Free From the Bondage of Sin - Trans World Radio Canada

Throughout my life, there have been times where I have gained a new or greater comprehension of Scripture. You may be able to relate to this too. One recent occasion centred around my grasp of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19. We often associate the imperative command of this passage as the word “go”, which we interpret as the need to go somewhere; in this case, to the ends of the earth. In my recent studies of this passage, I have come to recognize that the real focus of the passage is the word “disciple.”  My new understanding is that Jesus was saying, “in your going, disciple.” In other words, as we are going through our everyday lives, each of us has been commissioned to disciple others. This is a different way to look at this familiar passage.

Since starting my journey with TWR Canada, I continue to grow in my awareness of all that God is doing around the world. I hear story after story of how he is transforming lives in countries where your support is having an impact on communities, churches and individuals. As I read these stories, I have observed that various cultures process the gospel in different ways, and it has helped me better understand how others read and interpret scripture as well.

A testimony I recently read, from a SOTA student in China whom we will call Lee, highlights this thought well. For those of you who are not familiar with SOTA, it is a three-to four-year intensive biblical training program that helps Chinese believers become leaders who then strengthen the Church in China. The first mandatory course for every SOTA student begins with the basic foundations of our understanding of Scripture, "The Essentials of Faith."

Through this initial course, Lee was especially challenged in his understanding of sin. He shared that in traditional Chinese culture, many believe that sin grows out of one’s own body, and the shame of admitting sin is too heavy for people to bear. This understanding of sin is a big cultural barrier in explaining Christianity. Chinese people often have a hard time accepting that they are sinful, as sin brings shame on them and their families. Lee thought, “Since there is such a big difference between Chinese and foreign cultures, why would text translators take the English word for “sin” and translate it into this particular Chinese character to represent sin?

Though many Chinese would equate the word and symbol for sin with committing crimes or being a criminal, Lee began digging into other meanings of the Chinese character used to represent sin. He learned that the upper part of the character for "sin" can be interpreted as a net or snare, and the lower part an open-winged bird that flies into the snare and is trapped and cannot be free. “This explanation excited me so much,” exclaimed Lee. “In the Christian faith, God tells us that sin brings people imprisonment and does not let them be free. But Jesus gives us the opportunity to be free from the bondage of sin. I hope I will have more opportunities to speak with my friends about sin through our Chinese culture.”

Lee’s story resonates with me personally and also reminds me of the important work that TWR Canada is doing around the world. Taking the basic truths of Scripture and presenting them in a way that other cultures can understand is so vital. This brings a sense of purpose to the work we do and once again highlights our responsibility to continue with the work set before us.

Around the world, we see the need to further equip and strengthen the global church to understand and apply the Word of God in daily life. Through training conferences, discipleship programs and online resources, we are guiding believers to be passionate and knowledgeable followers of Christ. Will you join us financially today to help equip the global Church with culturally sensitive, biblically based resources? With your generous gift, we can provide valuable materials and training to SOTA students like Lee, and other church and house church leaders all over the world.

 

Thankful for your partnership,

 

Dan Reese

President, TWR Canada

 


 

PS: As the Lord reveals himself to us through the pages of his book, the Bible, let us remember those in other countries who are growing in their understanding of Scripture. I encourage you to join with us in this Great “Co-mission” to disciple all nations. We need your support!