Relationships 関係

I have to warn you that there is quite a bit of scripture in my sermon today. But let me ask you this, is that a bad thing? We gather here to hear and learn about the Word of God, so I’m giving you a big dose today!

First, I’d like us to get to know the people around us a little better. Please greet the people on either side of you, in front and behind. Make sure you know their names and a little about them. If you already know some of them well, spend more time with the ones you don’t. I’ll quiz you in a few minutes.

Greeting Time

For the past couple weeks, Mike has been talking about the spiritual battle that is happening all around us, all the time, and how we are to deal with it. What I would like to talk about today is how we deal with more tangible things: Our relationships; because they too can seem like battles. First, let’s think about who we have relationships with. (elicit from the congregation)

1. Our relationship with God
私たちの神との関係
I hope you will all agree that the most important relationship we need to have is with God.
The first step in having a relationship with God is to truly believe in Him and to have faith that He is who He says He is.
神との関係を持つ最初の一歩は、心から神を信じることと神はご自分が言われたとおりの方であることを信じることです。

Hebrews 11:6(NIV): And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
信仰がなくては、神に喜ばれることはできない。なぜなら、神に来る者は、神のいますことと、ご自分を求める者に報いて下さることとを、必ず信じるはずだからである。
ヘブライ人への手紙11:6

So, without real belief in God’s existence, we cannot have a relationship with Him.
Once we “earnestly seek him,” we must go to Him.
“神を切に求める”なら、神のもとに行かないといけません。

In Revelation 3:20 (NIV), Jesus says: Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
見よ、わたしは戸の外に立って、たたいている。だれでもわたしの声を聞いて戸をあけるなら、わたしはその中にはいって彼と食を共にし、彼もまたわたしと食を共にするであろう。
ヨハネの黙示録3:20

Now, our relationship begins! God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, comes into our house; in other words, our hearts. He sits down and shares a meal with us; that is, He builds a relationship with us. Because, that’s what people do when they get together to share a meal. They also share what’s happening in their lives and build relationships. Then what?
神は聖霊という形で私たちの家、つまり私たちの心に入ってくださいます。神は座って、私たちといっしょに食事をなさいます。それから何なんでしょう?

James 4:6-10 (NIV): 6 … “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”[a] 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
しかし神は、いや増しに恵みを賜う。であるから、「神は高ぶる者をしりぞけ、へりくだる者に恵みを賜う」とある。そういうわけだから、神に従いなさい。そして、悪魔に立ちむかいなさい。そうすれば、彼はあなたがたから逃げ去るであろう。神に近づきなさい。そうすれば、神はあなたがたに近づいて下さるであろう。 罪人どもよ、手をきよめよ。二心の者どもよ、心を清くせよ。苦しめ、悲しめ、泣け。あなたがたの笑いを悲しみに、喜びを憂いに変えよ。主のみまえにへりくだれ。そうすれば、主は、あなたがたを高くして下さるであろう。
ヤコブの手紙4:6-10

Basically, this is telling us that there is more to life than just having fun when things are going well. That having a relationship with God is what will “lift us up.” I believe this has two meanings. One is that we will be more like God; lifted up to His standards. The other is that when we die in this world, we will be lifted up to Heaven.
神と関係を持つということが”私たちを高めてくれる”ことです。
私たちはもっと神のようになり、神の基準にまで上げられます。
私たちがこの世を去るとき、天国に引き上げられます。

God then promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
主は言われる、わたしがあなたがたに対していだいている計画はわたしが知っている。それは災を与えようというのではなく、平安を与えようとするものであり、あなたがたに将来を与え、希望を与えようとするものである。
エレミヤ書29:11

What all this tells us is how important it is for us to read and understand the Bible. God uses scripture to talk to us. We can find our purpose in this world by reading God’s word.
神は聖書を用いて私たちに語りかけます。神の御言葉を読むことによって、私たちがこの世にいる目的を見出すことができます。

A few more verses that show the importance of us having a relationship with Him, are in John 1:10-13 (NIV): 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
彼は世にいた。そして、世は彼によってできたのであるが、世は彼を知らずにいた。彼は自分のところにきたのに、自分の民は彼を受けいれなかった。しかし、彼を受けいれた者、すなわち、その名を信じた人々には、彼は神の子となる力を与えたのである。それらの人は、血すじによらず、肉の欲によらず、また、人の欲にもよらず、ただ神によって生れたのである。
ヨハネによる福音書1:10-13

Amen? What an honor it is to be called a child of God! God knew us before we were even born, and it is our job in this world to go back to him and build a relationship with him. Because of Jesus dying on the cross for us, all this is possible.
私たちが生まれる前から神は私たちのことを知っていました。神のもとに立ち返り、神と関係を築くことがこの世にある私たちのすべきことです。

2. We build our relationship with God through prayer
祈りを通して神との関係を築く
So, God speaks to us through the Bible, and of course, we speak to Him through prayer. Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6.9~15. Let’s read this together. You can read with me in English, with Mayumi in Japanese, or both. …
神は聖書を通して私たちに語り、私たちは祈りを通して神に語ります。

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
天にいますわれらの父よ、御名があがめられますように。
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
御国がきますように。みこころが天に行われるとおり、地にも行われますように。
Give us today our daily bread.
わたしたちの日ごとの食物を、きょうもお与えください。
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
わたしたちに負債のある者をゆるしましたように、わたしたちの負債をもおゆるしください。
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
わたしたちを試みに会わせないで、悪しき者からお救いください。
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
もしも、あなたがたが、人々のあやまちをゆるすならば、あなたがたの天の父も、あなたがたをゆるして下さるであろう。
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
もし人をゆるさないならば、あなたがたの父も、あなたがたのあやまちをゆるして下さらないであろう。

And this leads us into the relationships we are to have with each other.

3. Forgiveness is key to relationships
赦すことが関係のカギ
We are told to forgive each other. In the 6 short verses above from 10~15, Jesus used the word “forgive” 6 times! We all make mistakes, therefore we must learn to forgive each other.
私たちは皆、間違いをおかします。だから互いに赦しあうことを学ばなければなりません。
* Husbands must forgive their wives, even if their wives claim they are perfect and never do anything wrong (ha ha).
夫は妻を赦さなければいけません。

* Wives must forgive their husbands, even if this turns out to be a daily occurrence. (ha ha).
妻は夫を赦さなければいけません。

* Parents must forgive their children, again and again and again. (ha ha).
親は子どもを赦さなければいけません。

* Children must forgive their parents, because even if we don’t like to show it, we too are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes. Even the moms (ha ha).
子どもは親を赦さなければいけません。

* Siblings must forgive each other. Yes, even when your brother shoves a McDonald’s ice-cream cone in your face and you inhale a cone full of cold ice-cream. And even after your brain freeze wears off and you are stuck with the smell of rotten milk in your head for a month or so, and only you can smell the stench. EVEN THEN, we are to forgive. You may have guessed that this happened to me… when I was fifteen. I think I’ll forgive him this summer. No, just joking! I’ve forgiven him long ago and have even thanked him for giving such a funny story to tell. But the main thing here is FORGIVENESS.
兄弟は互いに赦さなければなりません。

* Friends must forgive friends.
友人は友人を赦さなければいけません。

* Neighbors are to forgive neighbors.
隣人は隣人を赦さなければいけません。

* We are even called to forgive our enemies.
私たちの敵でさえも赦しなさいといわれています。

* And we are to forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ; in our church congregation.
私たちは教会のキリストにある兄弟、姉妹を赦すべきです。

We are not only to forgive each other, but we are to “greet each other with a holy kiss” as it says in Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; and1 Peter 5:14. The kiss is called “holy” to distinguish it from a sexual one and from a hypocritical and deceitful one, such as Judas gave to Jesus when he betrayed Him into the hands of His enemies. This holy kiss displays love, sincere affection, and friendship for each other. Now I’m not saying that we should all start kissing each other, as that might cause Andrew, Mike, Michael, Nicholas and all the other married men in here to punch your lights out, but we should at least be acknowledging each other with a “hello” and a “how are ya” with maybe a handshake or a half hug. Let’s let each other know that we care for each other.
きよい接吻をもって、互にあいさつをかわしなさい。
ローマの信徒への手紙16:16

The Bible also tells us how we are to deal with conflict and build relationships with one another.
聖書はどのように対立に対処し、互いの関係を築けばいいのかも教えています。

4. Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
キリストの体における一致と成熟
Ephesians 4 (NIV) talks about Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ:
4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
さて、主にある囚人であるわたしは、あなたがたに勧める。あなたがたが召されたその召しにふさわしく歩き、できる限り謙虚で、かつ柔和であり、寛容を示し、愛をもって互に忍びあい、平和のきずなで結ばれて、聖霊による一致を守り続けるように努めなさい。
からだは一つ、御霊も一つである。あなたがたが召されたのは、一つの望みを目ざして召されたのと同様である。主は一つ、信仰は一つ、バプテスマは一つ。すべてのものの上にあり、すべてのものを貫き、すべてのものの内にいます、すべてのものの父なる神は一つである。しかし、キリストから賜わる賜物のはかりに従って、わたしたちひとりびとりに、恵みが与えられている。
エフィソの信徒への手紙4:4-7

We are to live a life worthy of a child of God. This means that we are not to just stay as we are, but we are to grow and mature in the way we are taught in the Bible. We are to grow the fruits of the Spirit. In verse 2 and 3 above, four of the fruits are mentioned by name: we are to be gentle, patient, loving, and peaceful. We are to understand that we all have the same purpose in this life, and that is to be reconciled to the one true God and to help others be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:10). Romans 15:7 says to Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
こういうわけで、キリストもわたしたちを受けいれて下さったように、あなたがたも互に受けいれて、神の栄光をあらわすべきである。
ローマの信徒への手紙15:7

Wow! We have been accepted by Jesus himself. How could we not accept others?
Jesus loves us, has patience with us, is gentle with us, is good to us, and so on. We need to to do the same with each other.
すごいことに、私たちはイエスご自身によって受け入れられたのです。他の人を受け入れられないということがあるでしょうか。イエスは私たちを愛しています、私たちに寛容であり、優しくあり、良くしてくれます。同じことを私たちは互いにする必要があるのです。
I think it is easy for us to see why this is important between members of the church. I think all of us here are friendly and kind to each other and try to show love by helping each other out from time to time and pray for each other. But what about the people you live with, your family? Do you constantly think about how you are building your relationships with them (your family)? Or do you take it for granted that they are your family and no matter what you do, that won’t change?
自分がどのように家族との関係を築いているか常に考えていますか?
Because of the “love” family members have for each other, is it Ok to treat each other rudely, or even cruelly? I’ve seen family members treat each other more badly than they would treat a stranger who did them wrong. Why is that? Our family members are also, or potentially, part of the body of Christ. if they don’t yet know God, it is up to us to show them God’s character through how we act. And hope that some day they too will not only believe in God, but build a relationship with Him.
私たちの家族もまた将来的にはキリストの体の一部です。もしまだ神を知らないのであれば、私たちの行いを通して神のご性質を示すのは私たち次第です。そしていつか彼らも神を信じるようになるだけでなく、神との関係を築くようになることを願うのです。

We are also to treat our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow believers in the church in the same, loving way.

So be humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. With God, with the Holy Spirit living in us, it is not only possible but is to be expected and enjoyed.
ですから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ましょう。神がともにいてくださり、聖霊が私たちのうちに住んでいてくださるのですから、それが可能なだけでなく、期待されており、楽しむことです。

父よ、それは、あなたがわたしのうちにおられ、わたしがあなたのうちにいるように、みんなの者が一つとなるためであります。すなわち、彼らをもわたしたちのうちにおらせるためであり、それによって、あなたがわたしをおつかわしになったことを、世が信じるようになるためであります。
ヨハネによる福音書17:21/John 17:21
That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Let’s pray.