We Know What We Fight For, Part 1: I Have to Be Accountable Before My Lord

“In past years, every time you have come we have respected you, talked with you, and answered any questions. But if you ask us to register in the Three Self movement, we are done with this kind of talk. Since the first day I was ordained as a house church minister, I have been ready to pay the price for my faith. If some day you come to take me, you are welcome to do that. I don’t hate you —really — but I have to be accountable before my Lord.”

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Interview with a Chongqing pastor: “We all need God’s grace”

The people of Chongqing do not think life there is all that pleasant or easy. To many missionaries Chongqing is hard ground. The people [care] very much about what they eat and what they wear, and the lust of the eyes—this is Chongqing culture. It is very worldly, and it places great value on the pleasures of this life. It has also been said that Chongqing is one of the cities in China with a higher percentage of homosexuality.

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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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Interview with a Xuzhou Pastor — A Life Driven by Grace

Before I knew Jesus, I was a prodigal son. My mother is a Christian. She used to pray for me day and night, for about ten years. During those ten years, I had fallen into being a part of society’s debauchery, just like the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke. In that almost decade-long period, I could not find my life’s purpose or direction. In the months before I put my trust in the Lord, I felt the significant emptiness of my heart. I had sought my own happiness by living the way I lived, but I was not happy, and I had no peace.

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Honoring Our Parents According to God’s Will, Part 3: Facing Difficulties as People Who Have Been Loved

Even though we face difficulties and conflicts, and even though we are busy serving the church, we are a people who have been loved. Our whole lives belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, so we should depend on him in all things and glorify him in all that we do. Since we are loved, we ought to have the same mind as Christ, caring for our earthly parents in the Lord with a heart of gratitude. We ought to consider before God how we can practically care for the physical and spiritual health of our elderly parents. 

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Honoring Our Parents According to God’s Will, Part 2: Discerning the Needs of Elderly Parents

As we take care of our parents, even though children can easily spend more of their energy and worry taking care of the physical and emotional needs of their parents, as Christians we ought to pay more attention to our parents’ spiritual well-being. As children who were the first to believe, we are entrusted by God with this responsibility, and we will have to give an account to him.

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Honoring Our Parents According to God’s Will, Part 1: Examining God’s Good Will

As Christians who have been given the great grace of salvation in Jesus Christ, we should strive to discern secular ideas, to war against the sins of our flesh, and to confront and reflect on God's will through the gospel. May the Lord lead us to repentance and back to his will. Because the Lord died for us on the cross and forgave all our sins, making us children of God and giving us the eternal hope of the Kingdom of Heaven, we ought to support our parents with hearts full of gratitude, relying on and trusting in his promises as we testify to the name of our Savior Christ. God will remember our faithfulness and bless us.

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