罪恶的刑罚与罪恶的管教的不同

加尔文区分了上帝对不是祂儿女的罪恶的刑罚与对祂儿女罪恶的管教。神的儿女犯罪所受的不是判刑中的刑罚,而是父的严厉管教,为要儿女悔改在祂的圣洁上有份。前者出于审判者忿怒的刑罚,后者是出于父亲对儿女爱中的严厉责打。以下只是载录加尔文基督教要义 (卷三、4章)中的一小段。

加尔文基督教要义 (卷三、4章33段)麦种出版

第二个区别是,当被遗弃者在今生被神鞭打的时候,他们已经在某种意义上开始承受神报应性的刑罚;虽然他们拒绝留意神忿怒的这些证据必然要受到刑罚,但是神刑罚他们不是要他们悔改,而只是通过可怕的体验让他们知道神是审判者和报应者。

然而神的子女受到仗打,不是由于自己的过犯受刑罚,而是神要领他们悔改。因此,我们看到这些刑罚乃是关乎将来,甚于关乎过去。我更愿意用屈梭多模的话来说明这一点,他说:“神责罚我们的目的,不是刑罚我们的罪,而是为将来的缘故而告诫我们” 。奥古斯丁也这样说:“那使你哀叹的受苦,是石药而不是刑罚,是管教而不是定罪。如果你承受产业,就不要拒绝鞭打。弟兄们当知道,世界所哀叹的一切不幸。是一种医治人的痛苦,而不是判刑”。

。。。当神夺去大卫幼子的性命时,则是为要管教大卫,要他改变(参:撒下十二18)保罗下面的话也是这个意思,他说:“我们受审判的时候,乃是被主惩治,免得我们和世人一同定罪。”(林前十一32)这既是说,我们是神的儿女,所以天父的手责打我们并不是惩罚,为要毁灭我们,而只是管教,好训练我们。

Inst Vol 3:4:33. TRANSLATED BY HENRY BEVERIDGE

The second distinction is, that when the reprobate are brought under the lash of God, they begin in a manner to pay the punishment due to his justice; and though their refusal to listen to these proofs of the divine anger will not escape with impunity, still they are not punished with the view of bringing them to a better mind, but only to teach them by dire experience that God is a judge and avenger. The sons of God are beaten with rods, not that they may pay the punishment due to their faults, but that they may
thereby be led to repent.
Accordingly, we perceive that they have more respect to the future than to the past. I prefer giving this in the words of Chrysostom rather than my own: “His object in imposing a penalty upon us, is not to inflict punishment on our sins but to correct us for the future,” (Chrysost. Serm. de Poenit. et Confess.) So also Augustine, “The suffering at which you cry, is medicine, not punishment; chastisement, not condemnation. Do not drive away the rod, if you would not be driven away from the inheritance. Know, brethren, that the whole of that misery of the human race, under which the world groans, is a medicinal pain, not a
penal sentence,” (August. in Psalm 102, circa finem.)

。。。when he deprived David of his child, he chastised for amendment, (2 Samuel 12:18.) In this sense Paul is to be understood when he says, “When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world,” (1 Corinthians11:32;) that is, while we as sons of God are afflicted by our heavenly Father’s hand, it is not punishment to confound, but only chastisement to train us.