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



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Material 2: God’s Salvation Plan


  1. Paul’s views on sin are as follows:







Scripture

Humans are sinned and are held captive by sin. God is perfect and holy. He defies all kinds of evil.

Everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. (Romans 3:23)


In the Old Testament, the traditional penalty for sinning is death. Hence, all sinners will end up being executed.

When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed of? The result of those things is death! (Romans 6:20-21)
For sin pays its wage — death; but God's free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

How can people be forgiven? Someone must die as a sacrifice. Only through his blood can sins be forgiven.

Indeed, according to the Law almost everything is purified by blood, and sins are forgiven only if blood is poured out. (Hebrews 9:22)

Who is sinless? Whose blood is holy and pure?

It was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. (1 Peter 1:19)

God chose Jesus Christ, His own Son, to die for the humankind. With His holy and unblemished blood, humans are set free from the slavery of sin and live under God’s management.


For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God. (Ephesians 1:7)
Then you should all know, and all the people of Israel should know, that this man stands here before you completely well through the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth — whom you crucified and whom God raised from death. (Acts 4:10)

Change of Sovereignty Students’ References Material 2 2-2




However, it is very important for people to choose to get rid of the mastery of sin and become God’s servants.

At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy purposes. (Romans 6:19)

Therefore, through Christ’s death and his blood, people are redeemed from the mastery of sin and they can live under God’s sovereignty. This is a perfect salvation for all humankind.

But thanks be to God! For though at one time you were slaves to sin, you have obeyed with all your heart the truths found in the teaching you received. You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness…But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God. Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:17-18, 22)




  1. In brief, Paul’s views on salvation are as follows:

  • Human beings are under the control of sin. They cannot restore the relationship with God by themselves.

  • God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus sacrificed himself and died on the cross to redeem humans from the mastery of sin, so that humans can live under God’s authority.

  • In the Old Testament, “redemption” was a process through which sin would be redeemed by offering a sacrifice as the atonement for sin. For instance, the Israelites offered the blood of sacrifices for redemption.

  • Paul made use of the concept of ‘redemption’ to illustrate how Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to redeem people’s sin so as to free them from the mastery of sin and to help people change their sovereignty of life from sin to God.

  • It is important for people to believe in Jesus Christ and choose to get rid of the mastery of sin and live under God’s authority.

References:

http://www.lsmchinese.org/big5/02new_believer/books/read.asp?file=10-909-003-39

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%BD%AA%E8%AB%96


Mystical Transformation Teacher’s Guide 2-1



  1. Biblical reference: 2 Cor. 5:14-15, 16-17




  1. Objectives:

    • To understand Paul’s teachings on mythical transformation, which means one will always live according to Christ’s teachings and remember the sacrifice Christ had done for people.

    • To learn that believers should live for Christ and be governed by Christ’s love.

    • To learn not to judge others according to earthly standards, and learn to perceive life with Love.

  1. Teaching Strategies

Background Information

  • Paul taught people that if one is governed by Christ’s love, he/she is willing to live for Christ and therefore, has Christ in his/her life. He/she becomes a new person.

  • The believers should be governed by Christ’s love and live for Christ and should not judge others according to earthly standards.

Issues for Explorations

  • How does the redemptive experience “mystical transformation” help believers perceive lives from different perspective so that their lives can undergo regeneration?

Enquiry Questions

  • How will one’s life regenerate when he/she believes in Christ?

  • According to Paul, what can help a person achieve regenerated life and become a new person?

  • How should a person live a new life with reference to Paul’s teaching on mystical transformation?

Learning Activities

  • By watching Sammi Cheng the pop star’s baptism testimony, help students understand how the life of a Christian can regenerate, and help them perceive life and the world from different perspectives.

  • By reading Alfred Cheung the local director’s testimony and the biblical verses 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17, help students learn that those who are willing to live for Christ will become a new person because of Christ’s love.

Mystical Transformation Teacher’s Guide 2-2





  • By watching a programme about the story of a staff at the Correctional Services Department, Kai-hung the discharged prisoner and Pastor Yeung, help students learn that Christians are willing to live for Christ and will not judging others by earthly standards.

Key Concepts

Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes Involved

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

High-order Questions

  • Do you know anyone who lives for Christ and does not judge others according to earthly standard? What are their contributions and influences to society?

Extended Activities

  • Introduce the film “The Miracle Box” to students and help them understand how Dr. Tse Yuen-man lived a life for Christ and how the notion of “mystical transformation” influenced her attitude towards life.

Mystical Transformation Activity One 2-1






Activity One


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

How will one’s life regenerate when he/she believes in Christ?

Communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills

Truth, sanctity of life, self-reflection


Teaching Steps:

Step 1. Teacher does warm-up exercise with students by asking them to think about the meaning of “Love can move people.”

  • Teacher raises the questions:

        1. Have you ever experienced or heard of people being moved by love so that their lives undergo changes?

        2. Teacher shows ‘PowerPoint 1’ (The Little Girl’s Cross) or tells students the following story:

“One night, Taiwan’s most wanted criminal Chen Jinxing, who murdered Bai Xiaoyan, abducted the family of a South African diplomat and confronted with the police. The diplomat and his elder daughter were shot by stray bullet. Astonished by the terrible scene, the younger daughter Christine burst into tears. She didn’t understand why God allowed these things to happen to her father and sister. She could only calm down after praying to God

Christine was so grieved that she picked up a pen and a piece of paper. She wanted to express God’s love by drawing. She believed that God would protect her family no matter how terrible the situation was. After finishing drawing, Christine looked at Chen Jinxing and felt pity for him. She gave her drawing to Chen with her head down, scared to look into Chen’s eyes.

Christine’s mind was settled after praying. The drawing of a cross filled with God’s Love moved Chen Jinxing. After struggling for several hours, Chen finally surrendered.

After the diplomat had recovered, he and his wife brought the Bible and some gifts to visit Chen Jinxing in prison and forgave him.



  • Teacher discusses with students:

      1. Why did the criminal surrender? What moved him?


Step 2. Teacher points out:

  • Love can often move people. It changes people and enables them to live a new life.

  • How can one’s life be regenerated?

Mystical Transformation Activity One 2-2


Step 3. Teacher carries out the “Testimony for Regeneration” activity, allowing students to explore how one’s life will change after believing in Christ.

  • Teacher discusses with students:

          1. Do you know who Sammi Cheng is? Why is the 9th Dec of every year so important to Sammi Cheng (Teacher visits the website: http://www.gospelherald.com.hk/news/cul_1068.htm, and states that Sammi Cheng was baptised on the 9th Dec 2007 and became a member of the church).

          2. According to Sammi Cheng, how has her life changed after the baptism?

  • Teacher shows Sammi Cheng’s testimony (http://www.jgospel.net/content/content.aspx?id=4386 or http://youtube.com/watch?v=NhR6UiyOiE8&feature=related) or hands out ‘Appendix 1’ (Sammi Cheng’s testimony)

  • Teacher asks students to form groups of four, discuss the questions on ‘Worksheet 1’ (Testimony for Regeneration) according to Sammi Cheng’s testimony:

          1. Have Sammi Cheng’s perceptions of the world and the people around her changed? What are the changes?

          2. How would you comment on Sammi Cheng’s transformation? Can her transformation be regarded as “renewing the old life and living for a new life”?

          3. What is the motivation of pursuing regeneration for the believers?

  • After discussion, teacher invites groups to present their ideas.


Step 4. Teacher summarises:

  • If one believes in Christ, the religious belief will change one’s perspection of oneself and the world.

Mystical Transformation Activity Two 2-1




Activity Two



Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

According to Paul, what can help a person achieve regenerated life and become a new person?

Communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills

Truth, sanctity of life


Teaching Steps:

Step 1. Teacher raises the question:

    • Which convictions in Christianity help believers perceive himself/herself and the world from different perspectives and help them live a new life?


Step 2. Teacher carries out “The Source for New Life,” activity, allowing students to understand the significance of Christ’s love to humans.

    • Teacher asks students to form groups of four and hands out ‘Worksheet 2’ (Mystical Transformation) and ‘Appendix 2’ (Alfred Cheung’s testimony) to each group.

    • Teacher asks students to discuss the questions on the worksheet with reference to Alfred Cheung’s testimony and 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17.

  1. What changed Alfred Cheung’s and other believers’ views on life?

  2. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17, what did Christ do for humankind?

  3. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17, what made Christ take the above action?

  4. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17, how should one respond to Christ?

  5. According to 2 Cor. 5:14-15 and 17, how would one’s life be different after responding to Christ?

    • Teacher may refer to ‘Worksheet 2’ (Mystical Transformation - Suggested answer) for reference.

    • After discussion, teacher invites groups to present their ideas. Teacher can show ‘PowerPoint 2’ (The Supreme Performance of Christ’s Love: Death and Resurrection).


Step 3. Teacher goes further to discuss with students:

    • What is the relationship between Christ’s love, death, resurrection and the believer who becomes a new person? (Christ loves humankind, and is willing to die and rise for all human beings. The person who accepts Christ in his/her life will become a new person).

Mystical Transformation Activity Two 2-2


    • Is the relationship between Christ and Christians mentioned above implied in Sammi Cheng’s and Alfred Cheung’s testimonies?

    • Teacher points out:

  1. If one experiences Christ’s love and is willing to live for Christ, one can have Christ in his/her life and becomes a new person. That is the meaning of “mythical transformation”.


Step 4. Teacher summarises:

    • Jesus loved the humankind. He was willing to sacrifice himself and die on the cross to save all humans. Those who accept Christ will have Christ in their lives and they will be transformed into new people.

    • Christ’s love moves people to live for Christ, and have Christ in lives. The changes undergone by believers are called “mythical transformation.”


Step 5. Teacher distributes ‘Students’ Reference: Material 1’ (Paul’s Teachings on “Mystical Transformation”), briefly explains it and wraps up the activity.

Mystical Transformation Activity Three 2-1






Activity Three


Enquiry Questions

Generic Skills

Values and Attitudes

How should a person live a new life with reference to Paul’s teaching on mystical transformation?

Communication skills, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills

Truth, sanctity of life, love


Teaching Steps:

Step 1. Teacher raises the question:

    • Once a believer decides to follow Christ, it implies that he/she decides to live with Christ. How would the new life of the believers be?


Step 2. Teacher carries the “Viewing the World from another Perspective” activity with students, allowing students to understand how Christian faith changes the views on life and the world through the sharing of a staff at the Correctional Services Department, a discharged prisoner and a pastor.

    • Teacher visits the following websites to play the video:

  1. TV0849f Forgive those in prison I (“Shower of Blessing”2007-1-27) http://tw.fooooo.com/watch.php?id=b3f728a15c31685d2e57e5664bcc22ce or http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=CNl6_ewHfQs

  2. TV0850 Forgive those in prison II (“Shower of Blessing”2007-1-27) http://tw.fooooo.com/watch.php?id=cea11c956d7d4801864feda17333432c or http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJsjUn8MohU

    • Teacher hands out ‘Worksheet 3’ (Viewing the World from another Perspective) and discusses the questions of Part 1 with students:

  1. How do people in general regard the prisoners?

  2. What are the changes regarding the views on life for the staff at the Correctional Services Department?

  3. What are the changes regarding the views on life for Kai-hung (a discharged prisoner)?

  4. What are the changes regarding the views on life for Pastor Yeung?

  • After discussion, teacher invites groups to present their ideas.

Mystical Transformation Activity Three 2-2


  • Teacher asks students to read 2 Cor. 5:14-17 and guide students to complete Part 2 on ‘Worksheet 3’:

  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?

  2. 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?


Step 3. Teacher goes further to discuss with students:

  • Do you know anyone who lives for Christ and does not judge others according to earthly standards? What are their contributions and influences to society?


Step 4. Teacher summarises:

    • When a believer dies and rises with Christ, h/she will be ruled by Christ’s love and live for Christ. He/She then becomes a new person.

    • Paul’s teaching on “mythical transformation,” which means “humankind dies and rises with Christ,” states that believers should live a new life and should not judge others by earthly standards.

Mystical Transformation Extended Activities


Extended Activities


  1. Teacher asks students to read newspaper-cuttings and watch some news clips to review the social situations during the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003:

    • Everyone was running scared.

    • Nurses and medical workers were stressed and they felt helpless when they were facing the unknown disease.

    • However, a lot of nurses and medical workers persisted to serve the sick ones.

    • The contribution of Dr. Tse Yuen Man as a Christian.




  1. Show the film “The Miracle Box” to students and help them understand how Dr. Tse lived a life for Christ and how the notion of “mystical transformation” influenced her attitude towards life.




  1. Teacher discusses with students:

    • How did the notion of “mystical transformation” help Dr. Tse live a new life?

    • How did the notion of “mystical transformation” help Dr. Tse perceive her life from a different perspective?

    • The notion of “mystical transformation” motivated Dr. Tse to contribute herself. What was the importance and influence of her act to society?



Mystical Transformation Appendix 1






Appendix 1: Sammi Cheng’s baptism testimony
We are used to living according to the values of the world.
Most people lack the courage to live according to their own standards. I was one of them.
I am Sammi Cheng, a singer as well as an actor. I am 35 years old this year. I have made certain achievements; however, I have never lived for myself. I used to live under sets of values, for instance, I thought my self-esteem would be higher by attaining greater achievements. However, when I almost got all the things most people are longing for, I found my heart empty.
The emptiness of my heart was thorough. I tried to attain even greater achievements to fill up the empty spaces in my heart but I failed.
Therefore, I decided to put an end to this never-ending pursuit of achievements. I put aside my 10-year career to look at what was remained in my life.
God granted me about 1,000 days to have a thorough reflection on my past life. I discovered the truth about success and money. These things might have helped me build up my life, but they could not satisfy me.
The value of life should be more dignified. In the words of God, I discovered a clear direction and orientation.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve….” On the way to my future life, I have more important missions. I do not know how God has planned my life, but I know that he will guide me step by step.
Such peace of mind is priceless.
God had sternly rectified me in the last 1,000 days. He granted me an exile so that I could find my own heart. My heart has been closer to God and I am no longer afraid, no longer timid. I can live for my self.
To live for the higher value of life and not to surrender, distorting the value of life. This is my commitment to God.
References:

  1. http://www.vinemedia.org/public/articles/read.php?id=210

  2. http://www.jgospel.net/content/content.aspx?id=4386

Mystical Transformation Appendix 2 3-1




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