第十三课 信条十二 悔改
Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted 95 statements on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517. These statements were written to stir a debate about the sale of indulgences. Rome was selling the gospel (forgiveness of sins) to those who had money to buy their indulgences.
The very first statement of the 95 reads: “When our Lord Jesus Christ says ‘Repent!’ he means that the entire life of the Christian is to be one of repentance.” The Christian is someone who at all times is rejecting and turning from every sin and at the same time is turning in faith to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.
This is a constant spiritual struggle in every believer. For the sinful nature in each of us fights against the Spirit who lives in us. At the same time God’s Spirit fights against the sinful nature in us. See Galatians 5:17. The apostle Paul speaks about his own experience with this struggle. See Romans 7; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 or 2 Timothy 4:7.
Is it possible for a Christian to lose this battle? Is it possible through inattention or neglect of word and sacraments for a believer to lose all faith? Might a Christian return to the world of unbelief and spiritual death? Yes, says the testimony of clear Scripture.
Might such a person repent and return to Jesus for eternal life? Yes! How do we recognize such repentance? What does repentance look like? What should the Church do for those who have fallen from faith when they repent and return to Jesus and to his gospel? This is the subject before us in Article 12.
Article 12: About Repentance
1] This is what our churches teach about repentance. For those who have fallen from faith after Baptism there is forgiveness of sins whenever they repent. 2] The church should also announce forgiveness to such people who are returning in repentance. Now, repentance consists properly of these two parts: 3] First, there is contrition. Contrition is the terror that fills the conscience because of the knowledge of sin. 4] The second part of contrition is faith. This faith is given birth by the gospel, or by absolution, 5] and it believes that for Christ’s sake sins are forgiven. 6] It also brings comfort to the conscience, and delivers it from its terror. Finally, good works must follow, for these are the fruits of repentance. Like John the Baptist says, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8).
7] We condemn the Anabaptists who say that those who have once been justified cannot lose the Holy Spirit. We also condemn those who argue that some people can become so perfect in this life 8] that they no longer sin.
7] 我们谴责再洗礼派，因为他们说那些以前被称义的人不会再失去圣灵。我们也谴责那些主张一些人会在今生达到完美 ，8] 永远再不犯罪的说法。
9] The Novatians also are condemned, for they will not give absolution to people who have fallen from faith after Baptism, even though they have repented.
10] We also reject those who do not teach that forgiveness of sins comes through faith but who urge us to earn God’s grace by making payments of our own.
The Church’s responsibility to those who have fallen from faith – when they repent
I. It is possible for a believer to become an unbeliever again.
I Corinthians 10:12 “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
哥林多前书 10:12 所以自己以为站得稳的，须要谨慎，免得跌倒。
Romans 11:20 “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid,” [then adding] “For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either” (vs. 21).
Galatians 5:4 “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
I Timothy 1:19-20 “Holding on to faith and a good conscience,” [adding with a heavy heart,] “Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme”
James 5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone would bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
II. The Church must forgive those who repent when they have fallen from faith.
First: a baptized Christian may fall away from faith according to the Scriptures
Second: a person who did fall away from grace may return to repentance.
Third: the church ought to pronounce forgiveness to every repentant sinner.
Isaiah 55:6, 7-8 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
以赛亚书 55:7-8 恶人当离弃自己的道路。不义的人当除去自己的意念，归向耶和华，耶和华就必怜恤他，当归向我们的神，因为神必广行赦免。 耶和华说：“我的意念，非同你们的意念，我的道路，非同你们的道路。”
THOUGHT QUESTION: If the Lord is ready to forgive the impenitent sinner, what’s that to say in regards to a Christian congregation and individual members?
Therefore as our article states, the church should announce forgiveness to such people who are returning in repentance.
III. The biblical definition of repentance
Contrition or remorse is a very unpleasant feeling. The heart is filled with so much fear that often it sees despair as the only route of escape. This is especially true of those without faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine feeling guilty, feeling condemned, and all we can see in our future is a god waiting to punish us. If we don’t know who the true God is, this feeling will be the result of every guilty feeling a human experiences. The good news is that we Christians have the remedy for such a feeling. It’s the cross of Jesus!
i. Contrition is produced by the Law.
Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
罗3：20所 以 凡 有 血 气 的 ， 没 有 一 个 因 行 律 法 能 在 神 面 前 称 义 ， 因 为 律 法 本 是 叫 人 知 罪 。
ii. Contrition is “the terror that fills the conscience because of the knowledge of sin”
Contrition over sin is not something a Christian can manufacture, but rather it is something that we suffer as a consequence to sin. This we call guilt! We suffer the terrors of God’s wrath pronounced in the preaching of the Law.
So no matter whether we as Christians apply the law to ourselves, or whether God sends a Nathan to preach it to us, or whether God through special circumstances brings us to realize how badly we have sinned and have deserved his temporal and eternal punishment, contrition is always something that we suffer, never anything that we produce ourselves by our own effort, least of all, anything by which we make ourselves worthy of God’s grace or merit forgiveness of our sin in whole or part.
Job 42:6 “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
约伯记 42:6 因此我厌恶自己，在尘土和炉灰中懊悔。
Psalm 32:3-4 “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”
诗篇 32： 3-4 我闭口不认罪的时候，因终日唉哼，而骨头枯干。黑夜白日，你的手在我身上沉重。我的精液耗尽，如同夏天的干旱。
Psalm 38:3-8 Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly. I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart”
Think about it: David had committed a grievous double sin of adultery and murder. Then he had married the widowed Bathsheba and expected to enjoy happy fruits of his sin. He had no intention of working himself into a feeling—a very painful feeling—of remorse. But he was forced into it against his will.
So it is with every Christian. The sinner does not make up his mind by himself to have a contrite heart. He would rather enjoy his life in sin and hope for pleasant fruits of his sin. Contrition does not begin until God thunders his condemnation into the sinner’s conscience and strikes terrors into his conscience through the knowledge of sin. This we call the preaching of the holy Law of God.
Contrition and sorrow over sin won’t always stir up this sort of emotion as David expresses in the previous two Psalms. While most of us can probably relate with David over the internal struggle and agony, we shouldn’t judge the sincerity of one’s repentance because they didn’t run outside like Peter and “weep bitterly” (Luke 22:62).
Agree or disagree: Contrition is necessary for repentance to be possible.
Agree or disagree: Contrition is not the most important part of repentance.
b. Saving faith
The second part of repentance is faith (assurance), a very pleasant feeling, filling the heart with hope and cheer. Why? Because the charges against us on account of our sins cannot be upheld; they will have to be ruled out by the Supreme Judge. Our guilt has been removed. We shall not die, but live eternally in heaven—a very pleasant feeling.
Acts 2:37 tells us that when Peter had preached the law, his hearers were “cut to the heart”. They now understood (and believed!) what they had done. They had crucified the Lord of glory! They were scared.
徒2：37（众 人 听 见 这 话 ， 觉 得 扎 心 ， 就 对 彼 得 和 其 余 的 使 徒 说 ： “弟 兄 们 ， 我 们 当 怎 样 行 ？”）告诉我们，当彼得传讲了律法之后，他的听众觉得“扎心”。他们现在明白（并相信！）了他们所做的事情。他们把荣耀的主钉在了十字架上！他们感到害怕。
Peter accordingly encouraged his terror-stricken hearers on Pentecost:
Acts 2:38-39 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
i. Saving faith is produced by the gospel.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
罗1：16我 不 以 福 音 为 耻 ； 这 福 音 本 是 神 的 大 能 ， 要 救 一 切 相 信 的 ， 先 是 犹 太 人 ， 后 是 希 利 尼 人 。
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
林后 4:7 我们有这宝贝放在瓦器里，要显明这莫大的力，是出于神，不是出于我们。
This is a mistake that we Christians so often make in our application of the gospel to others. We often feel like we have to “sell” the gospel with our logic and with our rhetoric as though we can somehow make its message more pleasing and enticing and effective. But no, the power comes from God and not from us. All our brilliant argumentation and persuasion does not add one iota of strength to the Word. For we with all our winsome talk are but clay jars, which add nothing of value to the treasure they contain. It is the word of the gospel alone that creates faith in a despairing heart.
It was a mighty deed of our God when he created the vast world out of nothing. No man can copy that work. But to bring faith forth out of fear, or hope out of despair, is infinitely more difficult. It is utterly beyond the ability of a sinner to believe in the forgiveness of God unless the Holy Spirit creates this faith in his heart.
The gospel, then, is what creates the bond or trust in Jesus Christ for full and free absolution or forgiveness. And that is why our forefathers say, “faith is given birth by the gospel, or by absolution.”
ii. Saving faith looks to Jesus for forgiveness.
Acts 20:21 “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”
Because faith embraces the merits of our Lord Jesus, what does it look towards God for?
iii. Saving faith comforts the contrite sinner.
Consider the feeling of pain David was going through prior to Nathan’s revealing of David’s sin…consider Nathan’s announcement of the Law – “You deserve to die!”… consider Nathan’s announcement of the gospel – “The Lord has taken away your sin!” And now apply these same steps to your own personal heart and I promise you that it will leap for joy, confident that our God in Christ Jesus has taken away our guilt!
Our article therefore teaches that this faith brings comfort to the conscience and delivers it from terror.
We heard how David felt in contrition. But now listen how David feels through faith, which embraces Christ’s forgiveness…
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
诗篇 103:1-5我的心哪，你要称颂耶和华。凡在我里面的，也要称颂他的圣名。我的心哪，你要称颂耶和华，不可忘记他的一切恩惠。他赦免你的一切罪孽，医治你的一切疾病。 他救赎你的命脱离死亡，以仁爱和慈悲为你的冠冕。他用美物，使你所愿的得以知足，以致你如鹰返老还童。
Don’t mistake that to mean that the terrors of the conscience are forever gone and banished, never to return. That will not happen till we reach the church triumphant in the Kingdom of heaven. While we continue here on earth, sin will daily beset us, and the law of God, which we violate with our sins, will continue to strike terrors into our hearts. But painful though they may be, they shall not prevail; they shall not dominate our lives. Jesus says, in John 16:20 that “Our grief will turn to joy.”
But for now, we receive a foretaste of what we will receive eternally when we repent of our sins. Just like the jailer at Philippi “was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family” (Acts 16:34).
THOUGHT QUESTION Are either of these two parts of repentance (contrition & faith) produced by the sinner himself?
iv. Saving faith produces fruit in keeping with repentance.
Don’t let your flesh deceive you. When our flesh first hears that our sins are forgiven out of the pure mercy of God without any merit or worthiness on our part, we are ready to jump to the conclusion that we can live our lives any way we want to, including pleasing our sinful flesh. The free forgiveness we receive from Christ is not a license for us to please our flesh and sin as we choose. Listen to the words of Paul…
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
罗马书 6:1-2 这样，怎么说呢。我们可以仍在罪中，叫恩典显多吗？断乎不可。我们在罪上死了的人，岂可仍在罪中活着呢？
Our article goes on to state that good works must follow, for these are the fruits of repentance.
John 15:1 -2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
约翰福音15:1 -2“我是真葡萄树，我父是栽培的人. 凡属我不结果子的枝子，他就剪去。凡结果子的，他就修理干净，使枝子结果子更多。”
Luke 3:7-14 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
7约 翰 对 那 出 来 要 受 他 洗 的 众 人 说 ： 毒 蛇 的 种 类 ！ 谁 指 示 你 们 逃 避 将 来 的 忿 怒 呢 ？ 8你 们 要 结 出 果 子 来 ， 与 悔 改 的 心 相 称 。 不 要 自 己 心 里 说 ： 有 亚 伯 拉 罕 为 我 们 的 祖 宗 。 我 告 诉 你 们 ， 神 能 从 这 些 石 头 中 ， 给 亚 伯 拉 罕 兴 起 子 孙 来 。 9现 在 斧 子 已 经 放 在 树 根 上 ， 凡 不 结 好 果 子 的 树 就 砍 下 来 ， 丢 在 火 里 。
10众 人 问 他 说 ： 这 样 ， 我 们 当 作 什么 呢 ？ 11约 翰 回 答 说 ： 有 两 件 衣 裳 的 ， 就 分 给 那 没 有 的 ； 有 食 物 的 ， 也 当 这 样 行 。 12又 有 税 吏 来 要 受 洗 ， 问 他 说 ： 夫 子 ， 我 们 当 作 什么 呢 ？ 13约 翰 说 ： 除 了 例 定 的 数 目 ， 不 要 多 取 。 14又 有 兵 丁 问 他 说 ： 我 们 当 作 什么 呢 ？ 约 翰 说 ： 不 要 以 强 暴 待 人 ， 也 不 要 讹 诈 人 ， 自 己 有 钱 粮 就 当 知 足 。
What sort of fruits should the church look for from a repentant sinner who…
a) ….had committed adultery against their spouse?
b) ….had refused to attend worship or receive communion?
c) ….had stolen money or goods from their place of work?
IV. We therefore condemn those who deny these truths concerning repentance.
a. We condemn the Anabaptists and all those who teach “once saved, always saved”.
Our article of faith also condemns the teaching of the Anabaptists. Strict Calvinists today hold the same view. They say that once man has been reborn he can never again lose his faith. A Presbyterian statement of faith on February 21, 1929, had this to say on the final perseverance of the saints:
“This doctrine teaches that those who are true believers in Christ as their Savior, since they are foreordained to salvation, never can fall completely away from salvation, but will persevere in the faith until the end of their lives and be saved. In other words, once a man becomes a true Christian, he will remain a Christian till he dies, and is saved for all eternity.”
This false teaching denies the need for Christians to listen to God’s law any longer, now that they have come to believe in Jesus. There are many warnings in the Bible which have been given to us Christians to hear so that we remain on guard against the sinful nature. These warnings remind us that our help is in the LORD, and in his gospel and not in ourselves.
b. We condemn those who teach “entire sanctification”. (E.g., Church of the Nazarene; Methodism)
St. John warns us, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (I John 1:8,10).
John Wesley (A.D. 1703-1791) was the founder of Methodism. He taught entire sanctification. Methodism still teaches:
Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Through faith in Jesus Christ this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.
Consider this statement by the Church of the Nazarene.
“We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love made perfect.”
Compare the above statements with Paul’s words in Romans 7:18.
THOUGHT QUESTION: How does the teaching of “entire sanctification” put the Christian into a spiritually dangerous situation?
Perfectionism began long before Wesley brought it to the church. The Roman Catholic Church, for centuries, has maintained that some Christians not only can achieve perfectly pure sanctification in this life but are also able by keeping the monastic vows to do more good works than are required of them for their own salvation.
c. We condemn the Novatians and all those who refuse to forgive fallen Christians when they repent.
Novatian (A.D. 200-258) was a priest who refused forgiveness for those who denied Jesus during the Roman persecution under emperor Decius.
The refusal to forgive those who repent when they have fallen from faith – is the refusal to serve sinners with the gospel. This is a refusal to be the Church in this world.
d. We condemn those who demand payment [or satisfactions] for sin by those who repent. (E.g., the Roman Catholic Church)
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that repentance is (1) contrition, (2) confession and then (3) satisfaction.
The first part they call by the same name that we do, but they mean something altogether different from what the Scriptures say about contrition. They mean a feeling of sorrow which a sinner produces deliberately in his own heart. Moreover, the sinner is demanded to produce a very deep feeling of remorse. They teach a person to work himself into an agony of despair so that he is doing something by which he removes the guilt and then merits forgiveness for his sin. This self-made contrition Luther calls a “manufactured” repentance.
Notice that the article speaks of “good works” and “fruits of repentance”. Article 12 does not speak about “satisfactions”. “Satisfactions” is the Roman Catholic Church’s way of speaking about the “good” we do. The Roman Catholic Church says that we do this “good” for the purpose of removing the punishment we have earned and deserve for our sins. This false teaching robs Jesus of his glory. The Roman Catholic Church’s teaching about satisfactions leaves the sinner without gospel comfort.
In connection with this article, we rejoice in the free and unbounded grace of our God, who is ever ready to receive repentant sinners with open arms.
Below is further testimony that God’s Word warns Christians against falling away from faith in Jesus
Nehemiah 9:29-30 “You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples.”
I Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
提前 4:1 圣灵明说，在后来的时候，必有人离弃真道，听从那引诱人的（邪）灵，和鬼魔的道
II Timothy 1:15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.
II Timothy 2:17-18 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
II Timothy 4:10 For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.
Isaiah 66:3-4 But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a man, and whoever offers a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense, like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.
Luke 8:13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
路8：13那 些 在 磐 石 上 的 ， 就 是 人 听 道 ， 欢 喜 领 受 ， 但 心 中 没 有 根 ， 不 过 暂 时 相 信 ， 及 至 遇 见 试 炼 就 退 后 了 。
Hebrews 10:26-31 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
I Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
II Peter 2:20-22 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
II Peter 3:17-18 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Revelation 2:5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
启2:5 所以应当回想你是从那里坠落的，并要悔改，行起初所行的事。你若不悔改，我就临到你那里，把你的灯台从原处挪去 。
I Corinthians 5:1,2,5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of the kind that does not occur even among pagans: a man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? (5) hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
II Corinthians 2:6-8 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.
With all these passages regarding a person’s ability to fall away from faith in Jesus, no wonder why the Bible admonishes and encourages Christians to make good use of their time of grace here on earth.
Paul says it is necessary that a Christian work out his own salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), and Peter warns, “Be self-controlled and alert,” because our “enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8). Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body (KJV = flesh) is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
保罗说基督徒应该“恐惧战兢”地做成自己得救的工作（腓立比书2:12）；彼得警告说：“勿要谨守，儆醒！”因为我们的“仇敌魔鬼，如同吼叫的狮子，遍地游行，寻找可吞吃的人”（彼得前书5:8）。 耶稣说：“总要儆醒祷告，免得入了迷惑。你们心灵固然愿意，肉体却软弱了”（马太福音 26:41）。
Yes, a baptized Christian may fall away from grace. But at the same time, those who have fallen away must not despair as though they were doomed and there was no help for them. Let them, instead, repent of their sins and turn to God in Christ Jesus for forgiveness. The way to repentance is not blocked for them, unless they block it for themselves through the error of unbelief!
Complete Test on Unit B – Articles 7-12 Submit your completed test to your instructor by the date that is given you.
完成B 单元测验 —— 信条7-12