測量師刊物 (2016 年 12 月 VOL.25 NO.12) 登載一封面文章，中譯為 “活化舊區”。毫無疑問，此文論及有關更新及重建香港的慨念，並要增進公共幸福目的。達標的方法是拆卸舊建築物及公共設備，而重建為現代化社區，或在原址重新改善建築物為現代化標準。
因此，地區周圍環境及社區生活狀況得以改善，建成現代化的模式。此帶著應許性的鄉鎮及都市計劃，誘導了我的心思意念，深深聯想到我們的 “屬靈生命的租約”。因為合約性租約，必有一業主，他將准予所選的承租者 (租客) 一段租用期。約期滿時，地權重歸回原有業權人 (業主)。如果得業主同意的話，租約可延續另一段租期。想到現世的真實境況，我們每人實實在在都有一生命的租約，從出生那日開始直至終結或期滿那日–或長或短。然而，誰是我們的業主呢？
我們的信仰告訴我們，耶和華 神 (耶穌基督)，就是”道路、真理、生命；若不是藉著我 (耶穌)，沒有人能到父(神)那裏去。＂(約翰福音十四：6，和合本)。我們便知道我們的業主就是耶和華 神。藉著耶穌基督，准予我們可以更新生命之約。當我們，或承租人 (租戶) 覺得現行的租約甚為滿意，為何要更新該約呢？
尼哥底母，一個法利賽人，是猶太人的官。耶穌和他對話說：”. . . 人若不是重. . . 生的，就不能進 神的國 . . . . . .。從肉身生的，就是肉身；從靈生的就是靈＂ (約翰福音三：3，6，和合本) 。
這乃是對著我們宣說的 “好消息” (gospel)，一份新禮物 (新租約)，我們的業權者 (神) 藉著祂兒子准予延續，並免租金，超越此世直至永永遠遠，因此，這新生命之約是永恆之約，無限期延續，不會終止。這境況是完全可能的，只要你相信以下先訂的三條件。就是：
2. 悔悟自己的罪，因為世人都犯了罪，虧缺了 神的榮耀。
3. 因信耶穌基督稱義，乃是 神的恩惠。
神設立耶穌作挽回祭，是憑著耶穌的血，藉著人的信，要顯明 神的義；因為祂用忍耐的心寬容人先時所犯的罪，好在今時顯明祂的義，使人知道祂自己為義，也稱信耶穌的人為義 (羅馬書三十二：25-26，和合本)。
該新 “生命之約” 或說 “重生” 的真正意義是怎的呢？隱喻地說，在自然界裏蝶類幼蟲，破繭成美蝶，飛到空氣新鮮自由世界和美艷的花春區域，乃是一重生 (更 新) 的生命。
只要我們接納上開的三先訂條件，我們也會進入該境界。在那關鍵時刻，聖靈這禮物就會內住我們心裏。”信子 (耶穌基督) 的人，有永生；不信子的人得不著永生， 神的震怒常在他身上＂ (約翰福音三：36，和合本)。
. . . 我們受洗歸入基督耶穌的人，是受洗歸入祂的死 . . . 一同埋葬,， . . . 像基督藉著父的榮耀從死裏復活一樣 (羅馬書六：3-4，和合本)。
使徒保羅迫切勸喻我們，”將身體獻上當作活祭，是聖潔的，是 神所喜悅的 (乃是我們屬靈的敬拜)。不要效法這世界，只要心意更新而變化 . . .” (羅馬書十二：1-2，和合本)。
我也要賜給你們一個新心，將新靈放在你們裏面。. . . 我必將我的靈，放在你們裏面，使你們順從我的律例，謹守遵行我的典章。 (以西結書三十六：26-27，和合本)。此乃是 神的應許。
A New Lease of Life
Surveyors Times (December 2016 VOL.15 NO.12)
In Surveyor Time Cover Story “A new lease of life” was published. Undoubtedly, this article refers to the concept of regeneration of Hong Kong’s existing buildings and infrastructure by bringing in new community spirit into to old developments. The means to achieve this goal is by tearing down old buildings and redeveloping the site into modern forms, or improving in situ buildings to present day standards. Thus, the environment as well as the community life will be improved and modernized.
This promising thought in town and country planning leads me to deeper contemplation of our Lease of Life all the more spiritually. For a contractual lease, there is a lessor, who grants a lease for a period of time to the selected lessee. On its expiry date the title will be reverted back to the original owner (i.e., the lessor). If the lessor agrees, the lease may be renewed for another term. Considering real life situation in this world, we all have a Lease of Life commencing from the date of birth till its determination or expiry—long or short. Who then is the lessor?
In our faith, the Lord God (Jesus Christ) is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through (Jesus)” ( John 14:6, NIV). We then know very well our lessor is the Lord God and through Jesus Christ we all will be able to renew our life lease to a new one. Why a renewal is required, when or if the lessee is happy with the existing lease?
In Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, a man of the Pharisees and a member of the Jewish ruling council, he told Nicodemus the truth that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he [or she] is born again . . . . Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” ( John 3:3,6, NIV). Further, Jesus says, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”( John 3:14, NIV). This to us is good news that is a new lease the lessor (GOD) through his Son will be granted to extend rental free the life lease beyond this world to eternity. So the new lease of life is perpetual—never coming to end. This is all possible if you will believe under certain conditions president. They are:
- Believe in Jesus Christ who is our Savior and has redeemed us from sins.
- Repent our sins. For we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Believe that we are justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, (as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin) through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:25-26, NIV).
What is the true meaning of the new “Lease of Life”? Or “born again”? Metaphorically, it would give the impression that in nature a caterpillar leaving its cocoon and flying out as a radiant butterfly in the free world of fresh air and beautiful floras—a new and transformed life. We will be in that state only if we will be complying with the above three conditions president. At that critical moment, the gift of the Holy Spirit will in-dwell in us. “Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him “( John 3:36, NIV).
. . . That all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:3-4, NIV).
Apostle Paul urges us ” to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is our spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind . . . . ” (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; . . . And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decree and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV).
This is God’s promise.
So, be humble and walk obediently with Jesus Christ! Amen.