加爾文 真的教一次得救,永遠得救」嗎?

加爾文對短暫的信的一些講論

蔡少琪牧師

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蔡少琪﹕「一次得救、永遠得救」的經文

蔡少琪﹕反思「一次得救、永遠得救」的神學爭論

 

 

有學者指出﹕「天主教、亞米紐斯(Arminius)及其跟從者主張一次得救並不保障永遠得救,信徒若離棄真道、犯罪的話,他會失去救恩。而奧古斯丁、加爾文(Calvin)及沿這系統則主張一次得救,永遠得救,救恩是不會失落的。」[1]

 

蔡少琪﹕

這是否真確和準確呢?應該如何解釋呢?若只採用很抽象,沒有詳細解釋,籠統的「一次得救,永遠得救」的說法,我們不能說加爾文有這樣的教導。加爾文跟從聖經的教導,在他的《基督教要義》和釋經上,多次和重複地提出,有很多看似信主的,有類似信主的信,但實際上只是短暫相信,最終是沉淪的。但非常可惜的是文藝出版社舊版的加爾文的《基督教要義》有很多相關的部分沒有翻譯出來。這裡列舉一些這些教導。一些不熟悉加爾文著作和加爾文與加爾文派有區別的人,容易很輕率地說加爾文教導這個講法和真理。以林獻羔為例(他強調,自己「未讀過加爾文的著作」),他說﹕「1536年,他發表了《基督教要義》一文,特別闡明“一次得救永遠得救”的真理。後來人們通常把反對加爾文信仰的稱為“亞米尼派”Arminianism,而把主張“一次得救永遠得救”的稱為“加爾文派”Calvinism.[2]但事實上,加爾文和16-18世紀主流的加爾文派或改革宗派都沒有用「一次得救、永遠得救」或“Once Saved, Always Saved”這些表達

 

有些人聲稱浸信會(特別是以美南浸信會為例)贊成這說法。但也有美南浸信會的學者用較為謹慎的表達去解釋這個說法﹕ “Perseverance of the Saints - Baptists do not believe that true believers will fall away and, thereby, lose their salvation. This is sometimes called, "Once saved, always saved." The proper term, however, is the final perseverance of the saints. It means that real Christians stick with it. It doesn't mean the believer won't stumble, but refers to an inward pull that will not allow him to quit the faith.”這段可翻譯為﹕「聖徒的堅忍﹕浸信會信徒不相信真正的信徒會完全離開信仰,並失去他們的救恩。這有時候被成為『曾經得救,永遠得救』。更合適的用語是『聖徒最終的堅忍』。這是指真正的基督徒會堅持信仰。這不是說信徒不會跌倒,但是指出有一個內在的力量幫助他,讓他不會放棄信仰。」[3]

 

近代一些「白白救恩派」(Free Grace)的教牧和神學家,將這個講法推到極點[4] 美南浸信會牧師Charles Stanley “Eternal Security: Can you be Sure?”一書強調,若果我們有清楚的決志,無論將來我們會如何,我們必然得救。這堛滬威I是得救,不再是信徒的堅持和堅忍了。他強調﹕「我和你不是因為我們有堅持下去的信仰的得救,我們得救是因為我們曾經有個一個時間,我們表白了我們相信那位能堅固我們的主。」(You and I are not saved because we have enduring faith, we are saved because at a moment in time we expressed faith in our enduring Lord.)這派的教導,有點將「一次得救,永遠得救」,解釋為「一次決志,永遠得救」!他更推論說,即使人離開信仰,神的愛是這麼偉大,那人也不會救恩,不會離開神的手。(The Bible clearly teaches that God's love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand.)他更說﹕「縱然一位信徒因為各種實際的原因成為非信徒,他的救恩也不受影響。」(Even if a believer for all practical purposes becomes an unbeliever, his salvation is not in jeopardy.)[5]這種極端的表達大大遠離了歷代正統派針對「聖徒的堅忍」的教導,大大偏離了他們穩重和謹慎的表達

 

早期教會的核心關注是信徒必須一生儆醒,堅持信仰到底。因此,信徒要決定有把握自己必然得救,不是他們的關注。奧古斯丁多次表達類似的教導。他在《責備和恩典》(On Rebuke and Grace)的第四十章(13.40)指出﹕「沒有人肯定自己的預定和得救。」 “No One is Certain and Secure of His Own Predestination and Salvation.”他強調有些人,有信仰的開始,但不能持續到底。[6]奧古斯丁是要強調,我們一生都需要緊緊跟從神,要常常謙卑,都需要神的恩典。奧古斯丁在第四十二章指出,有些人有起步的信,但後來離棄神,也因此被神離棄。[7]奧古斯丁在《堅忍的禮物》(On the Gift of Perseverance)一書指出﹕「所以我們不能肯定有任何人在他在生的時候,已經得到神所賜堅忍到底這禮物若果在他死以前跌倒,他當然沒有被保守到底。」[8]

 

加爾文強調叛道者有短暫和些微的亮光但這些不足夠讓他們在信仰生根,正如舊約的掃羅王也有短暫的信,但最終落在沉淪中﹕「因第一人的背叛正道,足以在他心思與靈魂上消滅了神的印象,如果上帝把一線光明開導叛徒,以後又叫那一線光明消滅,這是用不著驚異的,也沒有任何事物能加阻撓。他讓某些人稍為領略福音的知識,卻把這知識豐滿地灌輸給另一些人。但必須牢記,不論選民的信仰如何軟弱,上帝的靈既是他們得兒子名分的確實保證,所以他在他們心中的印記是決不會被消滅的;但叛道者只有瞬息消失的一線微光;我們不能怪聖靈欺騙了人,因為他待他們與選民不同,不把生命灌注在他所撒在他們心堛犖堣l,叫它有永遠不朽的生命。我要進一步說,我們從聖經和日常的經驗中明明知道,被擯棄的人也有時被神的恩惠所感動,在他們心中必然發生互愛的希望。例如,掃羅有一個時候確有愛上帝的敬虔意向,為他的仁愛所吸引,而領略父的愛。但上帝父愛的信念在叛道者的內心並非根深蒂固,因此他們不是以兒女至誠之愛愛他,乃是為圖利的傾向所支配。」[9](《基督教要義》,3.2.12)

 

加爾文清楚教導有很多人會離開信仰,對離開的他們的信仰只是「暫時的」,而真信徒卻是「永遠的」﹕「可見信仰不是那沒有真信仰之人所能假造的;當他們倉惶間為強烈的情緒所驅使,就為錯誤的意見所欺騙。毫無疑問,怠惰在他們心堮痦`蒂固,使他們不能好好地反省。這一類可能就是約翰所指的人,他們雖相信耶穌,而“耶穌卻不將自己交托他們,因為他知道萬人……也知道人心堜狾s的”(約22425),如果不是有許多人偏離了共同的信仰(我稱它為共同的信仰,因為在暫時永遠的信仰(fidei temporalis cum viva et perpetua)(between transitory faith and living and permanent faith)之間有很大的類似之點)[10],基督不會對門徒說:“你們若常遵守我的道,就真是我的門徒,你們必曉得真理,真理必叫你們得以自由”(約83132)。」(《基督教要義》,3.2.12)

 

加爾文稱呼這些「沒有真內涵的信」(unformed faith)為「信的影子」(shadow or image of faith)( umbra, seu imago),這些不是「真信」(true faith)(verum fidei)。加爾文指出使徒行傳中「行邪術的西門」沒有真正的信﹕「行邪術的西門好像曾信,但很快就顯露出他的不信。」“It is said that even Simon Magus believed [Acts 8:13], who a little later nevertheless betrayed his unbelief [Acts 8:18].” (《基督教要義》,3.2.10)加爾文指出,行邪術的西門信仰有一定的「認同」(assent),但這種「認同」卻沒有進入深層的內心中,在心中扎根。加爾文指出﹕「這種『認同』沒有進入心中,也沒有在心中扎根。」“Whatever sort of assent that is, it does not at all penetrate to the heart itself, there to remain fixed.” (Qualiscunque autem illa est assensio, ad cor ipsum usque minime penetrat, ut illic defixa resideat;)[11]

 

加爾文跟隨主耶穌的說法,稱呼這些「表面」的信,為「短暫的信」,並且引用主耶穌撒種的比喻來指出,這些「短暫的信」沒有果子,也沒有扎根。[12]加爾文指出「不信的」和「不得拯救的」(reprobate)也可以有類似的信的影子。他將「短暫的信」與希伯來書中談及曾嘗過救恩滋味後離開的人一拼討論。[13]希伯來書說﹕「論到那些已經蒙了光照,嘗過天恩的滋味,又於聖靈有分,並嘗過神善道的滋味,覺悟來世權能的人,若是離棄道理,就不能叫他們從新懊悔了,因為他們把神的兒子重釘十字架,明明的羞辱他。」(6:4-6)加爾文指出,在「真信」和「短暫的信」之間有很多看似類同的地方﹕「在神的選民和那些只有短暫的信的人之間有很多相似和類同的地方。」 “There is a great likeness and affinity between God’s elect and those who are given a transitory faith.” (《基督教要義》,3.2.11)惟有在選民中,神種下「不能壞的種子」。[14]加爾文稱呼這些短暫的信,短暫與聖靈有分的工作為「聖靈低層面的工作」(an inferior operation of the Spirit) (inferior Spiritus operatio)[15]這些不是全心信主的,他們有類似真信徒的信心的開始。 “Not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God, but because they seem, under a cloak of hypocrisy, to have a beginning of faith in common with the latter.” “For nothing prevents God from illumining some with a momentary awareness of his grace, which afterward vanishes.” (《基督教要義》,3.2.11)加爾文強調﹕「惟獨在選民堙A神將活潑有根基的信種入他們心堙A讓他們能堅持到底。」“In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.” “Viva autem fidei radice solos electos dignatur, ut in finem usque perseverent.”[16]在選民中,縱然他們信心看似脆弱,但卻是不能消滅的。(In the meantime we ought to grasp this: however deficient or weak faith may be in the elect, still, because the Spirit of God is for them the sure guarantee and seal of their adoption [Ephesians 1:14; cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22], the mark he has engraved can never be erased from their hearts; but on the wicked such light is shed as may afterward pass away.) (《基督教要義》,3.2.12)加爾文也看主耶穌在 2:23-25所不信任的人可能是這些只有短暫的信的人﹕他們是一批只有短暫沖動的人。[17]

 

談論「不信的」和「不得拯救的」(reprobate)的信時,加爾文引用掃羅王的例子。他指出,掃羅王雖然最終是不信,不得救的的人,但他也曾被感動去愛神,也多多少少知道神的美善,但這天父的慈愛沒有生根在他心中。 “Furthermore, although it is evident from the teaching of Scripture and daily experience that the wicked are sometimes touched by the awareness of divine grace, a desire to love one another must be aroused in their hearts. Thus, for a time in Saul there flourished a pious impulse to love God. For he knew God was as a father to him, and he was attracted by something delightful about His goodness [1 Samuel, chs. 9 to 11]. But as a persuasion of God’s fatherly love is not deeply rooted in the reprobate, so do they not perfectly reciprocate his love as sons, but behave like hirelings [受雇的].”

 

在世人看來,我們之肯定只有蒙這恩的人才可以相信基督,是非常矛盾的。這看法一方面是由於他們對天上的智慧的高深欠考慮,和人對上帝奧秘的認識太遲鈍,另一方面是由於他們沒有注意到人的琱腄A這琱艉D是信仰的主要部分。“But this is partly because men do not consider either how secret and lofty the heavenly wisdom is, or how very dull men are to perceive the mysteries of God; partly because they do not have regard to that firm and steadfast constancy of heart (stabilemque cordis constantiam) which is the chief part of faith.” (《基督教要義》,3.2.33)

 

但信徒不一定都有堅強的信,也有些只有「軟弱的信」(weak faith),但加爾文強調這些「軟弱的信」也是「真信」!(《基督教要義》,3.2.19-20) 加爾文要我們將信心不放在自己,而是單單放在基督﹕「所以若我們僅看到自己和自己的過失,不得不認為自己乃是上帝所拋棄,而面臨著永遠沉淪的人。……只有一個拯救的方法,可以叫我們免於災難,那就是救主基督的出現,天父藉著他就樂意以他無限的良善與仁慈,憐憫我們這些以誠懇信心接受他的仁慈,和以不變的希望寄託在他身上的人。」[18](《基督教要義》,3.2.1)

 

 

加爾文針對短暫的信和假悔改的教導

Temporal Faith and False Repentance in Calvin (Edited by Kiven Choy)

(這能多少解釋所謂「一次得救、永遠得救」的教導,若沒有清晰的解釋,容易產生誤解和爭議)

 

Inst. 3.2.3, 5, 10- 11.

For Calvin on temporary faith, see David Foxgrover, "`Temporary Faith' and the Certainty of Salvation," Calvin Theological Journal 15 (1980):220- 32; A. N. S. Lane, "Calvin's Doctrine of Assurance," VE 11 (1979):45- 46. On temporary and unformed faith, see Exalto, De Zekerheid des Geloofs bij Calvijn 15- 20, 27- 30.

 

Cf. Dr. Joel R. Beeke Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith?

http://www.geocities.com/reformedchristian/BeekeAssurance.htm

For Calvin, however, there is much that resembles faith that lacks a saving character. For example, he speaks of "unformed faith," "implicit faith," "the preparation of faith," "temporary faith," "an illusion of faith," "a false show of faith," "shadow-types of faith," "transitory faith," faith "under a cloak of hypocrisy," and a "momentary awareness of grace." Self-deceit is a real possibility. In fact, the reprobate often feel nearly identical to the elect with regard to faith: "There is a great likeness and affinity between God's elect and those who are given a transitory faith." Consequently, self-examination is essential: "Let us learn to examine ourselves, and to search whether those interior marks by which God distinguishes his children from strangers belong to us, viz., the living root of piety and faith." Even in self-examination, however, Calvin maintains a Christological emphasis. People must descend into their conscience to examine whether they are placing their trust in Christ alone, because this is the fruit of experience grounded in the Scriptures. "If you contemplate yourself [apart from Christ, the Word, and the Spirit], that is sure damnation."[19]

 

Institutes, 3.2.11-12 Beveridge Version[20]

11.  1559I am aware it seems unaccountable to some how faith is attributed to the reprobate, seeing that it is declared by Paul to be one of the fruits of election; and yet the difficulty is easily solved: for though none are enlightened into faith, and truly feel the efficacy of the Gospel, with the exception of those who are foreordained to salvation, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them.] Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption. Should it be objected, that believers have no stronger testimony to assure them of their adoption, I answer, that though there is a great resemblance and affinity between the elect of God and those who are impressed for a time with a fading faith, yet the elect alone have that full assurance which is extolled by Paul, and by which they are enabled to cry, Abba, Father. Therefore, as God regenerates the elect only for ever by incorruptible seed [semine incorruptibili], as the seed of life once sown in their hearts never perishes, so he effectually seals in them the grace of his adoption, that it may be sure and steadfast. But in this there is nothing to prevent an inferior operation of the Spirit from taking its course in the reprobate. Meanwhile, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest carnal security creep in and take the place of assurance of faith. We may add, that the reprobate never have any other than a confused sense of grace, laying hold of the shadow rather than the substance, because the Spirit properly seals the forgiveness of sins in the elect only, applying it by special faith to their use. Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them. Nor do I even deny that God illumines their minds to this extent, that they recognize his grace; but that conviction he distinguishes from the peculiar testimony which he gives to his elect in this respect, that the reprobate never attain to the full result or to fruition. When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. [Viva autem fidei radice solos electos dignatur, ut in finem usque perseverent.] Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.

 

12. Why faith is temporary in the reprobate, firm and perpetual in the elect. Reason in the case of the reprobate. Example. Why God is angry with his children. In what sense many are said to fall from faith. 

 

          12.  1559Although faith is a knowledge of the divine favor towards us, and a full persuasion of its truth, it is not strange that the sense of the divine love, which though akin to faith differs much from it, vanishes in those who are temporarily impressed. The will of God is, I confess, immutable, and his truth is always consistent with itself; but I deny that the reprobate ever advance so far as to penetrate to that secret revelation which Scripture reserves for the elect only. I therefore deny that they either understand his will considered as immutable, or steadily embrace his truth, inasmuch as they rest satisfied with an evanescent impression; just as a tree not planted deep enough may take root, but will in process of time wither away, though it may for several years not only put forth leaves and flowers, but produce fruit. In short, as by the revolt of the first man, the image of God could be effaced from his mind and soul, so there is nothing strange in His shedding some rays of grace on the reprobate, and afterwards allowing these to be extinguished. There is nothing to prevent His giving some a slight knowledge of his Gospel, and imbuing others thoroughly. Meanwhile, we must remember that however feeble and slender the faith of the elect may be, yet as the Spirit of God is to them a sure earnest and seal of their adoption, the impression once engraven can never be effaced from their hearts, whereas the light which glimmers in the reprobate is afterwards quenched. Nor can it be said that the Spirit therefore deceives, because he does not quicken the seed which lies in their hearts so as to make it ever remain incorruptible as in the elect. I go farther: seeing it is evident, from the doctrine of Scripture and from daily experience, that the reprobate are occasionally impressed with a sense of divine grace, some desire of mutual love must necessarily be excited in their hearts. Thus for a time a pious affection prevailed in Saul, disposing him to love God. Knowing that he was treated with paternal kindness, he was in some degree attracted by it. But as the reprobate have no rooted conviction of the paternal love of God, so they do not in return yield the love of sons, but are led by a kind of mercenary affection. …. It hence appears that the faith of some, though not true faith, is not mere pretence. They are borne along by some sudden impulse of zeal, and erroneously impose upon themselves, sloth undoubtedly preventing them from examining their hearts with due care. Such probably was the case of those whom John describes as believing on Christ; but of whom he says, "Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man," (John 2: 24, 25.) Were it not true that many fall away from the common faith, (I call it common, because there is a great resemblance between temporary and living, everduring faith,) Christ would not have said to his disciples, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," (John 8: 31, 32.) He is addressing those who had embraced his doctrine, and urging them to progress in the faith, lest by their sluggishness they extinguish the light which they have received. …十二、但必須牢記,不論選民的信仰如何軟弱,上帝的靈既是他們得兒子名分的確實保證,所以他在他們心中的印記是決不會被消滅的;但叛道者只有瞬息消失的一線微光;我們不能怪聖靈欺騙了人,因為他待他們與選民不同,不把生命灌注在他所撒在他們心堛犖堣l,叫它有永遠不朽的生命。這一類可能就是約翰所指的人,他們雖相信耶穌,而“耶穌卻不將自己交托他們,因為他知道萬人……也知道人心堜狾s的”(約22425),如果不是有許多人偏離了共同的信仰(我稱它為共同的信仰,因為在暫時和永遠的信仰之間有很大的類似之點),

 

3.3.20

Accordingly, we must strive toward repentance itself, devote ourselves to it throughout life, and pursue it to the very end if we would abide in Christ.  .... but rather to hasten to God and yearn for him in order that, having been engrafted into the life and death of Christ, he may give attention to continual repentance. 

 

3.3.21

This fact indeed stands firm: wherever the fear of God flourishes, the Spirit has worked toward the salvation of man. Therefore, believers, according to Isaiah, while they complain and grieve that they have been forsaken by God, set this as a sort of sign of reprobation, that their hearts have been hardened by him [Isaiah 63:17]. The apostle, also wishing to exclude apostates from the hope of salvation, gives the reason that “it is impossible to restore them to repentance” [Hebrews 6:4- 6 p.]. For obviously God, renewing those he wills not to perish, shows the sign of his fatherly favor and, so to speak, draws them to himself with the rays of his calm and joyous countenance. On the other hand, he hardens and he thunders against the reprobate, whose impiety is unforgivable. With this sort of vengeance the apostle threatens willful apostates who, while they fall away from faith in the gospel, mock God, scornfully despise his grace, profane and trample Christ’s blood [Hebrews 10:29], yea, as much as it lies in their power, crucify him again [Hebrews 6:6]. For Paul does not, as certain austere folk would preposterously have it, cut off hope of pardon from all voluntary sins. But he teaches that apostasy deserves no excuse, so that it is no wonder. God avenges such sacrilegious contempt of himself with inexorable rigor. “ For,” he teaches, “it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.” [Hebrews 6:4-6.] … First, it is necessary for the apostle to agree with his Master, who declares that “every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven…but the sin against the Holy Spirit,” which is forgiven “neither in this age nor in the age to come” [Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10]. It is certain, I say, that the apostle was content with this exception, unless we would make him an opponent of the grace of Christ. From this it follows that pardon is not denied to any individual sins except one, which, arising out of desperate madness, cannot be ascribed to weakness, and clearly demonstrates that a man is possessed by the devil.

 

3.3.23. HOW THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF “SECOND REPENTANCE” IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD

Now if you pay close attention, you will understand that the apostle is speaking not concerning one particular lapse or another, but concerning the universal rebellion by which the reprobate forsake salvation.  No wonder, then, God is implacable toward those of whom John, in his canonical letter, asserts that they were not of the elect, from whom they went out [1 John 2:19] 約壹219 他們從我們中間出去、卻不是屬我們的.若是屬我們的、就必仍舊與我們同在.他們出去、顯明都不是屬我們的。  ! For he is directing his discourse against those who imagine that they can return to the Christian religion even though they had once departed from it. Calling them away from this false and pernicious opinion, he says something very true, that a return to the communion of Christ is not open to those who knowingly and willingly have rejected it. .. so that it is not any particular failing that is here expressed, but complete turning away from God and, so to speak, apostasy of the whole man.



[2]比如,林獻羔的表達就不正確。林献羔﹕<解读《一次相信永远得救》>http://blog.kuanye.net/?34301/viewspace-22699。文章中有些翻譯和英文用詞不正確,我修改了。

[3] Mary Fairchild, “Southern Baptist Church Beliefs and Practices: Primary Distinctives of the Southern Baptist Denomination,” http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/a/baptistdenom.htm. 蔡少琪譯。

[4] “The Free Grace or non-traditional Calvinist doctrine has been espoused by Charles Stanley, Norman Geisler, Zane C. Hodges, Bill Bright, and others.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perseverance_of_the_saints.

[5] Charles Stanley, “Eternal Security: Can you be Sure?” (Thomas Nelson, 1990), 78, 74, 93. http://www.behindthebadge.net/osas/osas39.html.

[6] “who have not received the gift of perseverance to the end, begin to live in the faith which works by love, and live for some time faithfully and righteously, and afterwards fall away, and are not taken away from this life before this happens to them.” http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1513.htm.

[7] “Or they receive the grace of God, but they are only for a season, and do not persevere; they forsake and are forsaken. For by their free will, as they have not received the gift of perseverance, they are sent away by the righteous and hidden judgment of God.” Chapter 42, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1513.htm.

[8] “Therefore it is uncertain whether any one has received this gift so long as he is still alive. For if he fall before he dies, he is, of course, said not to have persevered; and most truly is it said.”http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.xxi.iii.iii.html.

[9] “To sum up, just as by the rebellion of the first man the image of God could be wiped out from his mind and soul, no wonder he illumines wicked persons with some rays of his grace, which he later allows to be quenched. Nor does anything prevent him from lightly touching some with a knowledge of his gospel, while deeply imbuing others. In the meantime we ought to grasp this: however deficient or weak faith may be in the elect, still, because the Spirit of God is for them the sure guarantee and seal of their adoption, the mark he has engraved can never be erased from their hearts; but on the wicked such light is shed as may afterward pass away. Yet, because he does not give life to the seed that lies in their hearts to keep it ever incorruptible as in the elect, it must not be supposed that the Holy Spirit is false.” “Furthermore, although it is evident from the teaching of Scripture and daily experience that the wicked are sometimes touched by the awareness of divine grace, a desire to love one another must be aroused in their hearts. Thus, for a time in Saul there flourished a pious impulse to love God. For he knew God was as a father to him, and he was attracted by something delightful about His goodness [1 Samuel, chs. 9 to 11]. But as a persuasion of God’s fatherly love is not deeply rooted in the reprobate, so do they not perfectly reciprocate his love as sons, but behave like hirelings. For that Spirit of love was given to Christ alone on the condition that he instill it in his members.”

[10] “If many did not fall from the common faith [a communi fide] (I call it “common” because there is a great likeness and affinity between transitory faith and living and permanent faith), Christ would not have said to his disciples, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” [John 8:31-32].”

[11] “When he is said to have had faith attributed to him, we do not understand the statement as do some, who hold that he pretended in words a faith that he did not have in his heart. Rather, we consider that, conquered by the majesty of the gospel, he showed a certain sort of faith, and thus recognized Christ to be the author of life and salvation, so that he willingly enlisted under him.” Inst., 3.2.10.

[12] 8:13那些在磐石上的,就是人聽道,歡喜領受,但心中沒有根,不過暫時相信,及至遇見試煉就退後了。路8:6有落在磐石上的,一出來就枯乾了,因為得不著滋潤。路8:7有落在荊棘裡的,荊棘一同生長,把它擠住了。

[13] “Yet this difficulty is easily solved. For though only those predestined to salvation receive the light of faith and truly feel the power of the gospel, yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected by almost the same feeling as the elect, so that even in their own judgment they do not in any way differ from the elect [Acts 13:48]. Therefore it is not at all absurd that the apostle should attribute to them a taste of the heavenly gifts [Hebrews 6:4-6] — and Christ, faith for a time [Luke 8:13]; not because they firmly grasp the force of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith, but because the Lord, to render them more convicted and inexcusable, steals into their minds to the extent that his goodness may be tasted without the Spirit of adoption.” Inst., 3.2.11.

[14] “Therefore, as God regenerates only the elect with incorruptible seed forever [1 Peter 1:23] so that the seed of life sown in their hearts may never perish, thus he firmly seals the gift of his adoption in them that it may be steady and sure.” Inst., 3.2.11.

[15] “But this does not at all hinder that lower working of the Spirit from taking its course even in the reprobate. In the meantime, believers are taught to examine themselves carefully and humbly, lest the confidence of the flesh creep in and replace assurance of faith. Besides this, the reprobate never receive anything but a confused awareness of grace, so that they grasp a shadow rather than the firm body of it.” Inst., 3.2.11.

[16] “In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end.” “Viva autem fidei radice solos electos dignatur, ut in finem usque perseverent.” Inst., 3.2.11.

[17] 2:23當耶穌在耶路撒冷過逾越節的時候,有許多人看見他所行的神蹟,就信了他的名。

2:24耶穌卻不將自己交託他們,因為他知道萬人。

2:25也用不著誰見證人怎樣,因他知道人心裡所存的。

“Indeed, this evidence discloses that some are not pretending a faith, who nevertheless lack true faith; but while they are carried away with a sudden impulse of zeal, they deceive themselves in a false opinion. There is no doubt that indolence so fills them that they do not rightly examine their hearts as they should. It is likely that such are those to whom, according to John, Christ “did not trust himself,” although they believed in him, “because he knew all men and…knew what was in man” [John 2:24-25].” Inst., 3.2.12.

[18] “if we look to ourselves only, and ponder what condition we deserve, no trace of good hope will remain; but cast away by God, we shall lie under eternal death. Thirdly, it has been explained that there is but one means of liberation that can rescue us from such miserable calamity: the appearance of Christ the Redeemer, through whose hand the Heavenly Father, pitying us out of his infinite goodness and mercy, willed to help us; if, indeed, with firm faith we embrace this mercy and rest in it with steadfast hope.” Inst., 3.2.1

[19] Joel R. Beeke, “Does Assurance Belong to the Essence of Faith?” http://www.geocities.com/reformedchristian/BeekeAssurance.htm.  

[20]相關的經文﹕1 Thess. i. 3, 4; 2 Thess. ii. 13; Tit. i.; Acts 13:48. Heb. 6:4-6. Luke 8:13. Gal. 4:6; Rom. 8:15. Matt. 24:13. Eph. 1:14; cf. 2 Cor. 1:22. 1 Sam., ch. 9 to 11.Gal. 4:6.