It was by a well in Samaria that Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman and said, 'You Samaritans worship without knowing what you worship, while we worship what we know. It is from the Jews that salvation comes. But the time approaches and indeed is already here, when those who are real worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.' This knowledge had to do with the time of salvation which Jesus indicated was about to begin. It had nothing to do with whether God should be worshipped in Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim in Samaria, (John 4:21) a point the Samaritan woman raised with Jesus. All those differences that separated the Jews from the Samaritans, would be no longer important. This conversation, which was really about the approaching time of salvation, that indeed had already arrived, (John 4:23) was about the good news of Christ himself. The Samaritan woman who was well versed in the hope of Israel, both Jews and Samaritans, said, 'I know that the Messiah,' (that is Christ) 'is coming. When he comes he will tell us everything.' To this, Jesus replied. 'I am he, I who am speaking to you now.' (John 4:26) SPIRIT AND TRUTH Jesus spoke to the woman about real and unreal worship; the one would be swept aside, the other would be known by its spirit and truth; not in gatherings, however big, forms of worship, rituals, traditions or religious knowledge; these are externals which have nothing to do with the spirit but forms of worship. True worship is in heart and life, in the nation, in the home, the workshop, the school, the community. Here, love is known by the spirit of its life, its caring, its thoughtfulness, its kindness, its faithfulness, its humility, its love of the truth. What is the use of a religion that is pious, proud, ambitious, judgmental, sanctimonious, ascetic, intellectual or academic? All these characteristics lead to trouble, friction, bitterness divisions and bigotry. (Corinthians 13:1f) Not only was the faith of the Jews and the Samaritans to be swept away by the new spirit of worship but as St. Paul later realised, 'There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.' (Galatians 3:28-29) Paul is not saying there is no longer a Jew or a Greek, a male or a female. He is saying the barriers of nationality, worship and traditions are gone. All that divide these from God and each other are no longer valid or important. And by the same token, we might say, neither are there any Anglicans or Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox or Scots Presbyterians, nor any denominations of Christianity whatsoever, for we are all one in Christ. For whereas there are Jews by natural descent, and Greeks, Romans and British people, these identities are not the ground of faith and worship, no matter how much doctrine or traditions they have because the true church is not divisible. This is the spirit and truth that Jesus spoke about: real worshippers who worship the Father undivided by their traditions or their faith because God is our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour on earth. THE JEWS AND GENTILES The early Christians were mainly Jews and for them the spirit and truth of salvation dawned like sunrise over a new day and a new life. But this new life did not come all at once. They were faced with a very sobering fact: they were God's chosen children, the offspring of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but the Gentiles were God's chosen children, too, the non-Jews by the promise made to Abraham no less than they. The Jews were God's chosen children, the offspring of Abraham, and so were the Gentiles, for Christ, the Messiah was of the seed of Abraham, and Saviour and Lord of both Jews and Greeks. By natural descent, of course, the Greeks were not Jews but 'by grace through faith' (Ephesians 2:8) they were chosen by God, none the less, to share in Christ's salvation, and to worship the Father in spirit and truth. There was no precedent in the Law of Moses to guide Jewish Christians. So Jewish Christians would not accept Gentile Christians unless they were circumcised. But this was clearly placing the Law of Moses above the gospel of grace and faith in Jesus Christ. The matter came to a head when Jewish Christians met Paul and Barnabas in Antioch and argued that Gentile Christians must be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses or they could not be saved. And so it was arranged that they all go to Jerusalem and discuss this matter with the Apostles and elders of the church. Paul was suspected by some Jewish Christians of betraying the Jewish faith and the Law of Moses. But Paul knew that they were wrong and misguided by their adherence to the Law of Moses as the ground of faith in Jesus Christ and this was confirmed by the Holy Spirit and Peter. (See Acts 10f) PAUL'S MEETING WITH CHRIST Paul, also called Saul, was a zealous, educated Jew, a student of Gamaliel, who had approved the murder of Steven, (Acts 8:1) and who had been on his way to Damascus with a contingent of supporters, to put Christians there in prison. He was waylaid by a brilliant light from the sky. It was so bright that he and his companions fell to the ground. Paul heard a voice speaking in the Jewish language, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to be kicking against the pricks of conscience.' Saul, later called Paul, said, 'Who are you?' The Lord replied, 'I am Jesus who you are persecuting. I have appeared to you for a purpose: enter the city and it will be told you what you must do. Jesus chose Paul to take the good news of the gospel to the Gentiles. This was revealed to him in due course. Acts 26:12-18) It astonished the church. Jesus told Paul, 'I appoint you my servant and witness, to testify both to what you have seen and heard and to what you shall yet see of me. I will rescue you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I am sending you. I send you to open their eyes and turn them from the dominion of Satan to God, so that by trust in me, they may obtain forgiveness of sins and a place with those whom God has made his own.' ( Paul inwardly realised the meaning of this meeting with Jesus for, although he hated Christians, he was also troubled by their witness to Christ. The words of Jesus, 'So that by trust in me, they may obtain forgiveness of sins,' was Paul's understanding and position, that outside of the Law of Moses, the gift of faith was sufficient. For the good news of Christ was a 'light to lighten the Gentiles.' (Luke 2:32) Nevertheless, it was hard for the Jews to reconcile themselves to the Gentiles: the Greeks, the Romans, the Asians and every race and nation on earth who were not Jews, for that is what the spirit and truth of the gospel implied: a Catholic or universal people of God made up of believers in Jesus Christ alongside of the Jews. THE SCRIPTURES AND THE LAW OF MOSES Another major difference between the Jews and the Gentiles was the Law of Moses, the prophets and the writings. The Gentiles had no such Scriptures but it became necessary for them to learn that they were God's word. For had not Jesus himself explained to his disciples the passages that referred to himself in every part of the Scriptures beginning with Moses and all the prophets? (Luke 24:25-27) And St. Paul also argued with the Jews from the Scriptures. (Acts 17:2) The Old Testament was the bible of the Jews and the early Christians. In them was the proof that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus also upheld the spiritual authority of the Scriptures repeating phrases like 'It is written' to refute false accusations and claims by the Pharisees and Satan himself. CIRCUMCISION Moreover, the Gentiles did not have the Law of Moses. Christian Jews therefore insisted that the Law of Moses had to be obeyed and that this was necessary if the Gentiles were to be saved, or recognised as God's children. The Jews believed the Law of Moses would save them whereas the purpose of the Law of Moses was to judge them for their sins. When certain persons came to Antioch, from James, who were advocates of circumcision, there was a showdown. Cephas, who was already in Antioch had been having meals with the Gentile Christians but he withdrew from them because he was afraid of the advocates of circumcision. 'We ourselves are Jews by birth,' he said, 'but we know that no man is ever justified by doing what the law demands, but only through faith in Christ Jesus.' That was the great difference between the Jewish faith and the Christian faith. St. John said, 'The law was given by Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) SALVATION COMES FROM THE JEWS The Jews, the offspring of Abraham and the children of Israel, according to God's promises, were God's chosen people. 'Salvation comes from the Jews,' said Jesus. But not because they were righteous or deserving of salvation. As Moses said, 'It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples. Nor was it because of your righteousness for you are a stubborn people, (Deuteronomy 9:6-7) but because God set his heart on you. And that was to reveal to the whole of mankind his love and justice, that no nation on earth may be without a knowledge of God. THE GIFT OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST And so now, quite apart from the Law of Moses we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Only the gift of faith in Jesus Christ can save the Jew and the Gentile; the Law of Moses cannot make either Jew or Gentile righteous before God. Indeed, it is impossible for the Law only passes judgement on sin. Jesus Christ died on the cross to bear the sins of all mankind, Jew and Gentile, going beyond the Law of Moses to the righteousness that is in Christ. His righteousness saves us. His loving heart forgives our sins, and his Spirit sanctifies our spirit to know and love God. He does what we cannot do for ourselves: begin a new life. No matter how old we are in years, we are born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Christ. (John 3:3)


 耶稣基督: 教师 1 真正和不真正拜、圣经、犹太和基督教徒、 救恩和摩西法的、教会和团结 亲爱 弟兄 和 姐妹、  真正敬拜是什么? 耶稣对对撒玛利亚女说: 你门所拜的、你门不知道;而我们敬拜 我们所拜的我们知道、因为救恩是从犹太人出来的。时候将到、 实在、是已经这儿当那些真正拜的人将崇拜父亲在精神和真理;  (约翰福音 4:22-23)因为父要这样的人拜他。 这说话是关于上帝的救恩。它是与无关是否对不对于拜上帝在 耶路撒冷而还是基利心山、一个点撒玛利亚人和犹太人争执之间。 (约翰福音 4:20)所有那些差别那分犹太人从将是不 再重要。哪里向拜所在、法事、倾轧、差别、 所有将是横扫离。 福音的耶稣基督 这说话是实在大约接近时候的救恩、实在、它已经来到了。 (约翰福音4:23)这喜讯是大约耶稣基督自己。撒玛太亚女 知道这希望的以色列、对耶稣说:‘我知道那基督是来了。 当他来了他将告诉我们一切。’ 向这耶稣回答:’ ‘我是他现在谁是说话向你。’(约翰福音 4:26) 精神和真理 耶稣说话向撒玛利亚的女关于真实和不真实崇拜; 后者将是 横扫离、另将知道被它的精神和真理不在聚会里、然而大、 形式的、法事、传统还是礼拜知识;这些都与真正的崇拜精 神无关。真正拜是从心和在生活里、 在国家里、 在家、  工作室、 小学 和社。这儿、在这些地方里,爱是反映被 它的生命: 它的关怀,它的善良,它的忠诚,它的谦卑,和 对真理的热爱。(1格林多书 13:1) 是什么用是宗教那是傲、有志、评头论足、苦行狂热、或者 只礼服吗? 都这些事的引起麻烦、倾轧、问题、争、和偏执。 没只什么犹太人和撒玛礼亚的相信、就是横扫离被新精神的 真理但是如圣保罗说: ‘并不分犹太人、希腊人、自主的、 为奴的、或男、或女、因为你们在基督耶稣里都成为一了、 和如果你们属于基督、遂你们是亚伯拉罕后裔和继承人据 上帝的誓言。’(加拉太书 3:28-29)圣保罗不是说:  不再犹太人或希腊、男或女。他意思所有障碍的国籍、拜、 和传统是完了。都这些障碍那分开他们从上帝和各其他是 不再重要。和被一样意思、 我们可能说:并不分英国国教或 罗马天主教、浸信会或长老会、 也不派别任何、为我们是 都一在基督。为鉴于犹太人是犹太被天然自然,象希腊人, 罗马人和英国人,这些不是信仰原因的和崇拜的。是否国 还是教堂政府的他们可以只招认他们的信念、 他们不可以 强制它、 因为信念是神灵和真理、基督和各人之间。那是 为什么基督教是不可以是分经过基督教派。 犹太人和外邦人外邦人 早基督徒是大多犹太人和为他们、上帝的精神和真理是象日 出、过新一天和新生活的救世。但是这新生活、没来一下子 全。现在、他们脸面一个新意识: 他们是上帝的选百姓、 胤的亚伯拉罕、以撒和犹大、但是现在、被上帝的应许对 亚伯拉罕外邦是也上帝的选、没少与他们。被血原后裔 外邦人不是犹太人、 但是与犹太百姓他们还有、通过相信 在耶稣基督、救世。为如圣保罗说: ‘你们就是救通过信心;  没你的、但是上帝的礼。(以弗所书 2:8)因为的上帝的礼、 所有可以拜父在亲圣灵和真理。摩西律法没有先例向指导犹 太基督教徒的。所以犹太人不接受外邦人基督教徒除非他 们是割礼和服从摩西律法。他们坚持摩西律法是一个地步的 救世。这个问题来到一个头当犹太的基督教徒来到安提阿。 他们 争论与保罗和把拿把与、对说:外邦人必须授割礼 和服从和摩西摩西的法律、还是他们不可能救。 所有他们 打算到耶路撒冷去和讨论这事情与使徒和长老。保罗是疑的 背叛她们的忧太相信和摩西摩西的法律。保罗 知道他们是错和误导被她们的坚持向摩西摩 西的法律如信仰的理由在耶稣基督。 保罗的立场外邦人上 保罗、 也叫扫罗、是个热心学生的迦玛列、一个迦玛列是有 名老师的摩西律法了。保罗有认同了向杀人的司提反。 (使徒行传 8:1) 他到安提阿去向抓基督徒放他们在牢狱。 道路上他是停了被个辉煌的光光从天。 他和他的战友倒下 地上。保罗听见有個个声音对说: ‘扫罗、扫罗、 你为什么 逼迫我?’保罗花搭: ‘你是谁?’ 主说: ‘我是耶稣谁所你 逼迫。它是难为你无视你的良心。和保罗很怕说:  ‘你要我作什么吗?’  ‘我有出现向你为一个目的:起来、 近成去和进城去,它会 告诉你什么,你必须作。耶稣基督选保罗。他目的是派保罗 拿福音向外邦人。(使徒行转 9:5-6; 26:12-18)在适当的时候 展示向保罗。它震惊教会。耶稣基督对保罗说: ‘他(保罗) 我所拣选器皿、要在外邦人和君王并以色列人面前宣扬我的名。’ 于是耶稣展示他的爱为都人、不只以色列的。耶稣也对保罗说:  ‘我差你到他们那里去、要叫的眼睛的开、从黑暗终归向光明、 从撒但权下归向上帝; 又因信我、得蒙赦罪、和一切圣得人 同得基业。’(使徒行传 26:17-18) 我差你到外邦人向眼开、 转他们从撒旦的权、所以那通过相信在我、 他们得赦的罪、 和一个地方与上帝的人。 经文和摩西律法 另一重大不同摩西法的不可能使为犹太人还是外邦人义上帝的 面前。和外邦人、之间、是摩西律法、先知的、和文章。外邦 人没有圣经、但是它成为必要为他们学习上帝的说话。 旧约全书是圣经的忧太和早基督徒。耶稣相信旧约全书如上帝的 说话常常反复片语象 ‘它是书写。’他也讲解、于是从摩西和 众先知起、凡经上所指自己的话、 都给他们讲解明白了。(路加 福音 24:27)在他们是证据那耶稣基督是上帝的儿子。 割礼 而且、许多犹太基督徒认为外邦人,将没有得救除非他们服从摩西 法律的。他们对外邦人说: ‘你们必须服从摩西法的和是割礼象忧 太人。’忧太人相信摩西法的将要救他们而目的摩西法的是向处罚 他们为他门的罪。但是使彼得斥责那些忧太基督教人谁要外邦人 割礼。 他对他们说: ‘现在为什么你们惹上帝的愤怒与一种负担上 外邦人、当我们的祖先和我们不会肩吗? 我们得救乃是因主耶稣的 恩、和他们一样这是我们所心的。’彼得乃说: ‘我们相信乃是 通过耶稣得恩我们是救、他们一样。’(使徒行转 15:10-11) -也读使徒行转 10- 它是难以接受那外邦人没有摩西法的、但是救、和摩西法的没 保存他们。外邦谁是希腊、罗马、亚洲、、和所有人上地、得救是 被恩、通过相信; 和不被摩西法的。 救世从忧太来了 后代的亚伯拉罕、根据上帝的承诺、是上帝的拣选人。耶稣说:  ‘救恩是从忧太人出来的。’但是因为他们是以或好。摩西对 忧太说: ‘不因为你们是更多了无数乃其他百姓那耶和华拣选 你们、为你们是最少的百姓、 或因为你们是以、为你们是一个 强百姓、但是因为耶和华爱你们。(申命记 9:6-7) 礼品的信在耶稣基督 现在,撇开从摩西法的,我们因信耶稣得救。摩西法的不可能使 为犹太人还是外邦人有义上帝的面前。的确、不可能、因为摩西 法的只判断罪上。这是什么在十字架上耶稣死了。他死袒都人类 罪、去超越摩西法的。他的爱的心原谅我们的罪了。他的义我们的 就。于是、我们出生再、不肉和血的但是上帝的圣灵。他的使 我们的心以知道和爱上帝。(罗马书 5:5)