"Christians are letters God writes to the world, through whom people want to know God," shared Rev. Sun Lihua who discussed the three ways to live out the fragrant incense of Christ in a sermon service in Chongwenmen Church on Nov. 22
1. Confirm you have honorable values in hardships.
Rev. Sun told the audience that we should have faith in God's choice and accept it no matter what happens. "God has accepted us because of His own grace not of how good or bad we are. God sees us through Jesus. In the eyes of God, you're noble and priceless."
Sun gave the example of the prophet Elijah who had forgotten who he was in the face of the threat from Jezebel (the queen of Israel, the wife of King Ahab) even after the victory over 450 prophets of Baal. She encouraged the believers in failure that "failure may be a treasure and a blessing in disguise along the way that God has prepared for you. "
2. Be a man of good character in trial.
She continued, "We are like letters to the world whom others can see God in our words and actions. People respect and want to behave like men of good character." She stressed that good character is not developed in religious self-discipline but in our relationship with God.
Sun gave the example of Joseph that he did not sin due to his fear of God when facing the temptation from his master's wife. He had the good character of righteousness and godliness. She also took Elijah for instance: Elijah insisted on not accepting gifts from Naaman whom he had healed. Elijah had the character of not stealing God's glory. "God values one's character more than his achievement," Sun said.
3. Hold fast to faith in persecution.
Sun explained this in sharing the story of the prophet Daniel: Daniel fell to his knees and prayed in the direction of Jerusalem three times a day after the king announced the rule that no prayer was allowed within 30 days.
His three friends also refused to worship the image of gold the king set up even when the king asked them to do so. Their actions shocked and brought encouragement to the Israelites which even garnered praise from the king in the end.
"It is true experience not words if you're full of faith. Those who have faith through trials in hard times are people with real faith. When we live in Christ, the source of life, we can naturally live out the pleasing life."
The Chongwenmen Church of Beijing Christian Council was first established in 1870 when it was then called Asbury Church. It was the first church constructed by the American Methodist Church in northern China. The scale of this church was smaller than its present size. It was originally designed to hold 400 to 500 people. Although the church appears now as it did back then, its current seating capacity is 2,000 people. As the number of believers increased, the Methodist church began reconstruction of the building, which was completed in 1882. During the Yihetuan Movement (Boxer Rebellion) of 1900, the church was burned down. In 1902, the Qing Dynasty Government appropriated money to rebuild the Asbury Church and was completed in the spring of 1904. This is the main structure we have here today.