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"Are we saved by faith alone?" 「我們是否單單藉信心得救?」
by Shao Kai Tseng 曾劭愷


In the context of historic Reformed orthodoxy, this is a very unhelpful way of asking a very important question. It leads easily to unnecessary accusations, which we have been seeing lately. 在歷史性改革宗正統的語境中,這種提問方式對這麼重要的議題其實毫無幫助,因為這樣問只會助長不必要的指控,就如我們最近所看到的情況一樣。

There are at least two terminological ambiguities in the expression "salvation by faith alone". 在「單單藉信心得救」的表達裡頭,至少有兩個含糊的用辭。

1. What does "alone" or "sola" mean? Logically it is very imprecise. Does it refer to a necessary condition? A sufficient condition? Or, perhaps, a necessary and sufficient condition? 到底「單單」或「唯獨」指什麼?邏輯上來說其實並不太準確的。它是不是指向一個必然條件?充足條件?又或許在講一個既必然又充足的條件?

In the language of Reformed orthodoxy, faith is a necessary and sufficient condition as the INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE of the believer's union with Christ, which leads to the double grace of justification and sanctification. But faith as an instrumental cause would have been futile without the righteousness of Christ, which is the FORMAL CAUSE of our justification. There are still other types of causes of different dimensions of our salvation, all of which are necessary and sufficient in their respective types of causality. 在正統改革宗的用語中,信心是作為信徒與基督聯合既必然又充足的條件,它是其『工具因』,導向信徒稱義與成聖的雙重恩典。但是信心作為『工具因』,假如沒有我們稱義的『形式因』——基督的義相伴的話,則是無用的。在我們救恩一事上,不同層面中還有不同類型的因,各自對其因果關系都是必然與充足的。

When we say that we are saved by faith "alone", the only sense in which this statement can be correct is that faith is a NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE of our union with Christ. 當我們說「我們是單單藉信心得救」,這個命題的唯一正確意思則是「信心是我們與基督聯合『必然』與『充足』的『工具因』」。

It is also proper to clarify the senses in which we are NOT saved by faith "alone". 與此同時,我們也需要澄清在什麼層面上,我們『不是』單單藉著信心得救。

Conclusion 1: when an author states that the believer is not saved by faith alone, we have to ask whether he affirms that faith is a necessary and sufficient instrumental cause of our union with Christ. If not, then we may say that this author has deviated from the normative standards of Reformed orthodoxy. However, we must grant that this author may well be clarifying the senses in which "salvation by faith alone" is theologically incorrect. 結論一:當一個作者寫到信徒不是單靠信心得救的時後,我們要問的是,作者是否承認信心是我們與基督聯合的必然又充分的工具因?假如不是的話,我們或許得說此人已經離開改革宗正統的規範性標準了。可是,我們需要假設此人已澄清在某些意義上「我們是單單藉信心得救」的神學不正確。

2. What does it mean to be "saved"? In the context of the Reformed faith, we often apply the perfect tense of salvation to the believer in the here-and-now. When we say that as believers we have already been saved, we are referring to the total justification of the sinner by the full imputation of Christ's righteousness unto us, as well as the total satisfaction of God's justice by Christ's work of propitiation in the stead of those who have been united to Him through faith. But this perfect tense is only one dimension of salvation. In this sense "salvation by faith alone" can be an appropriate, albeit very imprecise, expression (because of the equivocalness of the term "alone", as explained above). 那麼「得救」又是指什麼呢?在改革宗信仰的語境,我們常常以完成式來描繪信徒此時此刻的救恩景況。當我們說信徒已經得救,我們是說罪人已經完全被稱義了,而且是藉著基督的義歸算到我們身上,同時間基督的代贖之工,已經替那些藉信心與祂聯合的人,完全滿足了上帝對公義的要求。可是這個完成式,只不過是救恩的一個層面。「單靠信心得救」,在這意義來說屬非常恰當的表達,儘管它並不精準(正正就是以上所解釋的,『單單』一詞的複義性所引致的)。

In Reformed theology, the term "salvation" is used more properly to refer to the whole of the ordo salutis. In this more proper sense, salvation comprises not only a perfect tense, but also a present tense and a future tense: "once and for all", "again and again/more and more", and "until He comes". This process involves not only justification, but also sanctification, perseverance, and glorification. 在改革宗神學中,以『救恩』一詞來形容整個救恩次序是比較合適的。在這個意思上,救恩不單單包含完成式,更是現在式與將來式:『一次而竟全功』、『一而再的/多而又多的』、『直到祂來』。這個過程不但包含稱義,更是包括成聖、堅忍、得榮耀。

Justification is, in a sense, by faith "alone" in a way that sanctification is not. Yet both justification and sanctification involve God's "saving grace". 從某個意義來說,稱義是單靠信心,成聖卻不然。不過,稱義與成聖都屬上帝的「救贖恩典」。

The Westminster Larger Catechism makes these relations very clear. In 70-77 we see a clear distinction between justification and sanctification. Justification is achieved by the "saving grace" of "justifying faith" (72), and sanctification by the "saving grace" of "repentance unto life" (76). In other words, we are JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, but we are NOT SANCTIFIED BY FAITH. Rather, we are sanctified by REPENTANCE UNTO LIFE. 西敏大要理問答把這些關係講得非常明確。在70到77問中,我們看到稱義與成聖中一個很清晰的分野。稱義靠「稱義的信心」的「救贖恩典」來獲得的(72問),而成聖則透過「使人得生命的悔改」的「救贖恩典」來獲得(76問)。換句話,我們「藉著信心稱義」,但不是「藉著信心成聖」。相反地,我們是靠「使人得生命的悔改」來成聖的。

Now if we take both justification and sanctification as indispensable dimensions of salvation, then we cannot say that we are saved by faith alone. 現在,假如我們把稱義與成聖都理解為得救兩個不可或缺的層面,我們不可以說我們單靠信心得救。

True enough, justification and sanctification are inseparable. Both follow necessarily from our union with Christ, of which faith wrought by the Holy Spirit is the necessary and sufficient instrumental cause. That is, faith leads necessarily to both justification and sanctification. However, the two are also distinct and must be treated without confusion. 沒錯,稱義與成聖是不可分開的。兩者都必然地跟隨著我們與基督聯合一事,而其藉著聖靈形成的信心,是必然與充分的工具因。故此信心必然地引到稱義與成聖去。可兩者卻是區分,並且不可以混淆的。

Justification does not require the exercise of infused grace, but sanctification does. 稱義並不要求「注入的恩典」的施行,成聖卻不然。

Let's read the WLC on this matter in context: 我們一起看看西敏大要理問答如何探討這個議題。

"Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation." (WLC 72) 「稱義的信心是一種救贖的恩典,藉著聖靈和神的話語在罪人的心裏工作,使他確信自己在罪和悲慘,不論他自己或其他受造物都沒有能力使他從失喪的狀況中回復過來,不但認同福音的應許是真實的,而且接受和唯獨信靠在基督和祂的公義裡而罪得赦免,因著救恩在神的眼中被接納和看為義。」(西敏大要理72問)

"Repentance unto life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, and upon the apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, he so grieves for and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience." (WLC 76) 「使人得生命的悔改是救贖的恩典,藉聖靈和神的話語在罪人心中施行,使他看見和感受到罪孽的危險,還有它的污穢和可憎,又因為敬畏神在基督裡對悔過者的憐憫,恨惡自己的罪孽,為此而感到憂傷,離開罪孽完全轉向神,決意並努力不懈,重新在每一方面遵從神,時常與神同行。」(西敏大要理76問)

"Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ; in sanctification his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof; in the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued: the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all, nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection." (WLC 77). 「雖然成聖不能與稱義分開,但兩者有分別。神在稱義中使基督的義歸算給我們,而在成聖上,神的靈將恩典傾注人身上,使他們能夠活出聖潔;稱義叫罪得赦免,而成聖卻克服罪;每一個信徒同樣地因為稱義而不用再面對神那報應的憤怒,在今生全然稱義,所以他永不會被定罪,但每一個人成聖的程度不一,也不會在今生完全,只能漸趨完全。」(西敏大要理77問)

Conclusion 2: In the last quote, the believer's ability to "exercise" the infused grace of the Holy Spirit is itself a saving grace. To say that the believer is saved by faith alone to the exclusion of the exercise of infused grace is blatantly contradictory to the Westminster Standards, for it implies that this exercise is not a saving grace. 結論二:在最後一段引述中,信徒有能力「活出」聖靈注入的恩典,本身就是救贖的恩典。若說信徒單單藉信心得救,跟活出聖靈注入的恩典無關,是公然違反西敏信仰基準,因它暗示這個「活出」並不是救贖恩典。
Conclusion: "Salvation by faith alone" is a logically and theologically ambiguous expression that needs to be fleshed out. In only one very particular sense can we correctly say in the context of historic Reformed theology that we are saved by faith alone: faith is a necessary and sufficient instrumental cause of our union with Christ. In all other possible senses of the combination of these terms Reformed theologians must deny that believers are saved by faith alone. 總結:「單單藉信心得救」是一個邏輯上、神學上含糊的表達,這命題需要再進一步被充實。只可在一個很特殊的意義上,在歷史的改革宗神學處境裡頭,我們才可以正確的說我們是「單藉著信心得救」——就是建基於「信心是必然與充分的與基督聯合之工具因」。至於其他可能的意義上,任何嘗試去組合這些用詞,改革宗神學家都必然會否認信徒是單靠信心得救。

Before we read what a particular theologian has actually written on this matter, it would be a sign of bad scholarship and churchmanship to label him or her as a heretic just because he or she denies certain senses in which believers are said to be saved by faith alone. 在我們閱讀任何一個個別的神學家對這些議題的論述時,若只因對方因上述特定的意義,而拒絕認同「單單藉著信心得救」的說法,而我們卻因此把對方標籤為異端,這的確有損作為一個學者與教牧應有的儀節。