Monday, 12 April 2021
‘World Class’ Vaccination
By Ong Hwee Soo

John 17:15-18

¹⁵ I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. ¹⁶ They are not of the world , just as I am not of the world. ¹⁷ Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. ¹⁸ As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world .

A key theme in the John Gospel is ‘the world’. The Greek word ‘kosmos’ has various meanings in the New Testament, such as the universe (cosmos), people of the world, the world system/order (humanity’s value and standards) etc. However, the most prevalent meaning for ‘the world’ in John is the created and fallen totality of mankind, that is, the unrighteous mass of men alienated from God.

It is indeed Good News that God “did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be save through him” ( John 3:17 ).

Though the human race is a fallen creation, Jesus came into our world to rescue us from damnation, and offer us salvation. God sent His Son, Jesus to this fallen world to bring us the Great Exchange, so that what is ours (punishment for sin) becomes Christ’s and what is Christ’s (His righteousness) becomes ours. The Great Exchange occurred at the Cross of Calvary where Jesus died a sacrificial death. It is only through the sacrifice of the sinless Saviour that we are made righteous. God made Jesus “ who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him ” ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 ). In short, on the Cross, God transferred the sins of the world onto Jesus.

Imputed righteousness is the doctrine that a sinner is declared righteous by God purely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the righteousness of Christ credited to the believer, enabling the Christian to be justified (declared not guilty, therefore, not condemned). Romans 6:23 declares, “ For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ”

If you have not yet put your faith in Jesus, let me urge you to believe in Him, so that you will not perish but receive everlasting life. Jesus took your place on the Cross to give you a place in Heaven. For the believer, imparted righteousness is what God does, after our justification, through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, working in the Christian to enable the process of sanctification , so that he/she can be “ sanctified in the truth ” (v 17).

Although the ‘sin virus’ is still much in this fallen world, believers are ‘inoculated’ against eternal death with Christ’s imputed and imparted righteousness in us.

V 18 reminds us that Jesus has sent us into the world to spread this Good News. In Mark 16:15 , the Risen Christ commissioned His disciples, “ Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. ”

Once we have received the Great Exchange, Christ gives us the Great Commission. David Bryant (author: ‘In The Gap’), pointed out that God’s primary goal is not to get each of us into the Great Commission. Rather His goal is to get the Great Commission into us .

One reason for not carrying out the Great Commission is that “ a love of the world has short-circuited love for the world. ” (David Shibley, author: ‘The Mission Addiction’). V 16 reminds us that though we are still in the world, we are “not of the world”. In his book, Shibley stresses “ One of the best antidotes to being a worldly Christian is to embrace Christ’s cause, live for His honour and become a world Christian .” He pointedly accentuates that for Christians whom “ A mission serum gets injected into their spiritual blood-stream, and they are never again ‘normal ’, laid-back Christians. Simply put, one sure way to be spared the contagion of worldliness is to be inoculated with the ‘mission serum’.

Presently, the Covid 19 question is whether we have registered for the vaccination programme. It is important that we all get immunized against the virus. But, for us who are in Christ, we also need to ask ourselves whether we are willing to take the “antidote” and be injected with the “mission serum”.

To quote Paul Borthwick (author: ‘How to be a World-Class Christian’): “ The world-class Christian is one who desires his or her life to be in total harmony with God’s purposes for His world ”.

Last year, in the heat of the pandemic, our health authorities were very concerned about the infectivity of migrant workers and took appropriate steps to contain the contagion arising from the foreigners. However, in the wake of the pandemic too, many caring church members and Christian NGOs did their part to procure provisions and financial assistance for refugees/migrants, not forgetting needy local communities as well. These are indeed commendable deeds. However, much still remains to be done, to reach out to those in need, not just economically but emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually as well.

Are we willing to take the ‘world-class’ vaccination, and continue to reach out to those in need? As we notice the needs of peoples around us, how can we show God’s love in practical ways? How does serving God this way, help us grow in our global perspective of God’s love for the world?

Let’s Live the Life, Inoculated, with the ‘World Class’ Vaccine.

God of the universe, make us feel Your heartbeat for the world, and break our hearts with what breaks Yours. Help us, Lord to shore up our outreach to the peoples of the world that You have brought to our shores. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

标题:“世界级” 的疫苗接种


约翰福音的一个关键主题是 “世界”。希腊语 “Kosmos” 一词在新约中具有多种含义,例如宇宙(Cosmos)、世人、世界体系/秩序(人类的价值和标准)等。然而,在约翰福音中,“世界” 最普遍的含义是人类被创造和堕落的整体,即与上帝疏离的不义的人。

上帝 “差祂的儿子降世,不是要定世人的罪,乃是要叫世人因他得救”(约翰福音3:17),这的确是福音。

虽然人类是堕落的创造,但耶稣来到我们的世界是为了把我们从诅咒中拯救出来,并赐予我们救恩。上帝差遣祂的儿子耶稣到这个堕落的世界,带给我们伟大的替换,这样我们的(罪的惩罚)就成了基督的,基督的(祂的义)就成了我们的。伟大的替换发生在髑髅地的十字架上,耶稣在那里牺牲而死。惟有通过无罪救主的牺牲,我们才能成为义。上帝使耶稣 “那无罪的,替我们成为有罪的,好叫我们在他里面成为上帝的义。”(哥林多后书5:21)。简而言之,在十字架上,上帝将世界的罪转移到了耶稣身上。

所谓归算的义即一个罪人被上帝宣告为义,是通过他对耶稣基督的信心,纯粹是因为上帝的恩典。这是基督的义,归功于信徒,使基督徒得以称义(宣告无罪,因此不被定罪)。罗马书6:23 “因为罪的工价乃是死;惟有神的恩赐,在我们的主基督耶稣里,乃是永生。”

如果您尚未相信耶稣,让我敦促您来信靠耶稣,好叫您不至灭亡,反得永生。耶稣在十字架上取代了您的位置,在天堂为您提供了一个位置。对信徒来说,所赐的义就是上帝在我们称义之后,藉着基督,透过圣灵的能力,在基督徒身上工作,使他/她得以在 “真理中成圣” (第17节)。

虽然在这个堕落的世界里,“罪恶病毒” 仍然很多,但信徒已经 “接种” 了基督赋予我们的义,以抵御永恒的死亡。


一旦我们接受了这伟大的替换,基督便给了我们这大使命。戴维·布莱恩特(作者:差距 “In The Gap”)指出,上帝的首要目标不是让我们每个人都进入大使命;更确切地说,祂的目标是将大使命灌输给我们。

不履行大使命的一个原因是 “爱世界,夺走了对世界的爱。”(大卫希比David Shibley,作者:使命成瘾 “Mission Addiction” )。第16节提醒我们,虽然我们仍然在世界上,但我们 “不属世界”。希比在他的书中强调,“一名世俗基督徒的最好解药之一就是接受基督的使命,为祂的荣耀而活,并成为世界上的基督徒。” 他特别强调,那些 “将使命血清注入他们的灵性血液中,他们就再也不是 ‘正常的’、悠闲的基督徒了。” 简而言之,避免世俗传染的一个可靠方法就是接种 “使命血清”。

目前,2019新型冠状病毒肺炎的问题是我们是否已经注册了疫苗接种计划。重要的是我们都要对病毒免疫。但是,对于在基督里的我们,我们也需要问自己,我们是否愿意接受 “解药”,并被注射 “使命血清” 。

引用保罗·博思威克(作者:如何成为世界级基督徒 “How to be a World-Class Christian”)的话:“世界级的基督徒是一个渴望他或她的生命与上帝对祂的世界的目标完全和谐的人。”


我们是否愿意接受 “世界级” 的疫苗接种,并继续向有需要的人伸出援手?当我们注意到周围人们的需求时,我们如何以实际的方式表达上帝的爱呢?以这种方式事奉上帝,如何能帮助我们在上帝对世界的爱的全球视野中成长?

让我们活出生命,接种 “世界级” 的疫苗。

祈祷 :