It’s unimaginable. Among us conservative Lutherans it’s unimaginable to be in a church where the pastor allows his reason to judge the Scriptures.
But that is the situation Zhijuan found herself in. Zhijuan did not become a Christian until she was well into adulthood. Her believing friends had kept up their gentle witness until the Spirit brought her to faith.
A faith barrier
As she grew in faith, she involved herself in her local congregation. Soon she began serving as a lay leader. But the Scriptures also showed her a huge barrier existed in her relationship with Jesus. The barrier was her pastor. Zhijuan’s pastor thought he knew better than the clear message of God’s Word. For him the miracles the Bible describes never happened. The Scriptures were just another book about God, similar to those of other religions. So the plan of salvation Zhijuan’s pastor’s proclaimed was the bad news that we must do good works to save ourselves.
Grace. not works
“Back then,” she said, “I was always living under the law, always thinking I still had to earn God’s favor.” Zhijuan searched for a way to know the Scriptures for what they actually says. She attended a Bible school, but it wasn’t until she joined our Bible institute that the spiritual fog began to lift.
“I see Christian people sin because they do not hear any gospel,” Zhijuan said.. “They end up rebelling against the law’s demands. That’s why I am very grateful for the classes 316NOW provides. God’s grace in Jesus is the foundation for everything you teach us.”
Be part of 316NOW’s ministry of standing next to Christian leaders in China. Pray for Zhijuan and the hundreds of other students who attend our Bible institute. Give a gift so this ministry continues.