Posts in 杨明道 Yang Mingdao
We Are Determined To Press On, Part 2

We deeply believe God has been using and preparing us for this moment. When I travel in China, I hear, different leaders saying again and again, “Gospel renewal and all the things we have learned in the past several years have prepared us to deal with this pressure and to stay true to the gospel of our calling.” This is not just a moment we need to survive. God is defining the churches in this moment in order to prepare for the next five, ten, and twenty years to come. 

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Determined To Press On, Part 1

Chinese churches think suffering is about identity, mission, and hope in union with Christ. If we are united with Christ, then suffering is natural; we will experience what Christ experienced in this world. They believe suffering is not about seeking after suffering, but rather about following of Christ. Whenever one follows Christ, there will be different forms of suffering. What they are now experiencing is normal. Suffering is the agony of the process of recreation. God is recreating us. He is recreating pain and birth, and that process means suffering.

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Which Direction Should We Go? - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

Justification and sanctification are vital and inseparable in Protestant soteriology. Though there is great discontinuity between many aspects of Protestant and medieval soteriology, there is also significant continuity in other aspects, especially in their efforts to maintain consistency in their exegesis of all of scripture and revelation relating to salvation and in their efforts to construct a comprehensive soteriology. As we emphasize justification by faith, we must also simultaneously strive to preach and practice a comprehensive soteriology, so that God’s glorious grace might be praised. Theology is a response of the church toward the redemptive work of God and the revelation of scripture. All knowledge is personal, and this necessarily includes knowledge relating to the worship of God and its practical implications. Thus, the history of theology is also the history of the church.

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Practical Problems in Pastoral Ministry - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

Anthropology is deeply connected to soteriology because it determines the structure, depth, and breadth of soteriology… In an emaciated anthropology, emphasizing justification by faith, or even attempting to construct an entire identity on the doctrine of justification by faith, can very easily reduce soteriology to “justification by faith” while losing the motivation for sanctification. Sanctification becomes merely an adornment or addition to justification, no more than a proof that man has been justified.

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The Comprehensive Soteriology of the Reformers - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

The main difference from medieval soteriology is that Luther does not believe in the infusion of grace into the soul of man, by which he is progressively made righteous before finally being justified. Luther believes that by faith, God unites the soul of man with Christ and instills the external righteousness of Christ directly into a man’s life so that he becomes righteous. But Luther does not believe that this alien righteousness of Christ is instilled into man all at once. Rather, it is progressive in nature, continuing throughout a man’s entire life.

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The Middle Ages and the Reformers - Reflections on “Justification” and “Sanctification” in the Reformation

In retrospect, the Reformation is truly a Copernican Revolution in the history of soteriology, a kind of paradigm shift from “geocentrism” to “heliocentrism.” The soteriology of the Roman Catholic church and its corresponding pastoral practices are remarkably cumbersome and complicated, akin to geocentrism, with its focus on us – what kind of person Christ makes me become through God’s grace. The soteriology of the Protestants, on the other hand, is simple and clear, akin to heliocentrism, with its focus on what Christ has done – what kind of person Christ became on my behalf through God’s grace.  

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A Hope-Filled Prayer for Early Rain Covenant Church

Lord, we thank you! May you yourself truly fulfill all these things, and may your own name be lifted high through all these things! Even if they are sentenced to prison, even if they have no way to be set free, even if their wives and children are left by themselves to be scorned, ridiculed, and profaned, but in the end, Christ’s name will be exalted and your glory will be seen by the whole world!

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