough to give me a ride;

I wouldn t dare ask you to also carry my sack of potatoes." Of course, we know the worn traveler was silly not to put down his load and rest, yet there are millions of Christians who accept Jesus forgiving mercy yet feel they must continue to carry their burden of guilt and shame.
There are few things more important to a Christian s peace and assurance than the understanding of guilt and forgiveness. Sadly, these are some of the most misunderstood subjects, and I am constantly asked about what guilt and forgiveness should mean to Christians. Too many of God s children are dragging an unnecessary yoke through life.

Paul says in Hebrews 12:1, 2, "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (NKJV). To successfully run this race, we are commanded to lay aside not only the sin, but also the weight of guilt that impedes us.

The Bible also says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). That cleansing includes the sin and the phantom pain of guilt.

What Is Guilt?
To appreciate the kind of forgiveness mentioned in 1 John, we need to understand guilt and overcome the many misconceptions causing confusion and heartache.

Have you ever instinctively taken your foot off the gas pedal when you see a highway patrolman? You might hit the brakes even when you are already going the speed limit. Why? Might it be because you often break the speed limit and automatically fear you might be doing something wrong?

Do you ever feel guilty? There are times when you should, because it s good for you. If you never feel guilt, something is probably wrong with your conscience. The Bible says, "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).
Of course, nobody enjoys guilt; yet everyone, if they have a normal conscience, will experience it. So it shouldn t surprise us that popular philosophy, and even some theology, tells us that all guilt is bad. Feel-good preachers say we should try to prevent guilt from worrying our minds no matter what we re doing or how evil it might be.

Yet no matter how stressful or uncomfortable guilt can be, it s not always bad.

The Sense of the Soul
Obviously, it would be nice to live without pain. But the very nerves that give you the sensations of pain also help you to experience pleasure. Even more, nerves keep us alive. Leprosy attacks your nervous system and eventually kills the feeling in your extremities. When those with this disease touch a hot stove and burn their fingers, they don t know it. Amazingly, leprosy even makes your eyes forget to blink! It s a very slight impression on our nerves that tells us to lubricate our eyes. Without nerves, you wouldn t blink and you would be subject to dry eyes, becoming more susceptible to infections or blindness. Little sensations of pain are actually a blessing.

Likewise, while guilt doesn t feel good spiritually, it keeps your conscience alive. Jesus called the Holy Spirit a Comforter, but He also convicts the world of its sin (John 16:8). We can know the Holy Spirit is working in our lives when we feel the sensation of guilt that follows bad behavior. The sensation of remorse for sin is often literally a sign from God of new spiritual life!

How to Respond to Guilt
Have you ever been gossiping to another person when the very subject you re discussing walks into the room? You suddenly get very quiet and talk as if you were just commenting on the weather. Why that reaction? Guilt. Is that a good or bad reaction? Good. You should be ashamed if you re gossiping!
When Peter preached that spirit-filled sermon at Pentecost, one of the signs that it was effective is found in how his listeners responded. "They were pricked in their heart" (Acts 2:37). They were convicted, and they pleaded, "What shall we do?"

That was a good response. Peter could then talk to them about repentance and forgiveness, but only after they sensed their guilt. After Isaiah saw God, he cried out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips!" (Isaiah 6:5). When Isaiah saw God s holiness and goodness, he became aware of his badness, and then God cleansed him of sin.

The closer you draw to Christ, the more you will experience impulses of guilt. That might sound like a paradox, but it s true. The nearer you come to the Light, the more clearly you will see the wrong things in your lifestyle that you may never have noticed before - and you will probably feel guilt and shame.

But when you ask for forgiveness, you will experience grace and peace. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:10).

Who s Really Guilty
In John 8, we read the well-known story of a woman caught in adultery. Her accusers condemn her, saying to Jesus, "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?" But Jesus ignores their accusations, and stoops down to write in the dust on the temple floor. As they continue to press their case, Jesus finally stands up and says, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Jesus then returns to His writing. The Bible next records, "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last." They felt guilt, and they walked away.

I believe Jesus wrote out the laws that these men had themselves broken, as each one was specifically convicted about their own guilt. By contrast, some of the guilty react in anger when they are convicted. Stephen was murdered when religious leaders heard his powerfully convicting sermon; they were so troubled that they plugged their ears and then stoned him to death (Acts 7:57, 58).

We might need to ask ourselves if our anger toward another comes from their wrongdoing or because we resent that their goodness makes our badness stand out in contrast. Are they simply reminding us of our guilt? In fact, some people stay away from church because they want to avoid places that will stir the unpleasant sensations of shame.

The Heart of Guilt
One of the best possible goals is to go though life feeling peace and innocence before God. Job declares, "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live" (Job 27:6). The Bible says Job was a perfect and upright man who feared God and hated evil, but I don t think Job claimed to be sinless. But then why could he say that his heart was not condemning him? Because whenever Job became aware of any failure, he dealt with his sin, keeping his account right with God. He sacrificed for himself and his family every day, so his heart was always clear before the Lord.

Have you ever felt condemned by your own heart? Sometimes it hits you like a bolt of lightning. Other times it might build slowly, as if you know you are doing something wrong but are trying to ignore it - until it begins to boil over and, all of a sudden, you have an awful revelation. It s here we suddenly see ourselves through God s eyes. We feel guilty and condemned, and like David, we cry, "I have sinned!" The weeds of sin must be pulled from the gardens of our hearts as soon as they sprout.

Yet what a wonderful thing when, like Job, our hearts don t condemn us. "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God" (1 John 3:21).

False Guilt
Have you ever known somebody who felt guilty when they really shouldn t - maybe even yourself? The devil is probably urging you to feel shame about sins that have been forgiven. I once read a story in which the devil appeared to Martin Luther with a list of Luther s sins listed on a scroll. The devil said, "Do you really think that God can forgive all this? You re a doomed man." Luther saw the list and thought, "Oh, there s no hope for me." But then he noticed that the devil s hand was covering some words at the top of the scroll, so he asked, "What is your hand covering?" The devil answered, "Nothing. Just notice these sins here." Luther demands, "Remove your hand in the name of Jesus." And finally the devil took his hand away, revealing the words, "All under the blood."