Confessed信仰認信

 

首先我们確認使徒信經(The Apostles' Creed)之信仰宣言:

1. 我信上帝,全能的父, 天地的创造主。

I believe in God, Father Almighty, Creator of heavens and earth;

2. 我信我主耶稣基督,上帝的独生子;

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord,

3. 因圣灵感孕,由童贞女马利亚所生;

Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Given birth through Virgin Mary,

4. 在本丢·彼拉多手下受难,被钉在十字架,受死,埋葬;

Suffered under Potius Pilate, Was crucified, died and buried;

5. 降在阴间;第三日从死人中复活;

He was descended into the death, and the third day was raised again from the dead.

6. 祂升天,坐在全能父上帝的右边;

He ascended into the Heaven, seated at the right hand of Father Almighty,

7. 将来必从那里降临,审判活人死人。

And will come back from there to judge the living and the dead.

8. 我信圣灵,

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

9. 圣而大公之教会、圣徒相通,

the holy universal Church, the communion of the saints,

10. 罪得赦免,

The forgiveness of sins,

11. 身体复活;

The resurrection of the body,

12. 以及永生。阿们!

And life everlasting. Amen!

此外我們還會認同福音派的洛桑信約(The Lausanne Covenant),其內容如下:

 

洛桑信約(The Lausanne Covenant)是第二屆世界福音洛桑會議的宣言,也是赴會者在主面前所立的信約:為福音齊心努力。

引言

我們這些主耶穌基督教會中的肢體,來自一百五十多個國家,共同參加洛桑世界福音國際會議。我們同心讚美上帝,因祂賜給我們極大的救恩,也因祂賜給我們與祂相 交的喜樂和彼此相交的喜樂。我們為上帝在這個時代的作為深感興奮;我們也為我們在宣教工作上的不足而懺悔;我們也深受未完成的宣教使命的挑戰。我們相信, 福音是上帝賜給全世界的好資訊。我們決心憑藉上帝的恩典,順服基督的命令,向全人類傳福音,使萬民作主的門徒。因此,我們在此宣告我們的信仰與決心,並將 此信約公諸於世。

1. 上帝的目的

我們確信,獨一永恆的上帝是創造世界的主宰,聖父,聖子與聖靈三位一體的上帝,照祂旨意統管萬有。祂已從世界裡呼召人作祂的子民,又差遣祂的子民回到世界 中,作祂的僕人與見證人,擴展衪的國度,建立基督的身體,榮耀祂的聖名。我們感到羞愧,因我們常常違背上帝的呼召,或隨從這個世界,或在這個世界面前退 縮,沒有承擔起我們的使命。然而,我們感到歡欣的是,福音即使是放在我們這些瓦器裡,仍然是寶貝。我們願意重新奉獻自己,借著聖靈的能力,將這寶貝顯明出來。 (賽40:28;太28:19;弗1:11;徒15:14;約17:6, 18;弗4:12;林前5:10;羅12:2;林後4:7)

2. 聖經的權威與能力

我們確信,整本聖經,包括舊約與新約,都是上帝的默示,完全可靠,絕對權威。整本聖經是上帝唯一的成文話語,它所宣告的毫無錯誤,它是我們信仰與實踐中絕對 可靠的準則。我們也確信,上帝的話語滿有能力,能成就救恩的目的。聖經的資訊是對全人類宣講的,因為上帝在基督裡和聖經中的啟示是不可更改的,現今聖靈仍 借著聖經說話。聖靈在各種文化中光照屬上帝的子民的心智,使他們透過自己的眼睛,重新得見其中的真理,從而使全教會更多地看到上帝諸般的智慧。(提後 3:12;彼後1:21;約10:35;賽55:11;林前1:21;羅1:16;太5:17-18;弗1:17- 18;3:10, 18)

3. 基督 — 世界唯一的救主

我們確信,我們雖有各種不同的佈道方法,卻只有一位救主,只有一個福音。我們承認,人類借著上帝的自然啟示,對上帝有一些知識,但我們否認這些知識能使人得 救,因為人行不義阻擋真理。我們也反對貶低基督及祂的福音的各種類型的宗教混合主義和對話,它們認為基督在一切宗教及意識形態裡都有同等的啟示。耶穌基督 是唯一的神而人者,祂舍己作罪人的唯一贖價,祂是上帝與人之間獨一的中保。沒有任何別的名,我們可以靠著得救。人人都因罪而滅亡,但上帝愛所有的人,不願 一人沉淪,乃願人人都悔改。然而凡拒絕基督的,就是棄絕救恩之樂,他們就被定罪,永遠與上帝隔絕。我們傳揚基督為世人的救主,並不是認為人人都可以自然得 救或最終得救,更不是認為一切宗教都能提供基督裡的救恩。相反地,我們傳福音是向世上的罪人宣告上帝的愛,並呼籲每個人回應祂,全心全意地悔改、相信、接 受祂為救主和主。耶穌基督的名超乎萬名之上,我們盼望主的日子,那時萬膝都要跪拜,萬口都要承認,祂是主。(加1:6-9;羅:18-32;提前 2:5-6;徒4:12:約3:16-19;彼後3:9;帖後1:7-9;約4:42;太11:28;弗1:20-21;腓2:9-11)

4. 佈道的性質

布道就是將福音傳揚出來。這福音是照經上所記:耶穌為我們的罪而死,從死裡復活,掌權的主使我們的罪得赦,而且將釋放我們的聖靈賜給所有悔改相信的人。我們 基督徒在世上的存在對於福音佈道是必須的,與非信徒對話也是必需的。因為要瞭解他們,我們就必須傾聽他們。但佈道本身是傳揚聖經上所記載的歷史上的基督是 救主和主,勸導人們親自信靠主,並且與上帝和好。我們發出福音的邀請時,不能向人隱瞞作門徒的代價。基督依然在呼召所有跟隨祂的人要舍己,背起十字架,與 教會認同。福音佈道的結果包括順服基督、融入教會和在世上負責地服事。(林前15:3-4;徒2:32-39;約20:21;林前1:23;林後4:5, 5:11, 20;路14:25-33;可8:34;徒2:40, 47;可10:43-45)

5. 基督徒的社會責任

我們確信,上帝是全人類的創造者及審判者,所以我們應當共同負擔起祂對人類社會的公義及和好的關注,以及對那些受各種壓迫的人的自由的關注。因為每個人都是 按上帝的形像造的,不論種族、宗教、膚色、文化、階層、性別或年齡,每個人都有內在的尊嚴,所以應當受到尊重及服事,而不應受到剝削。我們在此表示懺悔, 因我們忽略了社會關懷,有時認為佈道與社會關懷是互相排斥的。儘管與人和好並不等同於與上帝和好,社會關懷也不等同于佈道,政治解放也不等同於救恩,我們 還是確信:福音佈道和社會政治關懷都是我們基督徒的責任。因為這兩方面是我們在神論和人論的教義上,以及我們對鄰舍的愛和對基督的順服的必要體現。救恩的 資訊也包含對各種形式的疏離、壓迫及歧視的審判。無論何處有罪惡與不公正的事,我們都要勇敢地斥責。當人們接受基督時,他們就得以重生,進入祂的國度;他 們不僅必須努力在這不義的世界中彰顯上帝的公義,還要傳揚祂的公義。我們所宣告的救恩應當在個人生命和社會生活各方面都改變我們。信心沒有行為就是死的。 (徒17:26, 31;創18:25;賽1:17;詩45:7;創1:26-27;雅3:9;利19:18;路6:27, 35;雅2:14-26;約3:3, 5;太5:20;太6:33;林後3:18;雅2:20)

6. 教會與佈道

我們確信,基督差遣祂所救贖的子民到世上,正如父差遣子一樣,這就呼召我們要付相似的代價深入到世界上。我們需要突破教會狹窄的藩籬,進入非基督徒的社會。 在教會犧牲的事奉中,佈道是首要的。普世宣教事工需要普世教會將全備的福音帶給全世界。教會在上帝的宇宙計畫的中心,是祂命定的傳福音的途徑。然而,傳講 十字架的教會本身必須有十字架的印記。如果教會背叛福音,對上帝缺乏活潑的信心,對人缺乏真誠的愛心,在凡事上,包括在晉升和財務方面,缺乏完全的誠實 時,就會成為佈道的絆腳石。教會是上帝的子民的團契,而不是一個機構,不可與任何特定文化、社會或政治制度,以及人類的意識形態等同。(約17:18, 20:21;太28:19-20;徒1:8, 20:27;弗1:9-10, 3:9-11;加6:14, 17;林後6:3-4;提後2:19-21;腓1:27)

7. 佈道的合作

我們確信,上帝的旨意是要教會在真理中有可見的合一。佈道也要求我們聯合,因為合一能增強我們的見證,而分裂有損於這和好的福音。然而,我們承認,組織的合 一可以採取多種形式,組織的合一也未必會促進佈道的事工。我們有相同聖經信仰的人,應該在團契、事奉以及見證上緊密聯合。我們承認,我們的見證有時會因混 雜的個人主義及不必要的重複事工而受損。我們承諾,要在真理、敬拜、聖潔及宣教上尋求更深的合一。我們呼籲大家,開展地區性和功能性的合作,制定策略性的 計畫,增進相互間的勉勵,加強資源的共用與經歷的分享,使教會的使命得以進展。(約17:21, 23;弗4:3-4;約13:35;腓1:27;約17:11-23)

 

8. 教會在佈道工作上同工

我們感到歡喜的是,一個新的差傳時代已經開始。西方教會在宣教中的主導作用正在迅速消失。上帝正從新興的教會中興起強大的新生力量,致力於普世宣教,這表明 佈道的責任是屬於基督的整個身體。因此,所有教會應當求問上帝,並且自問,應當如何得著當地的人以及如何差派宣教士到世界其它地方。我們對差傳的責任及角 色應當不斷地反復評估。教會間的彼此協作會因此而不斷加強,而基督教會的普世性也會更清楚地體現出來。我們也為那些從事聖經翻譯、神學教育、大眾傳播、文 字事工、佈道、差傳、教會復興及其它專門事工的所有機構感謝上帝。他們亦當不斷地自我省察,評估自己在教會宣教中的果效。(羅1:8;腓1:5, 4:15;來13:1-3;帖前1:6-8)

 

9. 佈道任務的緊急性

世界上還有超過全人類三分之二,共計二十七億多人口尚未接觸福音。這麼多人被忽略,我們對此深感羞愧。這對我們及全教會是一種持久的譴責。然而,現在世界上 有許多地方正以前所未有的程度接受主耶穌基督。我們深信,教會和宣教機構現在就該為尚未聽聞福音的人得救而懇切禱告,並且儘快開展新的努力,實現普世宣 教。有時我們有必要在已福音化的國家減少外國宣教士及資金的數量,這有利於促進當地教會的自立,從而將資源配置到福音未及之地。宣教士們應以謙卑服事的精 神,更加自由地往返於六大洲之間。我們的目的是以一切可行的方法,儘早使每一個人都有機會聽到、明白並接受好資訊。我們不能期待不付甚麼代價就能達到此目 的。我們為千千萬萬的人仍生活在貧困之中而震驚,也為造成貧困的不公平而難過。我們當中生活在富裕環境中的人們,生活應當儘量簡樸,好使我們更慷慨地為救 助和佈道奉獻。(約9:4;太9:35-38;羅9:1-3;林前9:19-23;可16:15;賽58:6-7;雅1:27, 2:1-9;太25:31-46;徒2:44-45, 4:34-35)

 

10. 佈道與文化

普世宣教策略的發展,要求創造性與先鋒性的方法。在上帝引導之下的結果將會是,各個興起的教會既深深地植根於基督,又與各教會所處的文化息息相關。文化必須 始終以聖經真理為檢驗的標準。既然人類是上帝所造的,人類的文化中就富含美善的內容。然而,由於人類已經墮落,所以文化都被罪所玷污,部份甚至含有魔鬼的 成份。福音並沒有預先假定,某種文化比其它文化更優越,而是根據福音的真理和公義原則來評估一切的文化,且在各種文化中堅持道德的絕對性。宣教工作常將異 國的文化與福音一起輸出,導致教會受制于文化,而不是服膺於聖經的真理。傳揚基督的人必須謙卑地倒空自己,但仍保持以他們的真誠去服事別人。教會也必須致 力于改造並且充實文化,這一切都是為了上帝的榮耀。(可7:8, 9:13;創4:21-22;林前9:19-23;腓2:5-7;林後4:5)

 

11. 教育與領袖

我們承認,我們有時追求教會的成長而忽略了教會的深度,並且把佈道與培靈分開了。我們也承認某些宣教團體,在裝備和鼓勵當地領袖擔當責任方面的行動過於遲 緩。然而,我們的原則是使教會本色化,我們渴望每個教會都有自己的領袖,表明基督徒領袖的風範不在於轄制人,而在於服事人。我們認識到,提高神學教育是當 務之急,這對教會領袖更是如此。在每個國家和文化中,應當為教牧人員與平信徒提供在教義、門徒訓練、佈道、培靈及事奉方面有效的培訓計畫。這些培訓計畫不 必依靠任何一成不變的方法,而應按照聖經的準則,採用當地創造性的構想來開發培訓計畫。(西1:27-28;徒 14:23;多1:5, 9;可10:42-45;弗4:12-13)

 

12. 屬靈的爭戰

我們深信我們一直在與執政的、掌權的惡魔進行屬靈的爭戰。它們恣意要推翻教會,挫敗普世宣教的任務。我們知道我們需要穿戴上帝所賜的全副軍裝,以真理和禱告 為屬靈的武器來爭戰。我們發現仇敵不僅在教會外傳播錯謬的理論,也在教會內散佈歪曲聖經、以人取代上帝的假福音。我們需要儆醒,以分辨的心,維護聖經的福 音。我們承認,我們會受世俗思想及行為的影響,向世俗投降。比如,雖然從數字方面和屬靈方面細心研究教會的成長是很有價值,但我們有時卻忽略了這方面的努 力。有時候我們太過於追求傳福音時別人有所響應,就在福音資訊上打了折扣,用各種方法向福音物件施加壓力,過份注重數位統計,甚至謊報數位。這些都是屬世 的作法。教會必須進入世界,然而世界卻不可混入教會。(弗6:12;林後4:3-4;弗6:11, 13-18;林後10:3-5;約壹2:18-26, 4:1-3;加1:6-9;林後2:17, 4:2;約17:15)

 

13. 自由與逼迫

上帝賦予每個政府的責任是維護和平、公正與自由,使教會可以順服上帝、服事主基督、不受攔阻地宣揚福音。所以我們要為國家的領袖祈禱,並且呼籲他們根據上帝 的旨意和《世界人權宣言》的聲明,確保思想與良知的自由,以及實踐和傳揚宗教信仰的自由。我們也深切地關注那些遭受不公正囚禁的人,尤其是那些為耶穌作見 證而受苦的人。我們承諾,要為他們的自由而祈禱和努力;同時,我們也不因他們的遭害而膽怯。上帝正幫助我們,不管要付多大的代價,我們都要反對不公正的 事,並且忠於福音。我們也不可忘記耶穌的警告:逼迫是不可避免的。(提前1:1-4;徒4:19, 5:29;西3:24;來13:1-3;路4:18;加5:11, 6:12;太5:10-12;約15:18-21)

 

14. 聖靈的能力

我們深信聖靈的大能。父上帝曾差遣聖靈為聖子作見證,若無聖靈的見證,我們的見證也就徒然。聖靈叫人知罪,信服基督,得以重生及長進,這些都是祂的工作。並 且聖靈是宣教的靈,所以佈道應當在聖靈充滿的教會中自然地興起。一個教會若不宣教,她就是自相矛盾,且是消滅聖靈的感動。普世宣教要落到實處,必須先有聖 靈在教會中作更新的工作,在真理、智慧、信心、聖潔、仁愛與能力中更新。所以我們呼籲所有的信徒祈禱,求上帝的靈來復興教會,使所有子民結出祂的所有果 子,使基督的身體充滿祂的所有恩賜。只有這樣,普世教會才能在上帝的手中成為合用的器皿,使全地聽見主的聲音。(林前2:4;約15:26-27, 16:8-11;林前12:3;約3:6-8;林後3:18;約7:37-39;帖前5:19;徒1:8;詩85:4-7, 67:1-3;加5:22-23;林前12:4-31;羅12:3-8)

 

15. 基督的再來

我們相信,耶穌基督必會在權能及榮耀中再來,這是位格性的和可見的,是為成全祂的救恩及審判。這再來的應許更加激勵我們去傳福音,因我們紀念祂的話說,這天 國的福音必先傳給萬民。我們相信,應當以教會的佈道事工充滿基督升天及再來之間的間隙,所以我們未到終點決不停歇。我們也記得祂的警戒說,在那最終的敵基 督到來之前,會有假基督和假先知出現。因此我們拒絕人類的狂傲及自信的夢幻,以為人能在地上建立烏托邦。我們基督徒確信,上帝必成全祂的國度,我們也熱切 期待那日子的來到,就是新天新地,有義居住在其中,上帝要作王直到永遠。同時,我們也重新奉獻自己,樂意一生完全順服上帝的主權,服事基督和世人。(可 14:62;來9:28;可13:10;徒1:8-11;太28:20;可13:21-23;約2:18, 4:1-3;可12:32;啟21:1-5;彼後3:13;太28:18)

 

結語

因此,我們以信心和決心,鄭重地與上帝立約,也與眾弟兄姊妹堅立此約。讓我們為了普世宣教而一同禱告、共同計畫、合力事奉。我們呼籲其它人與我們一起同工,願上帝以祂的恩惠為祂的榮耀,幫助我們,使我們誓忠於此信約。阿們,哈利路亞!

INTRODUCTION

We, members of the Church of Jesus Christ, from more than 150 nations, participants in the International Congress on World Evangelization at Lausanne, praise God for his great salvation and rejoice in the fellowship he has given us with himself and with each other. We are deeply stirred by what God is doing in our day, moved to penitence by our failures and challenged by the unfinished task of evangelization. We believe the gospel is God’s good news for the whole world, and we are determined by his grace to obey Christ’s commission to proclaim it to all mankind and to make disciples of every nation. We desire, therefore, to affirm our faith and our resolve, and to make public our covenant.

1. THE PURPOSE OF GOD

We affirm our belief in the one eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ’s body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that, even when borne by earthen vessels, the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.

(Isaiah 40:28; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6,18; Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:7)

2. THE AUTHORITY AND POWER OF THE BIBLE

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:35; Isaiah 55:11; 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 1:16, Matthew 5:17,18; Jude 3; Ephesians 1:17,18; 3:10,18)

3. THE UNIQUENESS AND UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST

We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognize that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-Man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as ‘the Saviour of the world’ is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God’s love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.

(Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 1:18-32; l Timothy 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; 2 Peter 3:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; John 4:42; Matthew 11:28; Ephesians 1:20,21; Philippians 2:9-11)

4. THE NATURE OF EVANGELISM

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that, as the reigning Lord, he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.

(1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Acts 2:32-39; John 20:21; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)

5. CHRISTIAN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all men. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

(Acts 17:26,31; Genesis 18:25; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 45:7; Genesis 1:26,27; James 3:9; Leviticus 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; James 2:14-26; John 3:3,5; Matthew 5:20; 6:33; 2 Corinthians 3:18; James 2:20)

6. THE CHURCH AND EVANGELISM

We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church’s mission of sacrificial service, evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God’s cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God’s people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.

(John 17:18; 20:21; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Galatians 6:14,17; 2 Corinthians 6:3,4; 2 Timothy 2:19-21; Philippians 1:27)

7. COOPERATION IN EVANGELISM

We affirm that the Church’s visible unity in truth is God’s purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation. We recognize, however, that organizational unity may take many forms and does not necessarily advance evangelism. Yet we who share the same biblical faith should be closely united in fellowship, work and witness. We confess that our testimony has sometimes been marred by a sinful individualism and needless duplication. We pledge ourselves to seek a deeper unity in truth, worship, holiness and mission. We urge the development of regional and functional cooperation for the furtherance of the Church’s mission, for strategic planning, for mutual encouragement, and for the sharing of resources and experience.

(John 17:21,23; Ephesians 4:3,4; John 13:35; Philippians 1:27; John 17:11-23)

8. CHURCHES IN EVANGELISTIC PARTNERSHIP

We rejoice that a new missionary era has dawned. The dominant role of western missions is fast disappearing. God is raising up from the younger churches a great new resource for world evangelization, and is thus demonstrating that the responsibility to evangelize belongs to the whole body of Christ. All churches should therefore be asking God and themselves what they should be doing both to reach their own area and to send missionaries to other parts of the world. A re-evaluation of our missionary responsibility and role should be continuous. Thus a growing partnership of churches will develop and the universal character of Christ’s Church will be more clearly exhibited. We also thank God for agencies which labor in Bible translation, theological education, the mass media, Christian literature, evangelism, missions, church renewal and other specialist fields. They too should engage in constant self-examination to evaluate their effectiveness as part of the Church’s mission.

(Romans 1:8; Philippians 1:5; 4:15; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)

9. THE URGENCY OF THE EVANGELISTIC TASK

More than 2,700 million people, which is more than two-thirds of all humanity, have yet to be evangelized. We are ashamed that so many have been neglected; it is a standing rebuke to us and to the whole Church. There is now, however, in many parts of the world, an unprecedented receptivity to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are convinced that this is the time for churches and para-church agencies to pray earnestly for the salvation of the unreached and to launch new efforts to achieve world evangelization. A reduction of foreign missionaries and money in an evangelized country may sometimes be necessary to facilitate the national church’s growth in self-reliance and to release resources for unevangelized areas. Missionaries should flow ever more freely from and to all six continents in a spirit of humble service. The goal should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, to understand, and to receive the good news. We cannot hope to attain this goal without sacrifice. All of us are shocked by the poverty of millions and disturbed by the injustices which cause it. Those of us who live in affluent circumstances accept our duty to develop a simple life-style in order to contribute more generously to both relief and evangelism.

(John 9:4; Matthew 9:35-38; Romans 9:1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Mark 16:15; Isaiah 58:6,7; James 1:27; 2:1-9; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 2:44,45; 4:34,35)

10. EVANGELISM AND CULTURE

The development of strategies for world evangelization calls for imaginative pioneering methods. Under God, the result will be the rise of churches deeply rooted in Christ and closely related to their culture. Culture must always be tested and judged by Scripture. Because men and women are God’s creatures, some of their culture is rich in beauty and goodness. Because they are fallen, all of it is tainted with sin and some of it is demonic. The gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any culture to another, but evaluates all cultures according to its own criteria of truth and righteousness, and insists on moral absolutes in every culture. Missions have, all too frequently, exported with the gospel an alien culture, and churches have sometimes been in bondage to culture rather than to Scripture. Christ’s evangelists must humbly seek to empty themselves of all but their personal authenticity in order to become the servants of others, and churches must seek to transform and enrich culture, all for the glory of God.

(Mark 7:8,9,13; Genesis 4:21,22; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Philippians 2:5-7; 2 Corinthians 4:5)

11. EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP

We confess that we have sometimes pursued church growth at the expense of church depth, and divorced evangelism from Christian nurture. We also acknowledge that some of our missions have been too slow to equip and encourage national leaders to assume their rightful responsibilities. Yet we are committed to indigenous principles, and long that every church will have national leaders who manifest a Christian style of leadership in terms not of domination but of service. We recognize that there is a great need to improve theological education, especially for church leaders. In every nation and culture there should be an effective training programme for pastors and laity in doctrine, discipleship, evangelism, nurture and service. Such training programmes should not rely on any stereotyped methodology but should be developed by creative local initiatives according to biblical standards.

(Colossians 1:27,28; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5,9; Mark 10:42-45; Ephesians 4:11,12)

12. SPIRITUAL CONFLICT

We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God’s armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thought and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.

(Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; Ephesians 6:11,13-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)

13. FREEDOM AND PERSECUTION

It is the God-appointed duty of every government to secure conditions of peace, justice and liberty in which the Church may obey God, serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and preach the gospel without interference. We therefore pray for the leaders of nations and call upon them to guarantee freedom of thought and conscience, and freedom to practise and propagate religion in accordance with the will of God and as set out in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We also express our deep concern for all who have been unjustly imprisoned, and especially for those who are suffering for their testimony to the Lord Jesus. We promise to pray and work for their freedom. At the same time we refuse to be intimidated by their fate. God helping us, we too will seek to stand against injustice and to remain faithful to the gospel, whatever the cost. We do not forget the warnings of Jesus that persecution is inevitable.

(1 Timothy 1:1-4; Acts 4:19; 5:29; Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 13:1-3; Luke 4:18; Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Matthew 5:10-12; John 15:18-21)

14. THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole Church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.

(1 Corinthians 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 3:6-8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; John 7:37-39; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psalm 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Galatians 5:22,23; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; Romans 12:3-8)

15. THE RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ’s ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we re-dedicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.

(Mark 14:62; Hebrews 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matthew 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Revelation 21:1-5; 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 28:18)

CONCLUSION

Therefore, in the light of this our faith and our resolve, we enter into a solemn covenant with God and with each other, to pray, to plan and to work together for the evangelization of the whole world. We call upon others to join us. May God help us by his grace, and for his glory, to be faithful to this our covenant! Amen, Alleluia!

丹城華人福音教會

Chinese Evangelical Church of Denver

“這是一個竭力帮助你操练成为思耶稣所思,行耶稣所行的门徒之地.......”

© 2020 by 丹城華人福音教會·中文堂 Chinese Evangelical Church Of Denver Chinese Congregation

地址: 1099 Newark St, Aurora, CO 80010

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