エペソ 4:17-32

S: エペソ 4:32 お互いに親切にし、心の優しい人となり、神がキリストにおいてあなたがたを赦してくださったように、互いに赦し合いなさい。

O: Our attitude toward one another boils down to our appreciation of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. It is impossible to both love God and hate your brother simultaneously, as John says very clearly (1 John 4:20). Failure to love God indicates a failure to understand and appreciate God's love for us, that caused Him to send His Son and through that Son provide redemption, salvation, and all the riches of glory. Thinking back to yesterday's passage, spiritual maturity comes from a growing understanding of God's love and appropriation of all that He has provided in Christ into every area of our lives. It's much like marriage. When I married Cathy over 40 years ago I thought I loved her, and I was quite sincere in that. However, through years of discovering what it is to live love out in hard times as well as easy, when we see eye to eye and when we don't, my love has grown to a depth and level that I could only imagine back then. I had the blessing of growing up with parents who made the hard choices and grew in their love, so from their example I could imagine it and take it as a goal, but for my love to become mature I had to walk it out in every area of my life. In the same way, when we come to Christ our commitment is sincere (or we haven't really come to Him), but there is enormous room to grow. God sees to it that we have many opportunities to grow in that commitment, allowing us to experience all sorts of things we might not choose, but which have the potential of taking us deeper and deeper in our understanding of Him and higher and higher in our joy. One of the chief areas for that is our interaction with the people around us. We will grate on other people and they will grate on us. How we respond to that has a massive impact on our spiritual growth, because closing our hearts to one another closes our hearts to God. What Paul is saying in this verse isn't optional!

O: 私たちの互いに対する態度は、突き詰めれば、イエス・キリストにあって私たちのためにしてくださった神様への感謝へと同じことです。神を愛しながら兄弟を憎むことは不可能です。これはヨハネが(1ヨハネ4:20)ではっきりと教えているとおりです。神様が私たちを愛するがゆえ、罪の贖いのために、救いのために、すべての豊かな栄光のために、一人子を送ってくださったのです。その神様を愛せないことは、神が私たちのためにしてくださったことを理解できず、感謝できていなことを示しています。昨日の箇所に戻りますが、霊的な成熟は神様の愛を理解し、私たちの全ての分野にキリストを備えてくださった神様に感謝することから生まれます。ちょうど結婚のようなものです。40年以上、前にキャシーと結婚したときに、彼女を愛していると思いましたが、本当に心からそう思いました。しかし、楽な時に愛すること、困難な時に愛することを時を経て分かりました。互いに目と目を合わせる時、そうでない時、結婚当時に想像でしかできなかったレベルと深さに愛が成熟しているのが分かります。困難な選択をし、愛して育ててくれた両親を持つ私は祝福を受けています。両親を手本として、愛を思うことができ、目標にできます。そのためには、人生のあらゆる場面で成熟した愛を持って歩んでいくべきです。同様に、キリストに献身するなら心からのものであるべきです。(そうでないなら、本当にキリストの元にあるとは言えません)それには大きく成長していかねばなりません。神様は、献身に相応しくなるように沢山の機会を与えてくださっています。私たちが選ばずとも、あらゆる経験を下さっているのです。神様をより深く理解し、より大きく喜べるようにです。その最たる例は周囲の人との関わり方です。周囲の人に対して不快な態度をとれば、それは自分自身に対して不快な態度を取っているのです。反応の仕方如何で、霊的成長に大きな影響を及ぼすのです。なぜなら、互いに心を閉ざすことは神様に心を閉ざすことだからです。パウロがここで教えていることは必須なのです!

A: Once again the Lord has spoken to where I am, and His words are clear. I've got to walk this out and insist on it. The difficulty comes in getting this through to others, because only the Holy Spirit can accomplish that. I've got to be fully submitted and available to Him so that my words and actions will be useful to Him in communicating God's truth in God's love. Sometimes love calls for discipline, just as God disciplines us, but I must be very careful that my words and actions aren't reflections of personal pain, because that will only multiply the pain, as I have certainly seen in many situations. I must not be on a high horse looking down on anyone, but I also must not draw back from exercising the authority God has given me to build people up.


P: Father, I get so mad at the devil and his deceptions. It is certainly clear that he is out to kill, steal, and destroy! Show me how to stand firm against him, not yielding to him any part of my heart and life nor any part of this church. Thank You for the things You are doing. Help me trust You, even when the next step seems totally dark. May all of Your plans for me and for this church be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



エペソ 4:7-16

S: エペソ 4:12-13 それは、聖徒たちを整えて奉仕の働きをさせ、キリストのからだを建て上げるためであり、ついに、私たちがみな、信仰の一致と神の御子に関する知識の一致とに達し、完全におとなになって、キリストの満ち満ちた身たけにまで達するためです。

O: Spiritual maturity is of absolute, vital importance, and it is the charge of those set into the Body as “five-fold ministers.” (verse 11) The difficulty comes in the immaturity of the ministers themselves, as well as in the immaturity of the saints. It's a constant journey, both for sheep and for shepherds. This whole thing is closely connected. We aren't going to become fully adult, to the full stature of Christ, until the ministers prepare the saints and get them moving in active ministry. In that process, unity of faith and knowledge will be birthed, because the saints will be living out their faith and knowledge and it will become truly part of them. Saints on the sidelines aren't growing! A major difficulty to all of this is our inertia and our ignorance of the gifts God has placed in us. The majority of saints do little if any ministry because either they think they aren't qualified, or they think it's too much work. It is the job of the “five-fold ministers” to educate the saints both in their gifts and in the many opportunities to exercise those gifts. Another difficulty is in emotional immaturity, both in the ministers and in the saints. When we react like little children, pitching fits or going into sulks like 2-year-olds, it benefits no one! This is where it really can get difficult for the minister, because emotional scars going back dozens of years sometimes have to be dealt with, and only the Holy Spirit can do that.

O: 霊的成熟は絶対的にとても重要で「五つのつとめ」(11節)としてキリストの体に組み入れられための責任です。聖徒の未成熟とミニストリー事態の未成熟から困難が生じます。羊にとっても羊飼いにとっても常に旅です。全てのことは密接に繋がっているのですから。私たちはキリストの体のために完全な大人になることはできません。それができるのは聖徒のためにミニストリーが整えられ、実際の行動が起こされてからです。この過程で、信仰と知識の一致が生まれます。なぜなら聖徒は信仰と知識のうちに住み、それが真実、組み込まれるからです。傍観的な聖徒は成長しません!最大の問題は私たちの持つ惰性であり、神様が下さった賜物を知らないでいることにあります。聖徒の殆どは、ミニストリーの働きに自分たちは価しないか、あるいは過度の奉仕であると考えてしまい、ミニストリーを殆ど行いません。聖徒を賜物と、それらを活かす機会の両方を教えられるのは「五つのつとめ」です。それ以外にも、奉仕、聖徒の面での情緒的な未成熟が挙げられます。幼子のように反応すると、癇癪を起したり、2歳児のようにむくれてしまいます。それでは誰のためにもなりません!これが奉仕する際の厄介なことです。はるか過去に戻り、受けた傷と向き合わねばならないからです。しかし、それができるのは聖霊様だけなのです。

A: I am certainly in the middle of this. I recognize my own lack of full maturity even as I seek to help the saints become mature. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:16, who is equal to such a task? All I can do is walk humbly before my God, depending on the Holy Spirit to say and do the things that are needed, which I certainly couldn't do on my own. I must not run from confrontation when that is called for, but I must always speak the truth in love, and never to inflate myself. By personality I have a strong desire to avoid confrontation, and that has gotten me into trouble as many times as it has kept me from it, I think. I need to see myself as nothing and Christ as everything, so that I will be useful to Him in building His Body by preparing the saints for ministry.

A: 私はまさにこの問題の渦中にあります。聖徒の成熟を願い求めていますが、私自身が十分に成熟できていないのを認めます。2コリント2:16でパウロが語っているように、このような務めに相応しい人は一体だれなのでしょう?私にできることは神の御前、謙虚に歩むことです。成すべきことのために何を語り、何をするか、聖霊様に頼ることです。私一人ではできないからです。求められれば、避けることなく対峙せねばなりません。その際も愛をもって真実を語り、私そのものを誇張しないようにせねばなりません。私の性格からして、対立は極力、避けたいのですが、これまで、対立を避けたがために問題が生じてしまったことが多くあるように思います。キリストがすべてであり、私が小さなものであることを知るべきです。そして奉仕のために聖徒を整え、キリストの体を建て上げるために用いられたいと望んでいます。

P: Father, thank You for the huge learning opportunity You are giving me. Help me not run from it. This season is very busy, but that is no excuse not to follow through. Guide as I call a church board meeting, that everyone will be able to meet in Your timing. Guide in all that is said in that meeting, that together we would arrive at unity in our obedience to You. I desire Your best for each member of this body and for the body as a whole, and I know You desire it more than I do. Help me submit to You and resist the devil on every front, so that he may flee and we become all that You desire and intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




エペソ 4:1-6

S: エペソ 4:2-3 謙遜と柔和の限りを尽くし、寛容を示し、愛をもって互いに忍び合い、平和のきずなで結ばれて御霊の一致を熱心に保ちなさい。

O: Paul certainly said a mouthful here! This is a command, but the way he piles one word on another makes it very clear that it isn't going to be easy. Reading through the NT it is very clear that interpersonal relationships were often a problem. As I expressed at my friend's ordination a couple of months ago, church would be a lot easier if it didn't have any people in it! However, the Church is people, not buildings. Christ died for people, not programs and equipment. It should come as no surprise that the devil targets unity, between husband and wife, in families, in churches, and among nations. He hates it, because he rejected it in his desire for personal power and glory. Those who follow Christ must likewise follow His example, and that includes how Paul articulates it in this passage. We are to go to the limits of humility and gentleness with each other, demonstrating patience toward one another, and quite simply enduring one another in love. That requires a lot of effort, and a cold heart can't do it. However, the Holy Spirit is at work in and among us, and He's the one who can pull it off, bringing His peace and not some counterfeit.


A: Wow. Talk about hard-hitting and to the point! I need to let this sink into the depths of my being and put it into practice, rather than just paying it lip service. I cannot point any fingers at others for disunity if I'm not willing to go all the way for unity myself. It is clear that I don't have the wisdom or skill to generate unity on my own; I've got to depend on the Holy Spirit. In our woundedness we value what we see as self-defense more than we value unity. I need to address people's wounds, but at the same time point them to Christ, lovingly refusing to let them wallow in self-centeredness and self pity.


P: Father, what I have just written makes me cry out to You for help! I see the need, and I also see my own inability. I ask You to have mercy on us and pour Your Spirit out upon us. Keep me from giving up on any individual or any relationship, and at the same time keep me from allowing difficulties to tear me down. Help me rely on You and find my peace and joy in You, whatever is going on around me. Thank You for every circumstance that drives me to You, that takes me to my knees in believing prayer. Thank You that Your plans for me and for this church are glorious, and that You will bring them to pass. Hallelujah!




エペソ 3:14-21

S: エペソ 3:20-21 どうか、私たちのうちに働く力によって、私たちの願うところ、思うところのすべてを超えて豊かに施すことのできる方に、教会により、またキリスト・イエスにより、栄光が、世々にわたって、とこしえまでありますように。アーメン。

O: I suppose it only stands to reason, since it is “more than we can imagine,” but a lot of Christians have trouble believing what this passage says. We are experts at trying to put God in a box! Of course He won't fit. Atheists, and some agnostics, insist that man “creates” God in his own image, that God is nothing more than a product of our imaginations. They certainly haven't encountered the God Paul is talking about here!
A particular point that many people choke on is the idea that God's power is at work in us. The very idea makes some people uncomfortable, whereas other people simply feel they could never be worthy of God's power working in them. Is clay worthy of the potter working with it? That's an image God used in explaining spiritual reality to Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 18) God delights to work with and in those who are yielded to Him, but He is less delighted with those who are stubborn and resistant!

O: 「思うところのすべてを超えて」とあるので、全く理に適ったことだと思いますが、多くのクリスチャンがこの節の謂わんとすることを分からないでいます。私たちは神様を何か概念のようなものとして捉えたがります。しかし、神様がそのようなことに収まるはずがありません。無神論者、不可知論者は神様を人間に似せてイメージして「創った」と主張します。単なる人間の創造の産物としてしか見ていません。ここでパウロが語っているような神様と彼らはまだ出会っていないのです。神様の力が私たちのうちに働いているという考えに多くに人が息が詰まりそうになります。不愉快にさせられる人もいれば、神様の力が自分たちの内に働いているといいう事実に、単純に自分が価しないと感じる人もいます。粘土は陶器師の仕事に値するのでしょうか?これは神が霊的事実を説明するためにエレミヤに使ったイメージです。(エレミヤ18)神は御自分に服する人を喜ばせるために働かれます。しかし、頑固で反抗的な人にはあまり喜ばれません。

A: I am continuing to grow in my own appreciation of this truth, and I have a constant struggle to get it through to the believers. That's where I really need God's power working in me! I certainly know from my own experience how quick we are to focus on our circumstances and decide nothing can be done, and that is the opposite of faith. Jesus said repeatedly that faith makes everything possible. (Matthew 17, Mark 11, etc.) I give that lip service, and yet I still tend to write situations and people off. I need to lift my eyes, just as I tell others to do!


P: Father, thank You for this reminder, and for what You have been allowing me to experience recently to drive this truth home to me. When things look difficult, help me rejoice in You, because the more impossible things seem, the more glory You receive when Your solution is manifested. There is no limit to the things in my life for which I can't see the solutions, but there's nothing that is beyond Your understanding and power. Help me rest in that assurance and rejoice in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!




エペソ 3:1-13

S: エペソ 3:12 私たちはこのキリストにあり、キリストを信じる信仰によって大胆に確信をもって神に近づくことができるのです。

O: Of all the things we have in Christ and by faith in Him, this is perhaps the most precious, and the one on which all the others are founded. Apart from Christ, in legal terms we have no right to approach or address the bench, as they say in court. We are guilty, and that's the end of the story. However, once we have believed, we are incorporated in Christ and are knit together with Him, enabling us to come to God with the boldness and assurance that Jesus has. That's saying a mouthful! The whole subject of prayer, of consciously drawing close to God, is worthy of a lifetime of study, but it starts with the simple realization that we can do it, that in Christ the way is open and never closed, and God is listening with love and acceptance. That's certainly not to say we aren't to be careful of how we live, or that we don't need to repent of sins as soon as we are aware of them, but it is to say that the only condition for drawing close to God is faith in and commitment to His Son.

O: 私たちの持っているものは全てキリストと信仰によるのですが、恐らくその中でも最も尊く、他の全ての基礎となっている御言葉でしょう。法律的に言うならば、キリストを離れて裁判に臨む権利はありません。私たちは有罪であり、それで話は終わりです。しかし、いったんキリストを信じ、キリストに組み入れられ、ともに縫い合わされるならば、確信を持ち、大胆に神の元に行くことができます。とても重要な言葉です。祈り、意識して神に近づくことは一生をかけて学ぶに値するテーマですが、そのためには、まず、キリストにあっては道が閉ざされているのではなく、開かれていること、神が愛と受容であることに気づくことです。どういう生き方をしても構わないと言っているのではありません。罪に気がついたなら直ちに悔い改めなくともよいと言っているのでもありません。ただ、神に近づくための唯一の条件は一人子への信仰と献身です。

A: This is a truth I've been steeped in from birth, so to speak, but I still stumble at times, becoming anxious rather than immediately turning to my heavenly Father with every issue. As a pastor, getting this truth through to people is one of my highest priorities, and it's one I can't hope to fulfill without the help of the Holy Spirit. As we've read recently, He's the one who teaches us to call God, Daddy. That's because He's the Spirit of Jesus Christ the Son! Every problem in interpersonal communication, every issue in the church, is solved through the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, I need to devote myself to prayer and teaching so that every believer may open up fully to the Spirit, allowing Him to fill, heal, cleanse and use them.

A: この真実に私は生まれた時から浸っていますが、躓き、心配し、すべての問題を天の父に委ねることができない時があります。この真実を人に分からせるのが牧師としての最優先事項の一つですが、それも聖霊の助けなしでは達成できません。最近、読んだのですが、神を「お父さん」と呼ぶように教えたのは聖霊です。聖霊が御子イエス・キリストの霊なのですから!対人関係にまつわるコミュニケーションの全ての問題、この教会の全ての問題は、聖霊の臨在と働きによって解決されます。ですから、信者が聖霊に癒し、清めて、用いられるように十分、心を開くように、私は祈り、教えていきます。

P: Father, thank You for this Word this morning. Thank You for the time last night listening to Christian songs on the Internet, and for the deep comfort and encouragement You gave me through that. Help me devote myself to prayer indeed, praying without ceasing in the Holy Spirit, so that I may cooperate with and not get in the way of what You want to do here. There are many things I need to do today in terms of physical activity; help me stay in prayer throughout all of it, from the deep awareness that I can't do anything on my own, but nothing is impossible for Your. Thank You. Hallelujah!




エペソ 2:11-22

S: Ephesians 2:15-16 このことは、二つのものをご自身において新しいひとりの人を造り上げて、平和を実現するためであり、また、両者を一つのからだとして、十字架によって神と和解させるためなのです。敵意は十字架によって取り去られました。

O: Interpersonal conflict has been a problem since the creation of mankind, and God had to do something really radical to deal with it. Paul is applying the cross of Christ here to the wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles, which was the big issue in his day, but it applies to every wall that divides people, one group from another and one individual from another. Divisions disappear when we realize how great the love of God is and how far He has gone to reach out to us. When we focus on ourselves, our rights, pride, preferences or whatever, the divisions remain and even get stronger. It is only when we lift our eyes to the Cross that we recognize those points of division for how insignificant they really are.

O: 対人関係の対立は人間が創造されて以来の問題ですが、神様はそのことに関してとても根源的な方法で対処されました。ここでは、パウロはユダヤ人と異邦人との間にある敵意を表すのに、キリストの十字架を挙げています。当時はユダヤ人と異邦人と問題は大きなものでした。しかし、ここでパウロが例にとっているのは人々、集団、個人を分裂させている全ての壁についてです。神様の愛の大きさ、どれほど神様が私たちに手を差し伸べておられるかに気づくなら分裂などは消え去ってしまいます。自分自身、プライド、好みなどに焦点を合わせていると、分裂が続き、大きくさえなるでしょう。目を十字架に向けてこそ、分裂がどれほどつまらないことかに気がつくことでしょう。

A: I am in a constant struggle with this issue as a non-Japanese in Japan, a Christian in a thoroughly secular/pagan culture. Frankly, sometimes I just want to give up. I've got to keep my eyes on Christ, not only on what He endured on Calvary but also on what He endured during His ministry before that, when even His own siblings rejected Him. I must not let the cultural and interpersonal conflicts pull me down, but rather remember that Jesus has already been through it all and emerged victorious, and His victory is mine. The whole issue of cultural conflict is a very difficult one: how do I be true to who I am without coming across as a cultural imperialist? I have no wisdom for the issue, which is all the more reason to look to and depend on God.


P: Father, thank You for yesterday and all it held. Thank You for Miho's beautiful testimony and baptism, and that her mother came for the service. Thank You for all who participated in the decoration of the church building and the dinner afterward. Thank You for those who didn't participate, for whatever reason. Help me learn the lessons You teach me well enough to apply them, and not just think, I've heard this before. You are doing good things here, and all sorts of junk is getting stirred up in the process. I ask Your grace and mercy for everyone in this church, that we would all learn to lift our eyes to Jesus and let the walls collapse, for our mutual blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



エペソ 2:1-10

S: エペソ 2:10 私たちは神の作品であって、良い行いをするためにキリスト・イエスにあって造られたのです。神は、私たちが良い行いに歩むように、その良い行いをあらかじめ備えてくださったのです。

O: It is no surprise that when the use of “in Christ” is the criterion, every part of Ephesians ends up as part of the readings. Ephesians has been called the culmination and the crown of Paul's writing, and it condenses what he had learned of the salvation we enjoy. As this reading makes clear, it is by grace from beginning to end, and it is above all in Christ; apart from Him there can be no salvation. This verse makes a further point: we aren't saved just to sit on our heels and wait for heaven, we have work to do. The difficulty in making it clear that we can't earn our salvation is that some people then expect everything to be handed to them on a silver tray, when nothing could be further from the truth. We have the privilege of taking part in what God is doing, in specific ways that He has prepared to allow us to do so. Failing to seek and do these things deprives us far more than it inconveniences God, because participating with Him in what He is doing brings a level of fellowship that comes in no other way.

O: 「キリストにあって」の言葉が基準であり、どのエペソの終わりも同じですが驚くには値しません。エペソ人はパウロの書いたものの中では最高だと呼ばれています。パウロが学んだ救いを凝縮したものです。その救いを私たちは享受しているのです。読んでいてはっきり、始めから終りまで恵みによるもので、とりわけキリストによるものだと分かります。キリストから離れて救いはあり得ません。さらにこの節では、ただじっと指をくわえて待っているだけでは救われないこと、働きをするべきだと教えています。私たちが自分を救えないことを明確にするのは難しいのですが、ある人たちは銀のお皿に載せて救いが来るのだと思っています。これほど真実からかけ離れているものはありません。神様の働きに加わる特権を頂いているのですが、より具体的に言うと、それもキリストが用意なさったことです。救いを求めず、行いをしないならば、神様に不都合を与える以上に、私たちからも奪われてしまいます。なぜならキリストとその行いに参加することによって、交わりのレベルに到達できます。他に交わりの方法は得られません。

A: This is a truth I have an intense need to remember at this time of year, when I feel there is so much to do that I just want to run away and hide. I find that my mind blocks out things I perhaps subconsciously don't want to remember to do. Of course, not everything I forget to do falls in that category! However, ignoring tasks doesn't make them go away, and delaying them often makes them harder. God knows where I need to grow, and the growing pains can feel intense at times! I need to focus on the privilege of participating with God in what He is doing, being thankful rather than grumbling or trying to escape. God's plans for me are always good, and they are never more than what He has already prepared me to do.

A:  逃げてしまいたいほど忙しいこの時期、しっかり覚えておきたい真実の御言葉です。多分、潜在意識的に覚えていたくないことを、心がブロックしているようです。もちろん、忘れていることの全てがそうだととは限りませんが。しかし、仕事をやらなくとも、その仕事がなくなるわけではありませんし、遅れれば、その分、後が大変になるだけです。神様は私が成長すべき点を御存じで、辛さがますます大きくなる時があります。神様のみ業に私も参加している特権に焦点を当てていたいと思います。不平や逃げだしたい思いに囚われるのではなく、むしろ感謝の念を持っていたいものです。神様の私への御計画はいつも良いもので、私のためにご準備なさったことも同様ですから。

P: Father, thank You for all the past few days have held, and all that today holds as well. Thank You for getting me through to this point, and for the assurance that you will get me through today as well. Thank You particularly that Miho is being baptized this morning. I pray that this would be a glorious start to a rich and fruitful life as Your child, on this earth and for eternity. I pray that she may be accepted and integrated into the Body very quickly, supporting and being supported, encouraging and being encouraged. I do pray for a job for her that will make better use of the abundant gifts You have placed in her and will allow her more freedom to participate in church activities. I pray also for the right job for the others who have that need at the moment, and I pray for all the believers that we may each recognize what You have prepared for us to do, and rejoice to do it for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P: お父様。この2~3日の出来事、そして今日の全てのことを感謝します。この時点まで、やり抜き通し、今日もまた、そうできるであろう確信を与えてくださり感謝します。今朝、バプテスマを受けるミホさんのことを特に感謝します。この地上で、永遠で、あなたの子供として、豊かで実りある栄光の始まりとなるように祈ります。ミホさんが助け、助けられ、励まし、励まされながら、キリストの体に早く組み込まれ、受け入れられるように祈ります。あなたが彼女に下さった沢山の賜物を生かせ、教会活動に自由に参加できるような仕事がありますように。この時期、仕事の必要のある人たちのために祈ります。そして信者全てがあなたの準備なさっていることに気づき、ご栄光のために喜んでいられますように。感謝します。神様を賛美します!



エペソ 1:15-23

S: エペソ 1:17 どうか、私たちの主イエス・キリストの神、すなわち栄光の父が、神を知るための知恵と啓示の御霊をあなたがたに与えてくださいますように。

O: Once again we have an incredibly rich, very involved passage that is very hard to extract one verse from. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit to grasp it all, so this verse is a very appropriate one to consider as representative. Jesus said clearly that no one could come to Him unless the Father drew him (John 6:44), so as we pray for people's salvation we need to ask for God to do the work. It is the Holy Spirit who works in hearts, so exactly as this verse says, we need to pray that God will pour His Spirit out on people. Both wisdom and revelation are involved. We can't know God unless He reveals Himself to us, but often when He does so, we are too foolish to interpret the revelation correctly so that we know Him better. The foundation for the wisdom we need to know God is the deep awe and respect the Bible is talking about when it keeps admonishing us to “fear God.” Without such an attitude toward Him we will never know Him correctly, because He is not only love, He is a consuming fire. (1 John 4:8, Hebrews 12:29, quoting Deuteronomy 4:24)


A: I'm preaching on the fear of the Lord tomorrow, but it would be futile to do so without praying for the help of the Holy Spirit, for me and for my hearers. We really are incredibly dense when it comes to spiritual things, which are the things that matter. We've got to have the help of the Holy Spirit in order to understand any of it correctly, so that's what I need to pray for. I regularly do that at the beginning of each message, but that must not be simply an automatic pattern; it must be the cry of my heart. Even if by my oratory and logic I were able to convince someone of some facts about Christ (not likely), it would make no real difference in their heart and life without the help of the Holy Spirit. I need to make this verse, and the ones following, my constant prayer, so that together we may grow in our knowledge and obedience, for God's pleasure and glory.

A: 私は主を恐れることを明日のメッセージで話すつもりですが、私も、聞く人も、聖霊の助けを祈らないならば、無益です。重要な事柄である霊的なことに関して私たちはひどく愚鈍です。ですから正しく理解するためには聖霊の助けが必要で、そのために私は祈らなくてはなりません。私は毎回メッセージの始めに祈りますが、ただ機械的にパターン化して祈るのは好ましくありません。心の奥底からの叫びであるべきです。私の話とロジックであっても、キリストについて幾ばくかを確信させることができるでしょう。それも聖霊の助けなしでは聞く人の心と生き方に何の違いももたらさないでしょう。今日の節と次の節をいつも祈っているようにしたいと思います。そして神様の喜びとご栄光のために、私たちが知識と従順でともに成長できますように。

P: Father, thank You for this reminder. There is so much that I know but don't practice fully! Keep me from fooling myself, as James says. Rather help me put into practice all of Your Word that is in me. You have blessed me with an incredible spiritual heritage, just as this passage is talking about; help me walk in it and live it out, drawing many more people into Your kingdom and building up the believers, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



エペソ 1:1-14

S: エペソ 1:13-14 この方にあってあなたがたもまた、真理のことば、あなたがたの救いの福音を聞き、またをれを信じたことにより、約束の御霊をもって証印を押されました。御霊は私たちが御国を受け継ぐことの保証です。これは神の民の贖いのためであり、神の栄光がほめたたえられるためです。

O: This whole passage (1-14) is so interconnected that it's hard to pull out one idea to write about, particularly when I'm doing it across not just two translations but two languages! In the NIV I could have started in the middle of verse 13, and in Japanese I could have gone with just verse 14, but to make complete sentences in both, I went with 13-14. The point is that the Holy Spirit is what, and Who, gives us assurance of our place in the kingdom of God. As we've had in the readings recently, it's the Holy Spirit in us who calls God Abba (Daddy). I've never met anyone who was filled with the Holy Spirit who really doubted their salvation! That's not to say we never grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, and at such times our assurance certainly can waver, and not without reason. However, anyone truly operating in the Spirit knows that it's the power of God operating through them, and not their own, so they have no reason to doubt that God will be faithful to give them the full inheritance that He has promised.

O: この節全体が(1~14)がとても密接に関連しているので、一つの考えを書きだすのは難しいです。特に二つの訳文ではなく二つの言語で読んでいるので。NIVだと13節の中辺りから始めることができますし、日本語訳だと14節から始められますが、両方とも完全なのは13~14なのでそうしました。大切なのは、聖霊が神の御国での私たちの場所があることを確信させてくださり、また、それを与えてくださることです。最近、読んだばかりの箇所ですが、私たちのうちにある聖霊が神をアバ(父)と呼ぶのです。救いに疑いを持っている人で、聖霊に満たされた人を私は見たことがありません!聖霊を嘆いたり、聖霊に餓えたりと言う意味ではありません。そういった時には確信が揺らぐ時です。しかし、御霊にあって真に働く人は誰でも、自分の力ではなく、神様の力が働いていることを知っています。それで、約束なさった継承物を十分に与えてくださる真実な方だと信じることができます。

A: This is a real issue for me, not as an individual believer but as a pastor. It's one more reason I want every believer to be filled with and operating in the Holy Spirit. There have been moments when I've been more sure of God being real that I've been sure of myself being real, but not everyone has had that kind of experience. I need to help them understand that when they believed and committed themselves to Christ that they received the Holy Spirit, much like taking a drink of water (John 7:27-29, 1 Corinthians 12:13), but that God wants to immerse them in and pervade them with His Spirit, so that they won't be satisfied with, or resigned to, where they are spiritually, but will press in for more and more of God. While I'm doing that, I must never think that I myself have “arrived” either, but keep pressing in for all that God has promised and desires to pour out on me.

A: これは私にとって、一個人信者としてだけでなく、牧師としても、本当に問題です。全ての信者が聖霊によって満たされ働くように願っているのにはもう一つの理由があります。神様が実際におられることを確信し、私も実際にいることを確信していますが、全ての人がそうではありません。丁度、水を飲むように(ヨハネ7:27~29,1コリント12:13)聖霊を頂き、キリストを信じ、献身できるように私は助けていくべきです。そして、神様は彼らを聖霊に浸らせ聖霊で充満させたいと望んでおられます。さらに霊的にますます神に頼るようになるためにです。私がそうしていても、決してその境地に「到達する」ことはありません。ただ神様の約束と私たちに注ぎたいと望んでおられることを強く求めていくだけです。

P: Father, thank You again for Your grace. Thank You for the strength to do all that You call me to do. The days are getting increasingly hectic as the end of the year approaches, and I am tempted to panic when I consider what I'm in the middle of and what lies ahead. Thank You for waking me up this morning so that I can have this time with You and also prepare the message for Sunday before I have to get moving with everything else I have to do today. Help me take each thing in turn, not being anxious about the next thing to be done but focusing fully on the task at hand, so that Your Spirit in me can accomplish what You desire. I pray particularly for Brother Ohkawa as his mother's funeral is held today. Thank You that I could make it to the wake last night. I ask that You wrap him in Your arms and assure him that he is not alone, whatever it looks like in the natural. Help him trust You enough to receive all that You desire for him, for his great blessing and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P: お父様。再び、あなたの恵みを感謝します。あなた召しを行なえるだけの強さを感謝します。年末が近づくにつれ、ますます忙しくなり、多忙の渦中とこれから先のことにばかり目を向けていると慌ててしまいます。今朝、目が覚め、あなたとともに時間が過ごせ、今日一日の仕事に取り掛かる前に、日曜メッセージの準備までできたことを感謝します。先のことを心配するのではなく、今、ある事に十分、集中できるように助けてください。私にあるあなたの御霊が、あなたの望む事を成せますように。今日、お母さんの葬儀のある大川兄弟のために特に祈ります。昨夜、お通夜に行けたことを感謝します。どうぞ、彼をあなたの腕で包み、この自然界ではどう見えようとも、彼が一人ではないことを確信させてください。彼があなたをしっかりと信頼し、あなたが彼に望んでおられること、大きな祝福を受け取れますように。あなたのご栄光のために。有難うございます。神様を賛美します!


ガラテヤ 5:1-15

S: Galatians 5:13 兄弟たち。あなたがたは、自由を与えられるため召されたのです。ただ、その自由を肉の働く機会としないで、愛をもって互いに仕えなさい。

O: This is most often used to refer to “the sins of the flesh,” as they are called – lust, gluttony, immorality and the like – but whereas it does apply there, the context is that of legalism and thinking you're better than someone else because you follow a particular rule. In the following verse Paul quotes what Jesus referred to as the Second , but not what He called the First Commandment. That's not to say that Paul didn't think loving God was most important, it's that he was saying that rules of behavior are covered by loving our neighbor properly. An American proverb says, “Your freedom to swing your fist stops at the tip of my nose.” That's the sort of thing Paul is talking about here. We need to consider how our attitudes and actions affect those around us, loving them with the love God has for us, so that we will freely and joyfully build them up rather than tear them down.

O: しばしば「肉の罪」と言う表現で呼ばれている箇所です。欲望、貪欲、不道徳などを指していますが、それ以外に、律法主義の中身と、律法に従っていることから来る優越意識も指しています。次の節でパウロはイエスが二番目の戒めとして述べたことを引用しています。一番目のものではありません。それは神を愛することが最も大切だとパウロが考えなかったからではありません。そうではなく、隣人を正しく愛することによって、規則による行いは網羅されるとパウロは言っているのです。アメリカに「怒りのこぶしを振り上げる意思はあなた次第だ」と言う内容の諺がありますが、パウロがここで話しているのは、これと同様の趣旨です。私たちの態度や行動が周りの人にどう影響を与えるかを熟考しましょう。神様の愛を持って人々を愛し接するようにしましょう。そうすれば破壊ではなく、自由に喜びを持って建て上げることができます。

A: This is the attitude I want to foster and grow in this church. We have had it, but the devil has worked overtime to tear it down, and we need to take it back! Just as I hate to be misunderstood, I need to be fully sensitive to others to prevent misunderstanding in either direction. I am not to be bound, tied in knots, when someone misunderstands me, but neither am I free to ignore the fact that misunderstanding has taken place. I need to stand firm against a spirit of misunderstanding and division, because such a spirit is certainly not holy! I need to operate in humility and love at all times, so that the Body of Christ may be built up.

A: この教会内で、こうした態度が成長し大きくなって欲しいと願っています。もうすでにあるのですが、悪魔が壊そうと邪魔をしています。ですから私たちは取り返さなくてはなりません!私は自分が誤解されるのは嫌なのですが、また私も誤解を防ぐめに人に対して敏感であるべきでしょう。人に誤解されるときに、縛られていたくはありませんし、そうした誤解があることを無視するしていたくもありません。誤解と分裂に対してしっかりと立ち向かいたいと思います。そうした霊は断じて聖いものではないからです!謙遜と常に愛をもって働きます。キリストの体が建て上げられるためにです。

P: Father, thank You yet again for all You are doing among us. Thank You for Brother Piro's sensitivity in relation to some things we haven't been doing right, and for his sharing that with me. Thank You for the message You're building in me to share with the flock on Sunday. I ask You to guide me in writing another letter to the person I have offended so deeply, even though the hurt arose from a complete misunderstanding. I pray that person would be able to receive my words and believe them, so that they will be set free from the bitterness that has bound them for so long. I ask that You enable me to stand firm against the spirit of misunderstanding that has been attacking us, so that it may flee and we be set free to grow as You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



ガラテヤ 3:26- 4:7

S: ガラテヤ 4:6-7 しかし、あなたがたは子であるゆえに、神は「アバ、父」と呼ぶ、御子の御霊を、私たちの心に遣わしてくださいました。ですから、あなたがたはもはや奴隷ではなく、子です。子ならば、神による相続人です。

O: So few Christians, even, realize the magnitude of what God has done for us in Christ. The Bible is very, very clear that whereas we are God's creation, we become His children by faith (John 1:12-13). To those who believe, He gives His Spirit, the Spirit of His Son, who naturally and rightly has an intimate relationship with Him as Father. To the degree that we yield ourselves to His Holy Spirit, we enjoy that intimacy for which we were created. Not only that, we are given title to all the Son owns – which is to say, the whole universe! That is so mind boggling that we either can't grasp it or we make excuses for God as to why it isn't really true. God is the perfect Father, so He doesn't put things into our hands, even though they belong to us, that would not be for our best, but for the most part we ask for far too little, or, as it says in James 4:2-3, we ask with the wrong motives. God doesn't want us to be lazy and/or irresponsible, but He does want to bless us abundantly.

O: 神様がキリストを通して私たちのためにしてくださったことの偉大さを分かっているクリスチャンは少ないのです。聖書では、もう本当に大変、大変明確に人間は神様の創造物だと教えています。信仰によって神の子となれるです。(ヨハネ1:12~13)神様が、御霊と御子の御霊を与えてくださることを信じる者は、御父としての神と自然で正しい関係を持てます。聖霊様にどれだけ委ねるかによって異なりますが、親しい関係を享受できます。そのために私たちは創られたのですから。それだけでなく、御子の持っておられる全てのタイトルが与えられるのです。つまり、子の全宇宙です!あまりにも偉大すぎて驚いてしまい、理解ができないか、あるいは言い訳をしてしまいます。神は完全な父ですから、たとえ私たちの物であっても、私たちにとって最良でないならば、私たちの手に置かれません。しかし、ほとんどの場合、私たちはあまりに少ししか頼んでいないのです。あるいは、ヤコブ4:2~3に書いてあるように、悪い動機で願うからです。神様は私たちが怠慢であったり、無責任であるのを望んでおられません。ただ豊かに祝福したいと願っておられるのです。

A: I have to include myself in those who don't really grasp the magnitude of what I have just written! I understand it as an abstraction in my mind, but I have a lot of trouble dealing with it on the practical level. I have seen it worked out time and time again, and yet I still get anxious about finances, for example. I need to walk in what I know! I don't doubt my salvation or that I'm a child of God, so I need to walk more and more fully in all that means.

A: 私は、今、上に書いたことの偉大さを完全に分かっていない部類に入るでしょう。心の中で抽象的なこととしてなら理解できていますが、現実的なレベルとなると沢山の困難があります。たとえば、これまで、もう何度も何度も切り抜けてきたのに拘わらず、まだ収入のことで心配をしています。神様を知っているのですから、信頼して歩むべきなのです!私は救いについては全く疑っていませんし、神様の子供だと信じています。ですから。そういう風にもっともっと歩んでいくべきなのです。

P: Father, thank You for this gentle, comforting rebuke. Forgive me for the smallness of my faith. Thank You that today is Cathy's birthday. Help me do my part in making it a good one. Help her lift her eyes to see all that You have done and are doing for her, and all she is in You, so that she may rejoice as You intend. I pray that today's cooking class will be thoroughly delightful for all involved, and that a clear witness will be presented in the process. May we delight in You together, so that You may delight in us. Thank You. Praise God!



ガラテヤ 3:1-14

S: ガラテヤ 3:3 あなたがたはどこまで道理がわからないのですか。御霊で始まったあなたがたが、いま肉によって完成されるというのですか。

O: It's interesting to see that it's been at least a few years since I've included this passage in our reading, because it wasn't underlined at all in the Japanese. It's an important passage, and actually the core of the whole letter to the Galatians. Salvation is by grace through faith from beginning to end; it never “changes gears” into something based on works, the way the Galatians were trying to do. Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts; it's not something we do in our own strength. Likewise, every gift of God is by His grace, both the common grace that He pours out on everyone and the special grace He gives to those who believe. Failure to understand that can result in all sorts of aberrations, and it has: legalistic churches abound. The problem is that in our weakness we seek rules, instead of learning to get quiet before the Lord and listen to His Spirit. The Bible actually has plenty of guidelines, starting with the 10 Commandments, that are valid in every age, but as Paul stresses throughout this letter, depending on a legal code makes us blind to the grace of God. Rather, we need to learn to “walk in step with the Spirit,” as the NIV puts it in Galatians 5:16.

O: 興味深いことに、この節を聖書日課に入れて以来、少なくとも2~3年たちますが、日本語では全く強調されていませんでした。重要な箇所で、ガラテア人への手紙全ての核となっているほどです。救いは始めから終りまで、信仰を通じ、信仰によってなされます。ガラテア人がやろうとしたような「ギアを変えた」働きによるのではありません。救いは私たちの心の中におられる聖霊の働きによるのであって、私たち自身の強さによるのではありません。同じように、神様からのあらゆる賜物も恵みによります。すべての人に注がれている共通の恵みと、神様を信じる人に与えられた特別の賜物の両方ともです。このことを理解できないと、あらゆる種類の困ったことが生じるでしょうし、生じています。律法主義的な教会などで起こっています。問題は御霊の声を聞き、神の御前で静かに学ぼうとはせずに、人間の弱さの内に規則を求めることにあります。聖書には沢山の指針を示してあります。まず十戒がそうです。これはいつも時代にも当てはまることです。しかし、パウロは手紙を通して、律法主義的な決まりに頼っていると神様の恵みが見えなくなると教えています。むしろ、NIVのガラテヤ5:16にあるように「御霊によって歩む」ことを学ぶ必要があるでしょう。

O: I've had my personal struggles with this, not to mention the difficulties I've had getting it across to others. On one hand we like rules because they make us feel secure, but on the other hand we rebel against them. I've certainly been on both sides of that line! However, I'll not forget how I came to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I had been seeking that as an experience for some time, unsuccessfully, when a good friend pointed out that we receive everything from God by grace through faith. If I believed God had promised it, then I needed to ask Him for it, trust that He had been true to His word, and thank Him for it. Things didn't happen as I had expected, but God was certainly faithful. Formulas are easy and convenient, and sometimes getting quiet and listening can be hard. There's a very convenient Japanese phrase that means “listen and obey.” I've got to do more and more of that, and lead the flock to do likewise.

O: 私は個人的にこの問題を抱えていますが、言うまでもなく、他の方々にこの教えを分かってもらうのにも苦労しています。私たちは規則を好みます。それによって安全を感じるからでしょう。一方、規則に逆らいます。私はそのどちらにも属しますが!しかし、聖霊のうちにあって、どのようにバプテスマを受けたかを忘れないでいたいと思います。その前に、私は聖霊様を経験できることを、しばらく求めていましたが、うまくいきませんでした。その時、良い友人が、信仰による神の恵みによって全ては与えられるのだと指摘してくれました。神様の約束を信じるならば、私はそれを求め、神様が御言葉に忠実な方であることを信頼し、感謝すべきでした。それで、事態は思った通りには運びませんでしたが、それでも神様は真実なお方でした。形式は簡単で便利ですが、時に静かに聞くことが困難になります。日本語に「良く聞いて従う」という便利な表現があります。私はもっと、もっと多くを成し、この群れを同じように指導していきたいと思っています。

P: Father, recently I've allowed my heart to get busy, which has made me less sensitive to You. Forgive me. Help me indeed listen and obey, not just on specific issues but constantly. My field of vision is so narrow, and I certainly don't know what's around the corner. Help me trust You implicitly and explicitly, not being legalistic but letting Your Spirit fill and flow through me, so that all You intend may be accomplished, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!




ガラテヤ 2:15-21

S: ガラテヤ 2:21

O: When I saw a closing quotation mark at the end of this verse I was confused, but I traced it back to verse 14, and understood for the first time that all of this is what Paul said to Peter when he was correcting him for avoiding the Gentile Christians in Antioch after some Jewish Christians had showed up from Jerusalem. Realizing that actually makes the whole passage easier to understand. I feel like Paul was perhaps being a little self-righteous in his response to Peter, but the point certainly needed to be made, and preserved as Scripture. Peter himself later agreed with that, when he put Paul's letters on the same plane with the OT. (2 Peter 3:16) The point Paul was making is that grace is grace, and there is no other way we can possibly be accepted by God. It's amazing, actually, how hard it is to get this through to many people. We so want to be able to take pride in our salvation, when pride is the greatest single obstacle to salvation. As Paul says in this verse, if there were any hope at all of our becoming genuinely righteous through observing a law, no matter how perfect that law might be, then there would have been no reason for Christ to die on the cross. It's because every last one of us is a hopeless case that God sent His Son, and Jesus died in our place so that we might be saved.

O: この節の終わりが、かぎ括弧で括ってあるのを見て混乱しました。14節まで戻って、パウロがペテロに語ったことだと初めて気がつきました。エルサレムからユダヤ人が現れた後、アンテオケで異邦人のクリスチャンを避けたことを正そうとしてパウロがペテロの語ったことです。それが分かって、この部分がより理解できるようになりました。パウロは恐らくペテロに対して、少々自己正義的な反応をしていたようですが、要点はそのまま聖書に記録されています。ペテロがパウロの手紙に旧約聖書と同様の文面を見い出し、ペテロも後に賛同しています。パウロは恵みは恵みであり、それ以外に神様に受け入れらる方法はないと教えています。とても驚くことです。実際、多くの人に分からせるのは困難です。ですから、私たちは救いについて誇ることができるのです。たとえプライドが救いの唯一最大の障害だとしてもです。ここでパウロが教えているように、律法を守ることで真に義となれる希望があるならば、どれほど律法が完全であろうとも、キリストが十字架で死なれる理由はなかったことになります。

A: I have certainly had my difficulties in getting this through to people! The Gospel sounds too good to be true, which is why it takes child-like faith to receive it. Adults get suspicious and want to know what the catch is. Actually, from a human perspective you could say there is a catch: God wants all of us in exchange for eternal life. However, as anyone who has made that exchange can testify, that is no real sacrifice. As Nate Saint said, years before he was martyred, “He is no fool who gives what he can't keep to gain what he can't lose.” I must not give up communicating the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to everyone who will listen, so that as many as will may be saved.


P: Father, thank You for Your grace toward me and for the privilege of communicating that grace to others. Thank You for the harvest we have had this year, and for the awareness that I can take pride in none of it. I pray that as Miho is baptized this coming Sunday that it would be a powerful witness to others as well, helping to push them past the “tipping point” so that they too commit themselves to Christ. Thank You for all You are doing here to transform us, individually and as a body, into the likeness of Your Son. May we cooperate with that transformation with diligence and joy, so that all of Your purposes for us may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




第2コリント 13:1-14

S: 第2コリント 13:14 主イエス・キリストの恵み、神の愛、聖霊の交わりが、あなたがたすべてとともにありますように。

O: Precisely because we hear these words so often, there is the danger of their being dulled in our awareness, like background noise, when they are profoundly important. They are explicitly Trinitarian, and that in itself is important. Everything good that we have comes to us because of Christ, and it is all by grace, not something we have earned. The motive behind it all is the love of God, which prompted Him to send Christ in the first place, and it is conveyed to us by the Holy Spirit, who indwells us and teaches us what fellowship is all about. Every part of this is necessary for us to experience the salvation God intends for us. People can argue until they are blue in the face – and they do – over the unity/trinity/triunity of God, but in the Bible there is no argument, just the recognition that there is only one God, but we experience Him in three Persons. An important point about this verse is that those who are in Christ bless others with their words, as Paul does here, and there is no greater blessing that a right relationship with the triune God.

O: とても深い内容の重要な御言葉ですが、しょっちゅう耳にしているために、BGMの雑音か何かのように、耳に馴染んでいるだけで、はっきりと意識できなくなる危険を含んでいます。ここに書かれていることは、明らかに三位一体的で、大変重要です。私たちの持つ全て良きものはキリストゆえにあり、つまり、全ては恵みによるものです。決して私たちで得たものではありません。背景にあるのは神の愛であり、それゆえに、まずキリストを送ってくださいました。そして、そのことを伝えてくれるのは、私たちのうちに住み、交わりを教えてくださる聖霊です。この全ては神が私たちのためにご用意くださった救いを知るために必要なことです。人は疲れ果てるほどまでに、統一派、三位一体、神の三位一体について論議します。しかし、聖書では全く論議などありません。あるのは、三者によって経験される、ただ唯一の神のみです。この節での大切な教えは、キリストにある者は、ここでパウロがそうしているように、他の人をも言葉によって祝福することです。神との三位一体にある正しい関係ほど豊かな祝福はありません。

A: I speak this blessing a minimum of once a week, and I need to keep it fresh in my awareness in every way. I don't want it to be a canned, rote statement, but an expression of what I desire and what God desires for each of my hearers. These words are powerful, but only if spoken by the Holy Spirit in truth.

A: 私は個の祝福を少なくとも週に一回は語っています。どんな方法にあっても、いつも心に新鮮に受け止めるようにし続けたいと思います。ワンパターンで丸覚え的な話で終わらせたくはありません。私の望む事を伝えたいし、神様が伝えたいことを話したいのです。聖霊によって真実の言葉となった時のみ、この言葉は大きな力となるのです。

P: Father, thank You for the great privilege of blessing people. Help me never take it lightly, but be an open channel of Your grace and love at all times, whether I am speaking a specific benediction or not, so that those around me may experience You through me, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



第2コリント 12:1-10

S: 第2コリント 12:9-10 しかし、主は、「わたしの恵みは、あなたに十分である。というのは、わたしの力は、弱さのうちに完全に現れるからである」と言われたのです。ですから、私は、キリストの力が私をおおうために、むしろ大いに喜んで私の弱さを誇りましょう。ですから、私は、キリストのために、弱さ、侮辱、苦痛、迫害、困難に甘んじています。なぜなら、私が弱いときこそ、私が強いからです。

O: This is so absolutely counter-intuitive that the words hardly sink into our awareness. We hear them, and on some level we understand them, but real understanding is far from us. What Paul is talking about, and what the Lord was talking about to Paul, is that as long as we are relying on what we see as our strength, we won't open up to allow God's power to flow through us. It goes without saying that God's power is infinitely greater than ours, but we have enormous difficulty letting go of what we see as our strength. Paul made it to that point, which is why handkerchiefs that he had used could be taken to sick people and they got well. God does not share His glory with another, so as long as we are saying, I'm going to do it, God is going to hold back His power. It is only when there is no question in us as to where the power comes from and who gets the glory that God is really going to act. That's why awareness of weakness is one of the greatest blessings.

O: この御言葉はあまりに直観に反しすぎていて、あまり心に中に沁み込みません。私たちは聞いて、ある程度なら理解できますが、真の理解には程遠いようです。パウロが語っていること、主がパウロについて語っておられることは、つまりこういうことです。私たちが自分の強さに頼っている限り、神様のみ力に心を開けず、私たちを通してその力が注ぎ出されないということです。言うまでもなく、神様の力は人間の力などより、無限に偉大ですが、私たちは自分の力(そう思い込んでいる)を手放すことに苦慮しています。パウロの使った手拭いで病の人がいやされたことを例に挙げてパウロは教えています。私たちが「自分で何とかできるさ」と言っている限り、神様はご栄光を分かち合っては下さらずに、力を控えてしまわれるのです。力がどこから来るのか、そして栄光は誰のものかを分かった時にのみ、神は真に働いてくださるのです。ですから、弱さを知ることはとても大きな祝福なのです。

A: This has been a major issue for me much of my life. I have been given a large and assorted grab-bag of abilities, of which I have been a very imperfect steward. It has taken far too long for me to realize on the deepest level that these are all from God and aren't anything to take personal pride in. They have gotten me through all sorts of situations, but I have tended to rely on the gifts instead of the Giver. I desire that God work through me for the deliverance, healing, and salvation of many, but it's entirely possible that the reason I haven't seen much of that is that I've thought I was too qualified! No amount of gifting qualifies anyone to be a vessel of God's power, and I've got to remember that. It has become a cliché, but it is still true that God doesn't need our ability, He needs our availability. Like Paul, I need to rejoice in my weakness so that I can rejoice in God's strength.


P: Father, thank You for Your patience with me. Thank You for putting me in situations where my gifting isn't up to the task, so that I will rely on You. I feel that most strongly in dealing with difficult people in the church, and my inner response is to want to run and hide. Help me rather rejoice at the opportunity for You to display Your grace and power through my weakness and inability, so that I won't allow the devil to rob me of my peace and joy. Help me indeed trust Your love, as You told me personally to do, so that all Your plans involving me may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




第2コリント 10:1-18

S: 第2コリント 10:18 自分自身を推薦する人でなく、主に推薦される人こそ、受け入れられる人です。

O: Self defense is human nature, and what Paul is speaking of here is an extension of that. We feel we have to make and maintain our own place in the world, and boastfulness and combativeness arise from that. When we are genuinely submitted to God and trusting Him fully, there is no need for either self promotion or self defense. At the end of life it will matter very little what people say or have said about us; what will matter is God's evaluation. Even with that understood, we have great difficulty living it out.

O: 自己防衛は人間の持つ性質であり、パウロがここで語っているのも、その延長です。私たちは世界で自分の居場所を作り、保持しなくてはと考えますが、そこから高慢や戦いが生じます。心から神に従い、十分信頼しているならば、自己宣伝や自己防衛をする必要はありません。人生の終わりには人が言ったことなどはまず大切ではありません。それが分かっていても生きるのは大変ですが、大切なのは神様からの評価なのです。

A: This is something I have struggled with a great deal, and continue to do so. I tend to be very defensive, both of myself and of my wife. That can be particularly damaging in this culture, where it is seen as rude. I have been criticized for standing up for my wife, partly because so few Japanese men stand up for their wives, yet I see that as part of my sacred responsibility before God. At the moment I am tied in knots over the upcoming church business meeting because of conflicting expectations, both intercultural and interpersonal. My personal conflict is in how far to apply Paul's principle of becoming all things to all people so that by all means I might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22) More than one church has been torn apart by just such petty things as confront us now, and I must not yield to that. Paul was strong in dealing with believers, but it was always for their own good even when it was firm discipline. The hardest thing about all of this is that I'm not the primary target, and that's very difficult to deal with.

A: これは私が大変苦労してきたことで、引き続き苦労しています。私は自分自身に対しても家内に対しても、とてもかばいがちです。これがこの国の文化に馴染まず、尊大に思われるのでしょう。家内をかばい過ぎていると指摘を受けますが、その理由の一つとして、日本人男性が奥さんを守るために立ちあがることが滅多にないからでしょう。しかし、私は家内を守るのは神の御前、聖なる責任と思っています。間もなく教会総会がありますが、文化の違い、人間関係の意味で、うまくいかない気がします。それでまとまるように取り計らっているところです。私は個人的にどの程度までパウロの教え、「全ての人に、全てのものとなりました。それは何とかして、幾人かでも救うためです」(1コリント9:22)を、適用すべきかで困っています。私たちが今、抱えているような些細な問題で、二つ以上の教会が立ち行かなくなったのを知っています。私はそんな風に屈したくはありません。パウロは信者との対応にたけていました。たとえ厳しい訓練の時でさえ、常に信者の益となるように働いたからです。この問題でひどく難しいのは、私が問題の中心ではないことです。そのため対処するのが本当に大変です。

P: Father, thank You for this training experience. I was realizing a few minutes ago that I'd really rather be martyred physically than go through this kind of thing, because I know what's on the other side of death and I look forward to it. Help me be fully yielded to You, looking to You for what You want to teach me through this, so that Your plans, and none of the devil's, may be fulfilled, for the sake of this church and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



第2コリント 5:11-21

S: 第2コリント 5:14-15 というのは、キリストの愛が私たちを取り囲んでいるからです。私たちはこう考えました。ひとりの人がすべての人のために死んだ以上、すべての人が死んだのです。また、キリストがすべての人のために死んだのは、生きている人々は、もはや自分のためにではなく、自分のために死んでよみがえった方のために生きるためです。

O: Until I just typed it in, I never realized how confusing the Japanese for this passage is! Japanese is weak in pronouns, and spoken Japanese often implies the subject or the object (or even both) of a sentence. To avoid that sort of confusion the translators had to spell things out in this passage, but it became very convoluted in the process. That is unfortunate, because the truth here is very important. When we realize the full impact of Christ having died for us, it changes everything. We tend to live selfish, self-centered lives, not realizing how that cuts us off from true happiness and satisfaction. One reason Jesus died for us was to free us from that trap so that we could enjoy the abundant life God intends for us. (John 10:10) The world and the devil do their utmost to get us to focus on ourselves, and most of the time we don't realize what a trap that is. It is only when we learn to live for Jesus that the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is produced abundantly in our lives.

O: タイピングするまで、この節の日本語がこれほどややこしいとは気付きませんでした。日本語は代名詞があいまいで、口語では文中で主語か目的語(ひどい時には両方)がはっきりしないことがよくあります。こうした混乱を避けるために、翻訳者はこの節の言葉を細かに訳したのでしょうが、判読が厄介です。残念でさえあります。と言うのもここに書かれていることは大変重要だからです。キリストが私たちのために死なれたことの大きな影響を知るならば、全てが変わります。真の幸福と満足から切り離されることだと知らずに、私たちは身勝手で自己中心的に生きようとしがちです。イエスが私たちのために死なれた理由の一つは、その自己中心の罠から解放させようとしてくださったことにあります。神様が私たちの意図されている豊かな命を享受できるように、です。(ヨハネ10:10)この世と悪魔は私たちが自己にばかり目を向けさせようと精一杯企んでいます。そして殆どの場合、私たちはその罠に気がつかないでいます。イエスのために生きることを知った時こそ、御霊の実を頂き(ガラテア5:22~23)私たちの命に豊かに育つのです。

A: I have had my own struggles with this, but as a pastor I see so many who are absolutely crippled by selfishness/self-centeredness. I honestly don't know how to help them out of it, other than to pray for them and keep speaking the truth in love to them. The difficulty for me comes in accepting only those burdens Christ gives me, because there are an unlimited number of burdens available, and the devil loves to squash/burn out well-meaning people by piling them with burdens. As Cathy was mentioning just this morning, Jesus didn't go around searching for burdens! I need to accept the burdens He gives me, knowing that He will bear them with me, but not accept guilt feelings for not taking up burdens He hasn't assigned to me.


P: Father, thank You for this word this morning. As this church grows, the opportunities for burn-out will grow with it. Help me be fully diligent at the tasks You have for me but have discernment as to what is of You and what isn't. Help me live in Christ as I live for Him, communicating His life to those around me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P: 父よ。今朝、この御言葉を有難うございます。この教会が成長するにつれて、燃え尽きも増えていくでしょう。あなたから与えられた仕事を勤勉にこなせるように助けてください。その時のあなたの言葉か、そうでないのかを見極めることができますように。キリストのために生き、キリストのうちに生きるように助けてください。キリストの命を周りの方々に伝えることができますように。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。神様を賛美します!



第2コリント 3:7-18

S: 第2コリント 3:17-18 主は御霊です。そして、主の御霊のおられるところには自由があります。私たちはみな、顔のおおいを取りのけられて、鏡のように主の栄光を反映させながら、栄光から栄光へと、主と同じかたちに姿を変えられて行きます。これはまさに、御霊なる主の働きによるのです。

O: This passage gives anti-charismatics fits, and they prefer to ignore it. Not only does it twice equate the Lord with the Spirit, it speaks of believers being transformed into copies of the Lord, reflecting His glory as a mirror would. That certainly messes with any theology that says we are destined to crawl through the muck of the world like worms!
 As Jesus made clear, the devil is out to steal as much as he can from believers, not that he can make it his own, but he hates for us to have it, and the liberty of the Holy Spirit is right at the top of his list. He also hates that we are indeed being transformed into copies of Christ, because he wanted to take God's glory for himself, and was cast out of heaven for it, and so he tries to keep us from knowing that's what God intends for us. Even if he can't stop it, he wants to rob us of the joy and peace of knowing it's happening. When we know what God intends for us and get in step with the Spirit in moving in that direction, all heaven comes down!

O: この節に反カリスマ派の人は怒り、むしろ無視しています。主と御霊を二度も同一して述べてあり、信者が主の栄光を鏡のように反映させながら帰られていくとも述べてあります。人間はウジ虫のようなゴミ屑の社会で這いずり回る運命にあると教えている神学にとってはきっと厄介でしょう。イエスがはっきり語っているように、悪魔は信者からできるだけ多くを盗もうとして存在しています。悪魔は私たちが持っていることを憎んでいるのです。聖霊にある自由こそが悪魔の最も盗みたいものです。さらに、悪魔は信者がキリストと同じ形に姿を変えられていくことを嫌っています。悪魔は神様のご栄光を自身のものにしたいのですが、そのために天を追放されてしまい、神様の私たちへの御心を知ることを奪おうとしています。たとえ悪魔がそうした策略をやめなくとも、知識から得られる喜びと平安を奪いたがっています。神様の私たちに対する御意志を知り、御霊とともに正しい方向に進むなら天の全てが訪れます。

A: This is exactly the sort of thing I want Japanese believers to realize. The culture says it's conceit to think well of yourself, but God has created us so that we want and need to do so anyway. Therefore the culture tries to dump a guilt trip on those who have the temerity to maintain a good self-image in spite of the pressure. I need to be clear, strong, and consistent in teaching people what they are in Christ, not neglecting the responsibility for humble obedience, but tearing down the lie that we are nothing and can do nothing. It is very true that apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 16:5), but it is also true that in Him we will do more, by faith, even than Jesus did in His earthly ministry (John 14:12). The difficulty in teaching this is that it easily gets corrupted with human pride and ambition, but I must not let that stand in my way. I cannot trust myself, but I can trust God.

A: まさにこの御言葉こそ、日本人信者に気づいてもらいたいことです。この国の文化では、自分のことばかりを考えるのは思い上がりとして捉えられています。。しかし神様はいずれにせよ人が自分のことを思いたがり、またそうなくてはならないように、人間を創られたのです。そして、プレッシャーにも拘わらず、良い自己イメージを持ち続ける大胆な人たちには心の咎めを感じさせる文化です。私は明確に、強く、そして一貫して、キリストにあって何者かを説いていきます。謙遜な従順のためにこの責務を怠りません。私たちがつまらない者で何もできないという嘘を打破していきます。キリストから離れて何もできない(ヨハネ16:5)というは全くの真理ですが、キリストを信じる者は、キリストの行うわざを行い、またそれより大きなわざを行う(ヨハネ14:12)と書いてあるのも、また全くの真理です。このことは人間の持つプライドと野心と相いれませんから、教えるは至難です。しかし、私はそうした邪魔に屈しません。自分自身を信じるのではなく、神を信じ続けていきます。

P: Father, I know this is Your heart. I know that You want all of Your children to walk in this with ever-increasing glory, just as it says. Help me do so myself, but even more than that, help me lead the flock to do so, so that they may in turn communicate the reality of Your plans for us with ever-increasing numbers of people, so that Your name may be worshiped, Your kingdom come, Your will be done throughout this nation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



第2コリント 2:12- 3:6

S: 第2コリント 3:6 神は私たちに、新しい契約に仕える者となる資格を下さいました。文字に仕える者ではなく、御霊に仕える者です。文字は殺し、御霊は生かすからです。

O: Once again, the whole passage has much that speaks to me, but this verse stands out. There is no true qualification for ministry apart from that imparted by God Himself. I will never understand denominations that require a paper test before ordination. We are indeed to “study to show ourselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15), but no amount of study can replace the Holy Spirit and the call of God! With my Baptist upbringing, the next part resonates especially strongly: we are not servants of the printed word. Having the Bible is a priceless blessing, but a book is not our Lord; we serve the Author. I have met many earnest, sincere Christians for whom the Trinity could be expressed as Father, Son, and Holy Bible, and that is a tragic distortion. As Paul says here, such focus on written Law is deadly. We must have the life-giving breath of the Spirit in all our interaction with the printed words.

S: この節もまた全文が私の心を打つ内容ですが、特にこの個所がそうです。神様御自身から教えられたことを離れて、ミニストリーのために真の資格はありません。叙任式のために筆記テストを課す宗派がありますが、私には全く理解できません。「自分を神に捧げるよう、つとめ励みなさい」(2テモテ2:15)の御言葉通りにあるべきです。勉強の量で、聖霊や神様からの召しに置き換えることはできません。バプテストで育った私は次の部分が特に強く心に触れます。文字に仕える者ではないという部分です。聖書はとてつもなく価値のある祝福ですが、本は主ではありません。私たちは書いたお方に仕えているのです。まじめで誠実なクリスチャンと多く出会いました。父と子と聖書で表現される三位一体をまさに表現しているかのような人たちです。しかし、それは不幸な曲解です。パウロがここで述べているように、書かれている律法にばかり目を向けることは命取りです。文字との関わり全てに、命を与える御霊の息吹があるべきです。

A: As I wrote just a couple of days ago, I am deeply grateful to be “addicted to the Word,” but that is not the same as worshiping it. I feel like I am constantly running into people who either idolize the Bible or fail to respect it, and either position is wrong. I am not to be dogmatic and I am especially not to come across as holier-than-thou, but I am to stand firm against both of those positions and point people to the God who is so loving and gracious that He not only caused the Bible to be written for us, He poured out His Spirit to bring His Word to life in our hearts. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, but we need the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment so that we will repent, and we need the Word so that we will believe. The “Hidden Christians” of Japan are ample evidence of the importance of the Bible, because over 300 years, with nothing but prayer books and verbal transmission, the faith of most became unrecognizable from a Christian standpoint. I need to ground believers in the Word without idolizing it.

A: 先日も書いたことですが、「御言葉に依存している」ことに深く感銘を受けました。しかし、それは礼拝していることと同義ではありません。聖書を偶像化しているか、もしくは軽んじるか、そのどちらかに立っている人に常に出会っている気がします。そのどちらの立場も間違ったものです。私は教義的だったり、汝より聖なり的な態度は取りませんが、両者に立つ人たちには確固とした態度で応じます。そして神様が愛と恵みのお方であることを示します。私たちのために聖書を書いてくださり、私たちの心に御言葉を届けるために御霊を注いでくださったのです。救いはイエス・キリストだけによりますが、罪を知り、義と裁きを得るのは聖霊の助けが必要です。そうして悔い改めることができるのです。ですから御言葉が必要です。信じるためです。日本の「隠れキリシタン」は聖書の重要性を大きく示すものです。なぜなら200年以上にわたって、祈祷書と口頭の教えだけでしたから、彼らの信仰の殆どはクリスチャンのそれとはかけ離れてしまったからです。御言葉を偶像化するのではなく、信者の心にしっかりと教えていきたいと思います。

P: Father, thank You again for the superb heritage You have given me, in my physical ancestors and in Christ Jesus my Lord. Thank You for the privilege of sharing Your grace with others. Thank You for the joy of seeing that take root in others. I was thrilled Sunday night when H was talking about how her relationship with You is such that it would be hard to say when she is praying and when not, because she is so aware of You. Thank You also for her delight at the idea of “sword drills” to learn to find Scriptures and use the Bible efficiently. Thank You for the various games You've given Cathy toward that same end. Help us be more and more effective in sharing Your Word by Your Spirit, so that more and more people will come into the fullness of Your life for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



第2コリント 1:12-24

S: 第2コリント 1:20 神の約束はことごとく、この方にあって「しかり」となりました。それで私たちは、この方によって「アーメン」と言い、神に栄光を帰するのです。

O: It strikes me that, whereas all of God's promises are faithful and true, we have to agree with them, say Amen to them, to appropriate most of them. Some of His promises will be fulfilled whether we agree to them or not, but most of those we want to see fulfilled, the ones that pile blessing on blessing, have to be agreed to on our part. God had to send His Son to make these promises available to us, because apart from the atoning work of Christ on the cross, we have no standing whatsoever to receive anything good from God. That's why this verse says God's promises are “Yes” in Christ. Everything in the Bible is interrelated, which is why it's important that we read the whole Bible and keep reading it, because it's like a great circular staircase: we keep passing the same points, in one sense, but each time we do our understanding is deeper (or higher, depending on how you look at it), and we get more out of it. The Bible can be pretty wonderful the first time around, but it just keeps getting better and better as we allow it to become ingrained in us.


A: I have the enormous blessing of a huge head start on most people when it comes to reading the Bible, but I still have a long way yet to go in absorbing God's Word. That's something really to look forward to! I must never think that I have read the Bible enough, or that I have “mastered” it. I need to let it master me! God's Word is the expression of His will, just as we express our wills through words, and that is why Jesus is the Word of God, as John says in John 1. I desire to be a clear, undistorted expression of God's intent and character, so I need both to absorb His Word and live it out, not deceiving myself into thinking that head knowledge equals true agreement with the Word. As a pastor, my calling and passion is to impart to others the same love of God and His Word that I aspire to myself. It was a deeply moving, gratifying moment when during a Bible study a former alcoholic said that I was addicted to the Bible; he could tell because he knew from experience what addiction was. My desire is to share that addiction with as many people as possible!

A: 聖書を読むことに関して、私は始めから大変恵まれていました。しかし、それでも、神様の御言葉を吸収するには長い道のりがいります。それもまた楽しいことです。聖書を十分に読んできたとか、「マスターした」などと思うことのないように気をつけます。むしろ私が「マスターされた」と言う風に捉えるべきです。丁度、私たちが言葉を通して意思を現すのと同じで、神様の御言葉は神様の御意思です。だからこそ、ヨハネ1にあるようにイエスは神の言葉なのです。私の望みは、神様の御心と御性質を明確に、そのまま表す器になることです。知識だけで御言葉と真に一致したなどと思い惑わされないように、神様の御言葉を吸収しそのように生きたいのです。牧師として、私の召しは人に私と同じくで御言葉を愛し、わかってもらうことです。聖書クラスで、かつてアルコール依存症だった人が、今は聖書依存症になったことを話してくれた瞬間は、まさに深く感動し、感謝する瞬間でした。彼は自身の経験から依存症がどのようなものか分かっているからこそ、言えたことです。私はこうした依存症をもっと分かち合いたいと願っています。

P: Father, thank You for Your grace toward me. I did not choose to have parents and grandparents who were Bible scholars and committed disciples, but that is the heritage You gave me. Help me be a good steward of that heritage, passing it on to my spiritual children as well as my physical children, so that multitudes will have the fellowship with You that You desire, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




第1コリント 15:35-58

S: 第1コリント 15:58 ですから、私の愛する兄弟たちよ。堅く立って、動かされることなく、いつも主のわざに励みなさい。あなたがたは自分たちの労苦が、主にあってむだでないことを知っているのですから。

O: This is a very fitting wrap-up to the discussion of death and resurrection that precedes it. The “blessed hope,” as Paul calls it in Titus 2:13, of resurrection/transformation at the return of Christ is real and important, but if we are too focused on that we may fail to apply ourselves to the task at hand. Sometimes we really need to remind ourselves that our labors will be rewarded, and all the limitations and frustrations of our present bodies/existence will pass, but meanwhile we need to be faithful with what we have in our hands. The devil spends a lot of time trying to tell us our lives and work have no lasting value, but because he says it, we know that's a lie! If we are working strictly in our own strength, there is indeed no lasting benefit. However, if we are abiding in Christ and allowing His Spirit to work in and through us, there is no limit to what can be accomplished, in this earth and for eternity.


A: It surprised me a little last night when Pastor Nabekura exclaimed so over the baptisms we are having here. We aren't having as many as I would like, but to hear him tell it, we're having a lot more than most churches. It really is a comfort to be able to do some harvesting! Each soul is precious, and represents input from various people who have been faithful as witnesses. However, realizing that this makes four in one year in a church as small as we are, that's a real encouragement! I need to keep my focus on abiding in Christ, in fellowship and obedience, and never draw back from anything He asks me to do.


P: Father, thank You again for all You are doing here. Thank You for the sharp awareness that it's not my doing, and thank You for using me in the process in spite of me! Finding out the congregational and choral music for the City Christmas program is dumped in my lap is a bit of a shock, but there, too, You will be faithful. Guide in that first rehearsal today, brief though it will be, that we will have the numbers and the enthusiasm and the ability that You desire, so that the finished result will indeed draw people to You, for Your glory. Keep me from coming across as full of myself but rather full of You, for the blessing of all. Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness. Praise God!




第1コリント 15:12-28

S: 第1コリント 15:14, 20 そして、キリストが復活されなかったのなら、私たちの宣教は実質のないものになり、あなたがたの信仰は実質のないものになるのです。しかし、今やキリストは、眠った者の初穂として死者の中からよみがえられました。

O: This is the reason there's such a fierce battle over whether Jesus really did die and come back to life. The devil wants to deny the Gospel so that he can keep people from leaving his realm and entering the kingdom of God, and from his standpoint, there's no better way to do that than to deny its climax. Without the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity is no better than any other philosophical religion, such as Buddhism. Jesus' resurrection is proof both that He is the divine Son of God and that He has conquered death by taking the penalty for our sin, which is the source of death. Preaching and faith that sidestep the cross and the empty tomb are indeed empty and useless.

O: イエスが実に死んで、生き返ったのかを巡っての激しい論争があるのはこのためです。、悪魔は福音を否定したがっていますが、人々を彼の領域にとどまらせ、神の御国に入らせまいとしています。悪魔にすれば、このクライマックスの部分を否定することほど恰好なことはありません。イエスの死、葬り、復活がなかったなら、仏教のような他の宗教と同じで哲学的宗教だったことでしょう。復活によって、イエスが神様の聖なる御子であること、死の原因である私たちの罪の刑罰を負い、死に打ち勝たれたことの両方が証明されます。十字架から離れた教えと信仰は空しい墓場で全く空虚で役に立ちません。

A: I've got a reputation for being somewhat deep and hard to understand, and this devotion isn't going to change that! However, I must not deny or abandon the things the Lord speaks to me, but rather seek His help in communicating them more simply and clearly in ways that people can relate to and understand. As P said last night, people need the help of the Holy Spirit to understand my messages! However, that help is available, so I must not back off but rather pray for my hearers, so that they may have ears to hear and hearts to receive the meat as well as the milk, and so grow strong in Christ.

A: 私の話はやや深く理解しにくいと思われています。このデヴォーションでも変わらないでしょう。しかし、主が私に語られたことを否定したり捨てたりすべきではありません。むしろ、人々がメッセージを関連付け、理解できるように、より簡単に明確に伝わるように神の助けを求めます。昨夜Pに、人々には私のメッセージの意味が分かるためには聖霊の助けが必要だと言われました。その助けはあるのです。ですから私はこのまま、むしろ、聞く人のために祈り、彼らの聞く耳を持ち、心を開き、キリストにあって強く成長するようにミルクと肉を受け取ってほしいのです。

P: Father, thank You for P's honesty in telling me that last night. Thank You also for the encouragement of A saying how Sunday's message really spoke to her. The whole issue of things that seem perfectly simple and obvious to me seeming very deep and difficult to my hearers has dogged me throughout my ministry. I ask for Your words to communicate Your truth in Your way to Your people, so that they may receive it and be transformed, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



第1コリント 15:1-11

S: 第1コリント 15:3-4 私があなたがたに最もたいせつなこととして伝えたのは、私も受けたことであって、次のことです。キリストは、聖書の示すとおりに、私たちの罪のために死なれたこと、また、葬られたこと、また、聖書の示すとおりに、三日目によみがえられたこと。

O: There is an enormous amount of truth available to us in the Bible, and there is no way we can absorb and appropriate it all instantly. Besides, some of what is written is open to various interpretations. If we focus on the peripheral issues we risk losing sight of what is most important, which is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as planned by God the Father before the foundation of the world. (The fact that God planned it all is what Paul is referring to when he keeps saying, “according to the Scriptures.”) Later in his life Paul expressed the same truth without referring to Jesus' post-resurrection appearances the way he does here. (2 Timothy 2:8) The devil delights to divide Christians over unimportant issues. Paul is clear that anyone who denies the deity or the resurrection of Christ is not a Christian, which is why true Christian churches exclude some groups the world lumps in with Christianity. However, when churches split over splitting hairs, the devil is the only one who benefits.

O: 聖書には私たちに利用可能な真実が沢山あります。それらを全て直ちに吸収し、取り入れる方法はありません。加えて、書かれていることの幾つかは様々に解釈することが可能です。もし細部にこだわっていると、最も大切なことを見失ってしまう危険があります。世界が創造される前から、御父である神の計画で、イエス・キリストの死と葬り、復活を見失う危険です。(神様の計画であることは、パウロが繰り返し使っている「聖書によると」の言及から分かります。)この節のように、のちに、パウロはこの真実をイエスの復活後の出現に触れずに表現しています。(2テモテ2:8)些細なことでクリスチャンを分裂させようと悪魔は試みます。パウロはキリストの神性と復活を否定するものはクリスチャンでないと明言しています。ですから、真のキリスト者の教会は、世間ではクリスチャンとして受け入れらているグループを受け入れないのです。しかし、細かいことで教会同士が分裂しても、それは悪魔の益となるだけです。

A: This has been my position for a long time, which is why I have put such effort into creating and maintaining the local ministerial association. It is also why I have welcomed some people into this church with whom I have disagreed on some issues. However, I still have to be careful of my focus at all times, because the devil is a master of distraction. A church mission statement might seem abstract and unimportant, but nothing could be further from the truth. I need to be focused on the reality that we exist to give God glory through worship, fellowship, and sharing Him with others. On the 15th we will be having the first business meeting since formulating that statement, and our discussions need to keep that in focus so that we won't waste time or energy chasing rabbits.


P: Father, thank You again for all You are doing in this church and this city. I pray that we would all get with Your program, not in rivalry but in cooperation and mutual encouragement, so that the central truths of the Gospel may be communicated and received as widely as possible, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!




第1コリント 12:12-27

S: 第1コリント 12:13 なぜなら、私たちはみな、ユダヤ人もギリシャ人も、奴隷も自由人も、一つのからだになるように、一つの御霊によってバプテスマを受け、そしてすべての者が一つの御霊を飲む者とされたからです。

O: Hardly any theological issue can be settled by looking at just one verse of Scripture, and hardly any verse of Scripture has bearing on only one theological issue. This verse points out that our unity as Christians is a direct result of the work of the Holy Spirit, and it also touches on baptism and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As I read it, this verse says that the spiritual reality of baptism, by which we aren't just gotten wet, we are incorporated into the Body of Christ, is accomplished through the agency of the Holy Spirit. This isn't the same as baptism in the Holy Spirit, as mentioned in Acts 1, 2, and numerous other passages, but it isn't divorced from it either. This verse also speaks of drinking the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said in John 7:37-39, and that's the metaphor I use when talking about the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit at salvation and being baptized, inundated, with the Holy Spirit. Something I get very strongly from this verse is that there can be no true unity without the work of the Holy Spirit, and conversely, that the Holy Spirit isn't going to stick around if we refuse unity. Most of the major revivals in the history of the Church have been marked, and preceded, by a previously unknown degree of spiritual unity. If we want revival like we say we do, we will strive for unity in the Holy Spirit.

O: 聖書のわずか一節を見ただけでは、神学的問題はまず解決しないでしょうし、どんな聖句でも一つの神学的問題に適しているのは殆どありません。今日の節が示しているのは、クリスチャンとしての私たちの一致は聖霊の御業による直接の結果だということ、そして、バプテスマと聖霊が住まわれることにも言及しています。この個所を読んでいくと、バプテスマの霊的事実、これは単に濡れるだけではなく、キリストの体の一部に取り込まれることです。これは聖霊の働きによってなされることです。これは1.使徒2や他の多くの箇所にに書いてある聖霊のバプテスマと同じではありませんが、全くかけ離れているわけでもありません。イエスがヨハネ7:37~39で言われたように、この節では御霊を飲むことについて触れています。もちろん、これは比喩的表現で、救いのために聖霊を頂くことと、聖霊とともにバプテスマを受け入れることの違いを話す時に用います。聖霊の働きなしに真の一致はないことがこの節から学べます。逆に、もし私たちが一致を拒むなら聖霊様は遠ざかるでしょう。教会の歴史上、大きなリバイバルが起こったその殆どの例では、それまで見られなかった霊的一致があったからです。リバイバルを望むなら、聖霊による一致を求め努めていきましょう。

A: This is naturally a big issue for me, both in this church and in the wider Church. I need to stand firm against the wiles of the devil who seeks to divide, and reject the pride that is his greatest weapon. I need to convey the reality that we need each other to each member of this church and to the other churches in this city and region. At the same time, I must realize that unity isn't something I can achieve by my own effort; it must be a work of the Holy Spirit. I must be hum­ble, submitted, available, and faithful, so that I will be useful in achieving the unity Jesus prayed for just before the Cross.

A:  これはこの教会内、もっと大きな教会内で見られるもので、私にとって大きな問題です。悪魔は分裂させ、悪魔の最大の武器であるプライドを用いますが、策略や罠にはまらないようにしっかり立ち向かっていきます。この教会で互いにメンバーが必要とし合っていること、大村、この地域の他の教会ともつながっていることを伝えていきたいと思います。同時に、一致は私自身の努力で達成できるものではないことを心得ていたいと思います。これは聖霊のなさることです。私は、謙虚で、用いられ、誠実でありたいのです。十字架にかかる直前にイエスが祈った一致を達成するために働きます。

P: Father, You are doing good things in this city, but I know there is much more You want to do. You are doing good things in this church, but here again I know there is much more that You want to do. Help me walk moment by moment in step with Your Spirit, letting Him flow through and use me so that barriers may be torn down and people and churches knit together in the unity You desire. As You add people to this church, help us break out of a clique mentality into the true fellowship and unity of Your Spirit, enjoying all that You intend for us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



第1コリント 12:1-11

S: 第1コリント 12:7 しかし、みなの益になるために、おのおのに御霊の現われが与えられているのです。

O: With all the arguments over spiritual gifts, this verse seems to get forgotten. Word order in Japanese and English is reversed, but whichever way you say it, the Holy Spirit is manifested in each believer, and these manifestations are for the common good of everyone. I am well aware from my own experience that there's a distinct difference after experiencing the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and that is backed up by many passages of Scripture. However, that's not to say the Holy Spirit didn't manifest Himself in and through me before that juncture. Paul is very clear in this passage that a person can't be saved without the Holy Spirit (verse 3). However, when he encountered a group of believers in Ephesus who knew nothing of the Holy Spirit, he was quick to correct that deficiency. (Acts 19:1-7) The difference is largely one of degree. Having said all of that, the point that the manifestations of the Spirit are given for everyone's good is essential. Far too many people look on spiritual gifts as merit badges, and either flaunt them with pride or are jealous of those they see in others. That is a travesty and a perversion, in either direction. We are to be grateful for spiritual gifts, in ourselves or in our brothers and sisters, and recognize that they are a sovereign work of God, as Paul says clearly in verse 11.

O: 霊的な賜物に関する論争のために、この節は忘れられているかのようです。日英の語順は逆ですが、どう読んでいっても、御霊が各々の信者に現れており、皆の益となるためであることが分かります。これは私自身の経験ではっきり気づいていることですが、聖霊のバプテスマを受けた後は、明白な違いがあります。聖書の多くの箇所で書かれているとおりです。しかし、私が聖霊のバプテスマを受ける前に、私を通して、あるいは私のうちで聖霊が現れなかったということではありません。聖霊によらなければ誰も救われない(3節)と、パウロは明言しています。けれども、パロが聖霊のことを全く知らないエペソの信者たちと会った時、彼らの知識の不足を正しました。(使徒19:1~7)違いはその程度によります。御霊の現れは各自の益となるように与えられています。これが重要なことです。あまりにも多くの方たちが霊的賜物を功績のバッジのように見て、誇示したり、羨ましがって見たりしています。いずれにせよ、滑稽きわまる曲解です。自分自身、兄弟姉妹の霊的賜物を感謝すべきです。パウロが11節ではっきり述べているように、賜物が神の権威ある御業であることを知りましょう。

A: As a pastor, I strongly desire that each believer be baptized in the Holy Spirit to allow Him to flow through them in ever-increasing abundance, but I am concerned that an emphasis on that part of our inheritance in Christ would contribute to a 2-tier Christianity. I need God's wisdom and anointing to encourage openness to the Spirit without creating a climate of “haves” and “have nots.” At the same time, I need to train those who are moving in spiritual gifts to use them effectively, understanding that they aren't just for their own enjoyment. This church is being blessed, but God wants to pour out far more, starting with His Spirit, and I need to be open and ready for that.

A: 各信者が聖霊のバプテスマを受け、ますます豊かに聖霊を招き入れることを、私は牧師として強く願っています。しかし、キリストからの遺産である聖霊のバプテスマを強調することで、二通りのクリスチャンを生み出すことにならないかと危惧しています。ですから、聖霊に心を開くように、神の知恵と油注ぎを求めます。「持てる者」と「持たざる者」といった雰囲気を与えることなしに。さらに、霊的賜物を効果的に用いようとしている人たちが、単に自分たちの楽しみだけのためではないことを分かってもらうように、私は彼らを訓練していかねばなりません。この教会は祝福されています。しかし、神様は御霊から始め、もっと注ぎたいと望んでおられますから、私も心を開いて整えていきます。

P: Father, thank You for all You are doing in and among us. I pray that each believer would recognize and open up to what You are doing. May we grow in every area, according to Your standards of growth, so that this city and this nation may see Christ in us and open up to receive Your full salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




第1コリント 11:23-32

S: 第1コリント 11:31-32 しかし、もし私たちが自分を裁くなら、さばかれることはありません。しかし、私たちがさばかれるのは、主によって懲らしめられるのであって、それは、私たちが、この世とともに罪に定められることのないためです。

O: Here we have the fallacy of the “I'm OK, you're OK” school of psychology exposed. The fact of the matter is, we're not OK. We are sinful beings, and we must not ignore that. The Bible calls us to submit our hearts to the examination of the Holy Spirit and be quick to repent of each thing He shows us as unpleasing to the Father. If we will do that in this world, we won't have to deal with those issues in the next, when we stand before God's throne. The danger here is in legalism and unhealthy introspection. We aren't under law, we are under grace, but that is not at all the same thing as license. Paul had to spend a lot of time dealing with this issue in several of his letters, because we are so quick to twist things around. We aren't to dwell on past sins; that only increases the probability of our repeating them. We are to acknowledge sins and confess them before God, receive His forgiveness, and move on with His cleansing and blessing. That is true repentance, not moping around and beating yourself up over things that have already been confessed to God.


A: I've run into this more times than I could count, myself. When I exercise the stupidity of yielding to temptation, the devil wants me to wallow in that, not simply in the sin but in the self-condemnation that follows. Paul doesn't say we are to condemn ourselves, he says we are to judge ourselves. That's really hard to express clearly in Japanese, and that's a factor I hadn't thought about before. I need the wisdom and anointing of the Holy Spirit in order to get it across. The phrase the Japanese Bible uses for “condemn”really doesn't carry the meaning of the English word, and my understanding of the Greek is that it is similar to the English. At the moment I'm at a complete loss as to how to say it clearly in Japanese!

A: 私自身、この問題ともう何度も対峙してきました。誘惑に負けて愚かなことをした時、悪魔は私を罪だけでなく、あとから来る自責の念に襲わせます。この世ともに処罰されないのですから、パウロは私達が自身を罪定めして責めるべきだとは言っていません。自分自身を裁け、と教えているのです。これをはっきりとした日本語で表現するのは難しく、以前に考えたことがありませんでした。この御言葉を分かってもらうために、聖霊様の知恵と油注ぎが必要です。聖書の日本語「罪に定める」という言葉は英語の持つ意味を正確に伝え切れていません。私の理解では、ギリシャ語は英語に近いようです。今は日本語で明確にどう表現すべきか困っています。

P: Father, thank You for pointing out this real problem in communicating the Gospel to Japanese in Japanese. It's not that we aren't guilty, it's that we don't have to bear the punishment for our guilt: that guilt is taken away by the cross of Jesus Christ. Help me express that to each person I witness to, so that they may be set free from the dual lies of “My sin doesn't matter,” and “I must atone for my own sin.” The reality of Your salvation in Christ Jesus is so mind-boggling, and there is so little foundation in Japanese culture for understanding it! Help me get past all those barriers so that I may bring as many people as possible into Your kingdom, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: お父様。日本人に日本語で福音をつたえるために真の問題を指摘してくださり感謝します。私たちは有罪ですが、罪のための刑罰を受けなくて良いのです。その罪はイエス・キリストの十字架で消えたのですから。一人ひとりにこの事実を言い表せるように助けてください。「私の罪など大したことはない」「私自身の罪を自分で購わなくては」という二重の嘘から彼らが解放されますように。キリスト・イエスにある救いの事実は驚くばかりです。そしてこの事実を理解するために土台が日本の文化にはありません!


第1コリント 9:1-23

S: 第1コリント 9:16 というのは、私が福音を宣べ伝えても、それは私の誇りにはなりません。そのことは、私がどうしてもしなければならないことだからです。もし福音を宣べ伝えなかったら、私はわざわいだ。

O: I don't know that there are any private statements of Paul with which I agree more than this one! The point is, when you have a commission from God for any task, failing to do that task is punishment, not to mention difficult! When God gifts and commissions someone for something, they are really at peace only when they are doing it. This applies to artists and craftsmen and musicians and teachers and homemakers and every sort of occupation, as well as to preachers. A big problem in the world is the large percentage of people who have no idea what their gifting is and what God intends for them to do with it, and therefor have no real peace and satisfaction and sense of purpose in their lives. The devil wants us to think that our purpose is to feel good and have fun, when nothing could be further from the truth. “Feeling good” and “having fun” will have different definitions for each person, but real satisfaction comes from exercising our gifts in obedience to God.

O: パウロの私的な言葉の中で、この節ほど私が共感できるものはありません!大切なのは、神からどんな仕事を与えられても、やらないならば、それは罰に値するということ

A: I can say with Stuart Briscoe, if anyone doesn't think I'm a preacher, they should sit down and listen! I can't help preaching. That can be a problem at times, when I let that get in the way of listening; it's certainly not something for me to get puffed up about. The point for me, as for everyone, is to do the best job I can with the tools and the task the Lord has given me. Practically speaking, it is a difficulty that my gifting/calling is very visible, so some people interpret my exercising my gifting as conceit from the outset. I can't help that, but I can walk in active humility and submission, knowing that I am just as much a servant as the person who cleans the toilets. Actually, that particular issue has been a problem in attitudes within this church. I need the help of the Holy Spirit to help everyone understand that each gift is a tool for serving God and serving one another.

A: もし私が牧師だと誰も知らないなら、Stuart Briscoeと一緒に人々に向かって、座って話を聞くように言うでしょう。説教をせずにはいられないのです。彼らが聞いてくれても私が格別誇ることではありません。これが時に問題となります。私にも、すべての人にとっても、主から与えられた仕事を与えられた道具を使い、最高の仕事をすることが大切です。現実的に言って、私の賜物と召しがあまりにもはっきりしているので、私が賜物を行使することを初めから鼻持ちならないと思っている人がいます。私にはどうしようもないことです。進んで謙遜と従順を持って歩みたいと思います。トイレ掃除と変わらない精神を持って奉仕します。実は、この教会内で、態度の在り方について問題があります。聖霊様の助けを求めます。互いの賜物は神様を互いのためにあることを知ってもらうために。

P: Father, I come back to the awareness that I'm not wise, You are. I ask for the wisdom I need to do the tasks You set for me, and to understand what those tasks are, so that I won't burden myself with tasks You haven't given me. Help me be faithful on every level, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



第1コリント 6:9-20

S: 第1コリント 6:19-20 あなたがたのからだは、あなたがたのうちに住まれている、神から受けた聖霊の宮であり、あなたがたは、もはや自分自身のものではないことを、知らないのですか。あなたがたは、代価を払って買い取られたのです。ですから自分のからだをもって、神の栄光を現しなさい。

O: Here we have the final word, not only on sexual conduct but on every physical activity. I like the turn of phrase in verse 20 in Japanese: “Use your own body to express God's glory.” I'm so glad they didn't use a “churchy” word like “glorify” there. It's a good word, but it is essentially meaningless for a non-Christian. As I wrote just two days ago, this issue is far broader than just sex. The devil seizes on sex because it is so powerful and because marital intimacy is an analog of our intimacy with Christ, but he also does his utmost to distort every other natural physical activity. Gluttony is widely recognized as a sin, at least in theory, but I think even obsession with fitness can be sinful. Anything that causes us to focus on ourselves to the exclusion of God is a trap and a snare. That's not at all to say that we aren't to be good stewards of our bodies, as I wrote on the 30th. We are entrusted with them and we are to take care of them in the areas of nutrition, exercise and rest, but our bodies are not to be our focus. Our priorities must line up with God, putting eternal values first.

O: 性的行動だけでなく、日々の身体的な行動として、これは最後の言葉です。私は20節の日本語の句が気に入っています。「自分の体をもって、神の栄光を現しなさい」と言う箇所です。ここで、「栄光を帰する」などのような「教会めいた」言葉が使われていないのが嬉しいですね。良い表現ですが、基本的にノンクリスチャンの方には無意味でしょう。二日前にも書いたことですが、これは性的なことよりはるかに広い意味を含んでいます。悪魔は性に関することで捉えようとします。それほど性の力は強いのです。ですから結婚による交わりは、キリストとの親しい関係と比例します。しかし、悪魔はそれ以外にも身体の行動に最大限の妨害をします。暴飲暴食は広く罪だとみなされています。少なくとも理屈の上では、そうです。しかし、運動に過度に囚われるのも罪なのです。神様から目を逸らすような行いは全て罠であり策略です。肉体の良き管理者でなくともよい、と言っているのでは決してありません。30日に書いたとおりです。私たちは体を保つように管理し、大切にすべきです。つまり、栄養、運動、休息です。が、焦点は身体ではありません。常に神とともにあることが最優先されるべきことです。永遠の価値こそが、まず始めにありきです。

A: I have tended to put physical maintenance pretty low on my list, and that too is not good. I am blessed with pretty good genes in terms of gaining weight, but there's a difference between not being fat and being fully healthy. My schedule for the past two months has gotten in the way of focused exercise, and I need to get back to it. However, I've got to consider the broader issues of expressing God's glory in and through my body. Likewise, I need to communicate this issue clearly to the believers, and particularly the young people. In this culture, they need all the support they can get!

A: 私は体調維持をあまり優先していません。これはよろしくないことです。体重が増えやすい家系ではないのですが、太らないことと健康なこととは違います。ここ二カ月、忙しく運動ができていないので、また、やろうと思っています。けれども、私の体の内と、私の体を通して、神の栄光を現すという大きなことを、まず考えていくべきでしょう。同じように、信者にもこの問題を伝えていきたいと望んでいます。特に若い人達にです。この文化では、可能な限りのサポートが若者には必要ですから。

P: Father, thank You for the way You are continuing to bring young people to this church. Thank You for Y showing up unexpectedly yesterday. She is delayed fruit from the Bible class years ago, and You have brought her back here as a new-born Christian. Thank You that Your plans are so much greater, and better, than mine! I ask for wisdom and anointing as I lead her and each of the believers into ever-growing discipleship, so that we may all express Your glory indeed. Thank You. Hallelujah!