Getting Started Questions 课程开始前的思考题
Why must Christianity be a faith that is confessed by those who embrace it?
Describe a time when you were keenly aware that you were being called on to make a clear, true confession of your faith in Christ.
What do you consider to be the great value of creeds for your life?
What is the primary reason that we use creeds as a regular part of our public worship services?
A. God Gives Christians Their Faith and Moves Them To Confess It 神赐给基督徒信心并且感动他们认信
God Himself makes believing Christians. He gives spiritually dead sinners a new spiritual life by granting them faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior.
“But because of His great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. . . It is by grace that you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9)
4 然而， 神既有丰富的怜悯，因他爱我们的大爱，5 当我们死在过犯中的时候，便叫我们与基督一同活过来。你们得救是本乎恩。8 你们得救是本乎恩，也因着信；这并不是出于自己，乃是 神所赐的；9 也不是出于行为，免得有人自夸。 （以弗所书 2:4–5 ,8–9）
God also makes believing Christians to be confessing Christians. He moves the people that He has brought to faith in Christ by His Word to profess and testify to it.
“Therefore I tell you 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.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
3 所以我告诉你们，被 神的灵感动的，没有说「耶稣是可咒诅」的；若不是被圣灵感动的，也没有能说「耶稣是主」的。 (哥林多前书 12：3)
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
9 你若口里认耶稣为主，心里信 神叫他从死里复活，就必得救。10 因为，人心里相信就可以称义，口里承认就可以得救。 (罗马书 10：9–10)
“It is written: ‘I believed, therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak because we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence.” (2 Corinthians 4:13-14)
13 但我们既有信心，正如经上记着说：「我因信，所以如此说话。」我们也信，所以也说话。14 自己知道那叫主耶稣复活的，也必叫我们与耶稣一同复活，并且叫我们与你们一同站在他面前。 (哥林多后书 4：13–14)
“As a faith without works is dead, so a faith without confession is dead.”
God calls on His Christians to confess and explain their faith publicly.
“But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
15 耶稣说：「你们说我是谁？」 (马太福音 16：15)
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
15 只要心里尊主基督为圣。有人问你们心中盼望的缘由，就要常作准备，以温柔、敬畏的心回答各人； (彼得前书 3：15)
“Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
32 「凡在人面前认我的，我在我天上的父面前也必认他；33 凡在人面前不认我的，我在我天上的父面前也必不认他。」 (马太福音 10：32–33)
“We have a clear duty to profess the faith within us, to make ourselves knows as followers of Christ, and to lead others to Him by the influence of our testimony.”
In response to God’s gracious gift of faith and His call to confess, Christians do testify to their faith:
a. Courageously and Willingly 主动、勇敢的
“They (The Jewish Council leaders) called them (Jesus’ apostles) in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:18-20)
18 于是叫了他们来，禁止他们总不可奉耶稣的名讲论教训人。19 彼得、约翰说：「听从你们，不听从 神，这在 神面前合理不合理，你们自己酌量吧！20 我们所看见所听见的，不能不说。」 (使徒行传 4：18–20)
b. Honestly and Sincerely 诚实、恳切的
“Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways, we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
2 乃将那些暗昧可耻的事弃绝了；不行诡诈，不谬讲 神的道理，只将真理表明出来，好在 神面前把自己荐与各人的良心。 (哥林多后书 4：2)
c. Continually and Devotedly 持续、忠实的
“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)
42 他们就每日在殿里、在家里不住地教训人，传耶稣是基督。 (使徒行传 5：42)
d. To Please God and So That Others May Come To Faith In Christ 为要得神喜悦且使他们也可以相信基督
“So we make it our goal to please Him . . . For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.” (2 Corinthians 5:9a, 10 a, 11)
9 所以…我们立了志向，要得主的喜悦。…因为我们众人必要在基督台前显露出来，叫各人按着本身所行的，或善或恶受报。 …我们既知道主是可畏的，所以劝人… (哥林多后书 5:9a, 10 a, 11)
B. Some Biblical Confessions Of Christian Faith 圣经中关乎基督教信仰的认信
a. Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
16 西门·彼得回答说：「你是基督，是永生 神的儿子。」 (马太福音 16：16)
b. Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28)
28 多马说：「我的主！我的 神！」 （约翰福音 20：28 )
c. “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
36 「故此，以色列全家当确实地知道，你们钉在十字架上的这位耶稣， 神已经立他为主，为基督了。」 （使徒行传 2：36 )
d. “For I received what I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
3 我当日所领受又传给你们的：第一，就是基督照圣经所说，为我们的罪死了，4 而且埋葬了；又照圣经所说，第三天复活了，5 并且显给矶法看，然后显给十二使徒看；（哥林多前书 15：3–5 )
e. “Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)
6 他本有 神的形象， 不以自己与 神同等为强夺的； 7 反倒虚己， 取了奴仆的形象， 成为人的样式； 8 既有人的样子，就自己卑微， 存心顺服，以至于死， 且死在十字架上。 9 所以， 神将他升为至高， 又赐给他那超乎万名之上的名， 10 叫一切在天上的、地上的，和地底下的， 因耶稣的名无不屈膝， 11 无不口称「耶稣基督为主」， 使荣耀归与父 神。（腓立比书 2：6–11 )
f. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
5 因为只有一位 神，在 神和人中间，只有一位中保，乃是降世为人的基督耶稣；6 他舍自己作万人的赎价，到了时候，这事必证明出来。（提摩太前书 2：5–6 )
g. “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in Him, and He in God.” (1 John 4:14-15)
14 父差子作世人的救主；这是我们所看见且作见证的。15 凡认耶稣为 神儿子的， 神就住在他里面，他也住在 神里面。（约翰一书 4：14–15 )
“The early Church was, from the start, a believing, confessing, preaching Church. Early Christians knew they were bearers of a unique story of redemption. Possessing this saving message of Christ, they were driven by an inner impulse to proclaim it in their witnessing and in their worship.”
Part I Review Questions 复习题
For a Christian, what is the connection between believing and confessing the Christian faith?
Give three reasons why Christians confess their faith.
Share three factors that determine the quality of a Christian’s profession of faith.