Topic 10 The development of the basic beliefs of Christianity: Paul’s and James’ Perspectives of Salvation


Appendix 2: Alfred Cheung’s Testimony



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Appendix 2: Alfred Cheung’s Testimony
Alfred Cheung knew Jesus through panic disorder
Local director Alfred Cheung appears to be an optimistic and humourous man. However, out of everyone’s expectation, he suffered from panic disorder in early 2002.
He said he felt “completely hopeless” during the dark period. The search for a belief made him realise God’s companion, which greatly eliminated his panic, and thereafter he decided to believe in Christ. He was also courageous to make his illness known to the public in order to set an alarm for other people.
In fact, the instinct of panicking that God grants humankind has positive functions. However, when the level of panic does not match the actual situation, it may degenerate into “pathological panic” such as panic disorder. Alfred Cheung told us that his index finger has been uncontrollably jittering occasionally. He suspected himself to have the Parkinson's disease and he had visited six to seven specialists in a month, including brain specialists, psychiatry and immune system specialists. Their diagnoses were nearly the same, “We are not sure if you have the Parkinson’s, but you certainly have the symptoms of the disease.”
Alfred Cheung lived in unceasing fear due to the uncertain cause of the symptom. The most serious situation was that he would rouse up from sleep ten times a night, being unable to sleep. So, even Cheung himself was quite sure that he had got the Parkinson's disease.
Feeling hopeless and helpless, Cheung had suffered from insomnia for more than a month. On one night, he kneeled down and prayed to God. During the daytime, he talked to some Christian friends and asked them to pray for him.
One night, after his friend had prayed for him, Cheung felt amazingly peaceful. He slept well for eight hours. “I have not been sleeping so well in more than a month.”
Since then, Alfred Cheung actively sought to understand the Christian faith, including reading the Bible and praying. These acts could help him to a certain extent. However, he felt the Heavenly Father was still remote and aerial. He later read the Gospels and understood that Jesus Christ came to this world and sacrificed himself on the cross in order to cleanse the sins of the entire humankind. The readings enabled Cheung to feel God’s cordiality.

Mystical Transformation Appendix 2 3-2


Cheung heard a lot of people saying that one could find God when he/she feels sad. However, one of his friends told him that “In fact, God is always around us.” Dr Choi Yuen-wan also taught him that “don't live with Parkinson, do live with God.”
At that time, Cheung still suffered from tremor in his fingers. He still believed that he had the Parkinson's, but he decided to believe in Christ in a church in Causeway Bay on the 3rd March this year. “Christians also suffer from illness; I only hope that God will not let me be a stay-home patient. Even if I suffer from the Parkinson's, I wish to share my witness and help patients suffering from the Parkinson’s.”
Half a year later, Cheung found that the shaking of his fingers was caused by the displacement of his hand-joint. Although his fingers were still shaking slightly, he was able to rely on God to have a calm and joyful mind, which he had never had before. “I have never experienced such great pain in my life, I really feel that God has saved me from the abyss.”
Alfred Cheung’s sharing on his changes before and after accepting Christian faith
“After I accepted Christian faith, the greatest change in my life was related to my work. Before I believed in God, I was like most people in Hong Kong, superstitious and worshipping various gods. I spent a few hours waiting for a coloured Dragon King. I know I was stupid, but I felt insecure if I do not do that. I also believed in Fung Shui. Both my wife and I think we were stupid when we look back.”
“The greatest difference in my work is that, I do not wish to retire at present, I will keep on producing film though the production will be relatively less. Secondly, I make use of drama to do business training, but I regard it as a sermon every time. Thirdly, I used to have Monday-depression and thought, ‘Rushing and Rushing, time passes and what should I do?’ All of us will have to retire one day! However, I do not wish to retire at this moment. Being a film director can have no retirement. I can provide training to people as long as I can stand and speak.”
In addition, I would like to be an evangelist when I get old, just like Cheung Ching and Roy Chiao of my same profession, to preach in different places. Once I have such aspiration, my motivation for working becomes higher. Later, I worry less.

Mystical Transformation Appendix 2 3-3


“In the past I indulged myself in earning money, but now I discovered that money could not bring happiness. Instead, it brings a lot of worries. I think this is similar to what I have shared in some insurance talks. A Christian insurance agent always has two sets of insurance policies. One is earthly and the profit it brings is money. If the earthly policy cannot meet the quota, the Christian insurance agent still has the heavenly one. The latter one can bring him/her the heavenly commission. When we help others, care for others, we are not asking God to bestow us money commission but joy.”
“People always ask, ‘You always talk about Jesus. Can you tell me where Jesus is?’ I did not know how to respond to this question in the past, but I do now: ‘Where is Jesus? He is at the place where I care for you.’”
Cheng used to be harsh and mean, even his words of sympathy were superficial. However, he has learned how to concern others from the bottom of his heart. “Sometimes, people cannot feel the presence of Jesus because he is like the wind. However, when we care about the others, we made sure others can feel Jesus’ presence. I had been scared to comfort other people, but now I am willing and able to do so. For instance, we visited a couple yesterday. They moved away from a 3,000-square-feet residence to a 500-square-feet flat four months ago. None of their friends have visited them since then. However, we went to their flat and prayed for them.”
The couple therefore knew that Christians will not dislike and avoid them even though they were not as wealthy as before. “I cannot show them my concern without God’s love. I will probably avoid them. I do not look down on them, but I cannot face them in such situation. When you are successful, I feel happy meeting you. But when you are in difficulties, how can I face you? Now it is different.”

References:



  1. http://lba.luke923.org/cgi-bin/topic.cgi?forum=40&topic=30&show=0

  2. http://www.angelfire.com/super2/wordofheart/bible/bible3.htm

http://www.sharehymns.hk/redpockets/mess_ting.htm

Mystical Transformation Appendix 3 3-1


Appendix 3: The Beautiful World that was Once Veiled
Discharged offender: The veil was uncovered to reveal the beautiful world after I have experienced Jesus Christ’s love.


There are around 12,000 people in Hong Kong serving their terms of imprisonment. The figure is fluid, meaning that some people are being put to jail while some are being discharged almost every day. The problem lies not only on the 12,000 prisoners, but their family and a few thousand stressed staff members from the Correctional Services Department (CSD). Care and acceptance from the society are in great need.

Pastor Man Tsz-on has participated in providing pastoral care for prisoners for more than 20 years. He is familiar with the changes gone through by the CSD and he has witnessed many prisoners mending their ways. “A lot of prisoners are uncertain about the future. They often ask, ‘Will I be able to leave this place? Am I going to die in here?’” Pastor Man introduced these frustrated prisoners to God and he has set up some religious and Bible classes for the prisoners. He wishes to love and embrace the prisoners just as what God has done to us, so as to let the prisoners know that they will be saved.


“The person in charge of the Shek Pik Prison once told us that some prisoners serving a long-term sentence had joined the Bible class, and it was as if they had transformed into another person. I was so glad that I told him it’s called ‘regeneration’ in the Bible. It was as if they were born again.” Pastor Man recalled.
Some Christians in the CSD has formed a group to spread the Good News to prisoners. They invited Pastor Man to be their consultant. They are not wearied by their everyday work facing the prisoners. Instead, they are very supportive towards the evangelisation work, hoping to help the prisoners.
Turning point in lives emerges
Confucius taught us to love others as we love ourselves. Jesus even sacrificed his life, being crucified on the cross, to cleanse the sins of humankind. Wishing to follow Jesus’ example and make sacrifice, the staff of the CSD are willing to spend time on the prisoners and care for them. However, sometimes, even they themselves are not convinced that those intractable prisoners can be transformed, and Kai-hung were among one of those.
Kai-hung made some bad friends when he was studying Secondary 4 and he had almost abandoned school. In 1997, he was sentenced to a seven-and-a-half-year imprisonment due to

Mystical Transformation Appendix 3 3-2


drug-dealing. Even though he was sent to prison, he was impenitent and obstinate, trying to protect himself.
“I had no regrets at all and I didn’t consider myself wrong. I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to be bullied in here, so when people hit me, I’m sure I will fight back.’ But the truth was that, I couldn’t really avoid being beaten up when I had offended so many people.” Kai-hung once had a fight with a Vietnamese prisoner on the ball court in prison. After that, he was revenged and beaten up severely. At that moment, I thought of my mother whom I had promised to behave myself so that she would not worry about me. I didn’t know how to explain to her why I got beaten up. People I had hurt came into my mind as well. The feeling of being hurt was so real at that time.”
Love and Forgiveness are two of the most important virtues
Kai-hung was fortunate to find a Bible in his friend’s cell. Curiosity drove him to borrow the Bible from his friend and read it. He read about Jesus teaching his disciples to pray (the Lord’s Prayer) and he memorised the verse by heart. From that time onwards, he said the Lord’s Prayer after reading the Bible each night. Sometimes, he felt asleep while praying, but he slept well and was satisfied.
“Life has become very different after I believe in God. Back when I looked at the world from behind the bars, I felt so desperate that I thought the world was colourless. Nothing delighted or interested me. After I believe in God, the world looks colourful and I feel much happier now.”
Kai-hung became a Christian when he was serving his term of sentence. He transformed from a fierce and obstinate prisoner into a mild and gentle person. Even his mother noticed his change. “My son has become much more obedient now and I consider it very miraculous. At first I didn’t believe that he mended his way until I got to know that he became a Christian. I didn’t know anything about the church at that time, but I thought as long as he started to behave well, nothing really mattered.” Kai-hung’s family did not know what he meant by “believing in God”, but they have surely witnessed his change which was so prominent. Now, Kai-hung even knows how to take care of his family and his relationship with his family has improved a lot.

Mystical Transformation Appendix 3 3-3


The Prodigal son wishes to help those who are in the same situation as he was
A lot of people say that a person should never look back once he/she is discharged from prison. It is to avoid repeating the history and being sent back into prison again. After Kai-hung was discharged, like most of the other discharged offenders, he went seek a job. He worked hard in a restaurant without complaining about the heavy workload. But it was surprising that his biggest wish was to go back to jail! It turned out that he wished to devote his time to serving prisoners, helping them correct their lives.
Pastor Yeung, who has offered a lot of help to Kai-hung said, “I’ve known Kai-hung for about two to three years and I’ve witnessed his transformation. He is a promising and faithful young man who is always grateful towards God’s grace. I truly appreciate a person like him, who is thankful and content with what he owns right now. Last year, he talked about going back to study and serving God. I encouraged him to pursue his dreams. Our organisation has provided a 2-year full subsidy for Kai-hung to further his study in theology and other practical skills.” Kai-hung works at Pastor Yeung’s office on weekdays and accompanies the pastor to do testimonies in some other occasions.
The Gospel is more powerful than a thousand words
Pastor Yeung understands Kai-hung’s situation, for he himself was very rebellious before. After he believes in God, he mended his way. Since he started taking part in evangelising in prison 30 years ago, Pastor Yeung has never abandoned the prisoners. He firmly believes that every person can repent if he/she is given the opportunity.
“Sometimes, it is not that practical to merely “talk” to prisoners. But the Gospels have the power to motivate the prisoners to transform. I have experienced it myself. And when I see them change, I become motivated as well.”
Pastor Yeung thinks that prisoners are able to transform because they all receive the Good News that God never abandons anyone on earth. God speaks to people through the Bible and listens to people through prayers. God wants people to understand and accept his love, so that they will not lose faith in life.
Reference:

http://www.singpao.com/20070527/feature/917568.html

Mystical Transformation Teacher’s References Material 1
Material 1: Paul’s teachings on “Mythical Transformation”


  1. Explanations for 2 Corinthians 5:14-17:

  • Christ’s love referred to Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross for humankind in order to fulfill God’s salvation.

  • Jesus, similar to the lamb in the Jewish tradition, was offered as a sacrifice. Jesus bore the sins of the entire humankind. Symbolically, although Jesus died as one person, he died for all and he rose from death for all.

  • Those who die and rise from death with Christ will have new lives. The regeneration will bring them changes in their lives.

  • Those who are alive should live for Christ.

  • People who live a new life should not judge others with earthly standards.




  1. In Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)

  • Paul always used the phrases below to teach:

  1. Christ and Christians are in close fellow relationship. Christians belong to Christ. (Gal 2:20;2Cor 10:7,13:5)

  2. Jesus Christ gives important influences on Christian’s ethical behaviour.

References:



  1. 巴克萊(1983):《哥林多前後書注釋》,(頁234)。香港:基督教文藝。

  2. Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer ed. (1991). The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (p. 1409). London: Geoffrey Chapman.

Mystical Transformation Teacher’s Suggested Answers Worksheet 1
Worksheet 2: Mystical Transformation (Suggested answer)


  1. What changed Alfred Cheung’s and other believers’ views on life? (put a √ in the appropriate box)

  • Persistence

  • Seduction of money

  • Help from friends

  • Inspiration from books

 Christ’s love

  • Others:



  1. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15, 17, complete the diagram below.

Christ’s Work Believers’ Work





Mystical Transformation Worksheet 1 2-1


Worksheet 1: Testimony for Regeneration


  1. Answer the following questions with reference to Sammi Cheng’s testimony; put a √ in the appropriate box.







Changes after believing Christ

Sammi Cheng’s perception of the world and other people

  • The greater the achievement, the higher the self-esteem

  • Most people lack the courage to live for themselves

  • To recognise that the values uphold by most people are valuable

  • To discover that her heart was empty in the past

  • To seek greater achievements to fill up her heart’s empty spaces

  • To notice the truth about success and money

Sammi Cheng’s view on herself

  • To live a life of higher value

  • To emphasise peace of mind

  • To live for one’s true self

  • To pursue better appearance

  • To have a more important mission

  • To look for clear life directions and orientation




  1. What are your comments on Sammi Cheng’s changes? Do you think her changes can be regarded as “renewing the old life and living for a new life”?

  • Yes, because:


  • No, because:


Mystical Transformation Worksheet 1 2-2


  1. What is the motivation of regeneration for believers like Sammi Cheng?

  • Friends’ advice

  • Apprehended by oneself

  • Inspired by books

  • Inspired by religious beliefs

  • Help from parents

  • Others:

Mystical Transformation Worksheet 2
Worksheet 2: Mystical Transformation


  1. Complete the table according to Alfred Cheung’s testimony; write down the changes Cheung underwent after believing Christ.




Before Alfred Cheung believed in Christ

After Alfred Cheung believed in Christ









  1. What changed Alfred Cheung’s and other believers’ views on life? (put a √ in the appropriate box)

  • Persistence

  • Seduction of money

  • Help from friends

  • Inspiration from books

  • Christ’s love

  • Others:



  1. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15, 17, complete the diagram below.

Christ’s Work Believers’ Work




Mystical Transformation Worksheet 3 2-1


Worksheet 3: Viewing the World from another Perspective


  1. According to ‘Appendix 3’, answer the following questions, put a √ in the appropriate box.




  1. How do people in general regard the prisoners?

  • Look down upon them

  • No feelings at all

  • Disregard them

  • Not concerned

  • Think that they deserve what they did

  • Hope the prisoners will mend their way sincerely

  • Others:







Mystical Transformation Worksheet 3 2-2





  1. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-17, why do the staff at the Correctional Services Department, Kai-hung (a discharged prisoner) and Pastor Yeung hold different views regarding prisoners when compared to the general public?








  1. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-17, have the life goals of the staff at the Correctional Services Department, Kai-hung (a discharged prisoner) and Pastor Yeung changed?





Mystical Transformation Students’ References Material 1






Material 1: Paul’s teachings on “Mythical Transformation”


  1. Explanations for 2 Corinthians 5:14-17:

  • Christ’s love referred to Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross for humankind in order to fulfill God’s salvation.

  • Jesus, similar to the lamb in the Jewish tradition, was offered as a sacrifice. Jesus bore the sins of the entire humankind. Symbolically, although Jesus died as one person, he died for all and he rose from death for all.

  • Those who die and rise from death with Christ will have new lives. The regeneration will bring changes to their lives.

  • Those who are alive should live for Christ.

  • People who live a new life should not judge others with earthly standards.




  1. In Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)

  • Paul always used the phrases below to teach:

  1. Christ and Christians are in close fellow relationship. Christians belong to Christ. (Gal 2:20;2Cor 10:7,13:5)

Jesus Christ gives important influences on Christian’s ethical behaviour.

References:



  1. 巴克萊(1983):《哥林多前後書注釋》,(頁234)。香港:基督教文藝。

  2. Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer ed. (1991). The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (p. 1409). London: Geoffrey Chapman.

Justification by Faith Teacher’s Guide 2-1





  1. Biblical reference: Romans 1:16-17




  1. Objectives:

    • To learn that Paul made used of the concept of justification by faith to express his perception of God’s salvation.

    • To learn that Paul proposed the idea of “justification” so that the gentiles could join the Christian church without following the Jewish laws.

    • To understand that one only needs to believe in the Gospel of God, then one will be justified by God and he/she can establish a good, appropriate relationship with God.

    • To understand how the Pauline idea of justification by faith influence the development of the Christian doctrine and religion.

  1. Teaching Strategies

Background Information

  • God wants to save all people, including the Jews and the gentiles, with the Gospel.

  • Being justified by God is a kind of grace. People can only receive God’s grace by being faithful to the Gospel about Jesus Christ as well as establishing a good, appropriate relationship with God.

Issues for Exploration

  • What do people have to do (as discussed in the previous two lessons) in order to obtain salvation from God?

Enquiry Questions

  • What do people have to do (as discussed in the previous two lessons) in order to obtain salvation from God?

  • What was the significance of the Pauline idea of justification by faith to the Early Church?

  • How has the Pauline idea of justification by faith influence the development of Christianity?

Learning Activities

  • Through discussion and reading the Bible, learn the meaning of justification by faith and God’s way of saving the world.

  • Through studying the learning materials, explore the background of the Pauline proposal of justification by faith.

Justification by Faith Teacher’s Guide 2-2







  • Through watching the PowerPoints, learn the impact of the Pauline idea of justification by faith on the development of Christianity. For instance, Paul preached the gentiles and influenced Martin Luther’s Reformation.

Key Concepts

  • Justification by faith

  • Faith

  • Righteousness

Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes Involved

  • Refer to the ‘Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes’ tables included in the corresponding lesson plans.

High-order Questions

  • Explore what different religions can do in order to increase the number of followers.

Extended Activities

  • Explore and compare the ways and content of salvation proposed by different religions.

Justification by Faith Activity One 3-1






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