The Alpha Course is called the “Inspiration Course” (启发 qifa 课程) on the Chinese language video.

Title: How Do You Get Faith?

Opening scene: The two hosts get ready to go paragliding:  “Trusting God is is not blind faith, instead it is taking a step forward on the basis of enough evidence to trust. Trusting God is a journey, based on the  conviction that you are not alone on the road. You can start an intimate relationship with Jesus. 
1:41 Both hosts discuss whether they were afraid. Rui Tao says that he was honestly a bit afraid when they glided off the mountain. But when he realized that their trainer was with them, he was not afraid. He had confidence. Liao Zhi said she had also experienced great fear. She previously had had a huge crisis and lost almost everything she possessed. But after she trusted Jesus, she received courage that was beyond all expectations.  Faith helped her to continue going forward. 
QUESTION | What is the bravest thing you have ever done? 
…a number of the people asked this question haven’t done anything very brave….one person kicked a wild pig…. one girl openly expressed 告白 that she liked someone….another at a hospital had four teeth pulled all at once…diving 潜水...bungee jumping...dyed my hair...cheated on a test…declared that I love someone 表白...chose to follow Jesus...once at the subway, two people were arguing loudly and I told them to give me some quiet…I eloped with my loved one 私奔...learned diving….had a breakthrough in myself...just living is brave, if you keep on living, then you are able to survive, and if everyday you can have a normal attitude toward live, then you are very courageous, because life is so difficult..(2:59) 
3:15 SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION | What is the bravest thing you have ever done? 
3:33 (Teacher , with his wife, talking over a cup of coffee ) I think the most courageous thing I ever did, was to ask Zhu Ling to go out. At that time we studied at the same art institute. Also at our church, we were in the same small group. I was the leader and she was assistant leader.  (Zhu Ling-ZL:)  I thought he asked me out to talk about church ministry. Who knew that the entire evening he was brainwashing me! He told me that in finding a life partner, it  did not have to be someone older than mes. This sounded strange to me. (Teacher T) That was because I heard that one of her conditions for choosing a husband was him being older than her. But I am six months younger than her. (ZL) Then I knew something was up, everyday he would call to ask how I was. So I gathered my courage and made an appointment to meet him. I wanted to ask him clearly what was going on. T:  Since Zhu Ling was asking I took the opportunity to declare my feelings for her. But she said that she wanted to focus on her study. This seemed like a rejection to me. I felt that I had lost her. ZL After that I noticed how sincere his relationships were with his family, and with old friends. He was quite honest, sincere and faithful with everyone. After several months of watching him, I agreed to a relationship. T Zhu Ling finally became my girlfriend. I didn’t have to keep 
secretly glancing at her. ZL You succeeded in brainwashing me! Actually, even though he is half a year younger, I discovered that he is steady and mature - a man you can trust. ZL I discovered that our life was never the same again. A new life had begun. 
5:29 - ( the hosts) LZ: Becoming a Christian is stepping into an exciting journey. The Bible says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here! ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)  What kind of person is really a Christian? Some people say Christians are the ones who are kind hearted. But many atheists can also be like that. TR Christians are disciples who belong to Jesus. They are those who follow Jesus, those who through Jesus have a relationship with God.  
6:15 Teacher What does having faith mean in becoming a Christian?  The Gospel of John says: “12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12) This is a kind of intimate, family relationship. LZ The Bible also describes this as like being a loved one, friend or even with the metaphor of marriage. This is a very close relationship. If you are married of course you know that you are married. T In the same way, if you are a Christian, God wants you to be able to affirm that you have an identity as God’s child. The apostle John said: “ I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1John 5.13     
You can decide if you and God have begun a relationship. You can decide if you have eternal life. 
7:13 QUESTION | What do you think of the expression: “Have a relationship with God”? 
Different Answers from peopl:...uhhh…...I don’t think you can….I think you can if you are motivated 用心….not to easy to get along together...I hope that is is possible... if it is possible to have a so-called relationship defined, I feel it is good if it is friendship… humanity and God have an innate relationship….Isn’t a goddess God?...of course people and God can have a relationship. I feel that the bridge to this is people’s understanding….I think this is like some high level being having a relationship with an ant. It isn’t very possible...There is no scientific way to research this question, so this is like the saying, “if you believe then it is true, and if you don’t then it is not”. 信则有不信则无…there is a kind of vague way God is connected to all people…. 
8:17  SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION | What do you think of the expression: “Have a relationship with God”? 
8:35 What is this kind of faith and belief based on? It is based on both evidence and faith. It’s foundation is the “Solid facts rather than feelings”事实而不是感觉“。If someone wants me to prove that I and Zhu Ling are married, I can take out our marriage license. It is a legally authorized document which proves we are married. If you ask me how I know that I am a Christian, I can produce written proof. The Bible is God’s word.  Romans 10:17 says: 
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10.17 NIV11)  Attending the “Alpha Course” you have already heard several teachings and attended several small group discussions.This has already given you some experience of God’s word. In my own experience, the more I read God’s word, the more I realize that it is true. For me faith comes from listening to the word, and listening to the word comes from reading the Bible. After reading it, I put God’s word into practice. 
9:53 - (Hosts) TR Jesus in Revelation 3:20 gave a promise: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev3.20) LZ Jesus is standing outside the door and knocking. He is waiting for people’s response. He hopes to go in and and become a part of people’s lives. To eat and drink with them. This is a symbol of friendship. Jesus will become friends with anyone who opens their heart and invites him to come in. TR Another way of putting it is: We must personally invite Jesus to enter our lives. Jesus will not force his way into our life. He gives you the freedom to choose whether or not to invite him in. But Jesus’s promise is when you hear his voice and open the door he will come in. He doesn’t say he “might” come in, he says he will certainly come in. What you can be certain of is that if you invite him, he will enter your life. 
11:09 (Testimony Wei Shibo) I grew up receiving a materialistic (唯物主义)education. I only believed in things that I could see. If I couldn’t see it, it was very hard for me to believe it. When I was overseas studying, I met a group of Christian friends. They gave me much help, care, and warmth. They invited me to attend church with them kept asking whether I wanted to receive Jesus. Actually my heart had absolutely no feeling or desire to make such a decision. But when I saw such urgency, sincerity and fervency 迫切 in their expressions, and thought about how they had helped me, I said “okay, okay, I believe, I believe.” So that is how I believed in Jesus. But my heart had not really made a decision. Around that time a huge crisis struck my father’s business bring great difficulties to me. I had to pay school and living expenses, so I had no choice but to look for work. I did everything: waiting on tables, pouring tea, washing vegetables and dishes. But even with these jobs, it was still difficult to pay my living expenses. Many times I had no idea of where my next meal would come from. One day, I worked very late. I missed the last bus home. I didn’t have a cent in my pocket. I couldn’t afford a taxi, so the only decision possible was to walk back by myself. The more I walked the more despair and sadness I felt. Every step on the road was so dark. Most importantly, I wondered how I got to this place in my life. Slowly under this great cloud of darkness, I came to a complete collapse. I was crying out in pain. Suddenly I thought about Jesus. For the first time I opened my heart and prayed to him. I said “Jesus, I don’t know if you are here or not. I don’t see you, but if you truly love me, good or not, I ask you, please help me. After this, amazingly, I felt deeply moved. It’s very hard to find words to express it. It was a kind of peace, a kind of assurance. Even a small bit of joy, from the center of my being flowing out. The next day, a cousin whom I had no contact with for a very long time, called me. She had no idea of my difficult situation. After she asked how how I was doing, she very generously said he wanted to help me with my financial needs. I know that God 
heard my prayers. He really does love me and really exists. At that moment my wonderful journey with God began. Life still can have many tall mountains of difficulty, but I know it is no use to depend on myself. I do not need to go forward as only one person, because God is with me. God’s faithfulness is the reason that I believe. 
14:43 (Teacher) A call to Trust Christ - If you truly trust Christ he will be with you forever. If you ask me again how do I know I am married to my wife, I could also tell you the date we had our marriage ceremony. It is a historical fact. If you ask me how I know that I am a Christian,  I could tell you another historical fact: Jesus’s death and resurrection. Once I had no knowledge or connection with that fact. It is just like this book I hold in my hands. It represents the error that we all have made. In Isaiah 53.6 it says We all, like lost sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way”. We have all be separated from God. This passage also tells us that God placed all of our sins on Jesus to free us from our sins so that we could be reconciled to God. Jesus never committed sin, and had a perfect relationship with God. But he was nailed to the cross, taking our punishment. What does this mean for us? We can have a new relationship with God. 
16.36 (Hosts) Some people might say that they don’t think they could become Christians, because they aren’t good enough. But this is wrong thinking. The most important thing about becoming a Christian is not what we do. The most important thing is what Jesus did on the cross. Everything wrong that we ever did can all be forgiven. This is because Jesus’s death gives us his eternal life. This is the gift which Jesus gives us. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:3) We cannot do anything to get this precious gift from God, except to repent and believe. Repenting is to change our thinking and to change what we are pursuing. This means leaving behind the bad things in our life. Faith is completely trusting in the Lord Jesus. 
17:41 (Testimony) - My former life could be described in one word: Corrupt. After graduating from college I began drinking, playing around withi women and taking drugs. My wife was originally a Christian. When I would come home drunk, I would yell at her and beat her. Once I even grabbed her head and shoved it against a wall. But when I sobered up I deeply regretted it. Still, my wife would not give up, she kept praying for me, asking God to change me. One night I came home drunk again. I heard the neighbor’s dog barking. I had a really ugly attitude and kicked the door open and called a dozen gang buddies over to beat the neighbor half dead. When my father heard about this he completely lost hope in me. So I took his advice and stopped my business in Dongguan, and moved my family to my wife’s hometown in Henan. I started to raise pigs there. My wife suggested that I go to church. Then I heard the Pastor read these words: “Respect God’s greatness”. As he explained the meaning, I was drawn deeply into God’s word, and wanted to learn more about this God. Every morning at 04:00 I would get up and read the Bible. Through this reading I discovered I had many sins inside of me, many bad places within me. These needed to change. I prayed, “God please change me, I know my wrongs, I don’t want to do them any more. Right now in your presence I make the decision to stop all these things that offend you. After that morning of Bible study, I completely quit all my bad habits. I left the darkness and went into the light. I also begged my wife to receive me as a new person. My wife, through God’s love, 
chose to forgive me. Our marriage became much more happy, more beautiful. It is like we have a completely new life. 
20:58 (Hosts) - To some extent, we use faith everyday. For example it takes faith to walk along the road and trust that it is safe. It is the same as sitting on a chair, we need some faith to trust that it will hold our weight.  Faith is trust. Actually believing God exists, or believing that he doesn’t exist each require faith. Becoming a Christian means faith in Jesus Christ, trusting in this person.   
21:39 (Teacher) If I want to prove that I am married with a document, then I use my marriage license. I also have the historical proof from my wedding ceremony. Apart from these things I also have other important proof: Twenty years of experiencing married life with my wife Zhu Ling. If you ask me if I am a Christian I can describe several decades of experience. That is, experience of the Holy Spirit in my life. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. He lives within every person who receives him. The Holy Spirit is like the wind. Even though we cannot see him, we still know he exists because we can see the influence and power he brings to us.  
22:35 (Hosts) Most people are fearful of change. Perhaps you have thought: “If I become a Christian, will my life change? Actually, this change is a positive one! Our life will produce wonderful fruit. The apostle Paul said: ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22–24). Becoming a Christian means that the Holy Spirit will live inside of us. This doesn’t mean you are superior to other people, but you can expect that your life will be better than it was before. For me, when I knew that God’s Spirit had entered my heart, the Holy Spirit went to work changing me. He also changed my relationship with God and Jesus. The Bible uses the metaphor of relationship between a Father and child to describe our relationship with him. He loves us because we are his children. (LZ) Being a mother, I can understand how a Father’s love for his children is unconditional. Even though a child continues to do wrong things , the love of the parents does not lessen. But God’s love is far, far greater than that of human parents. We need to experience this kind of love before we can understand it. (RT) In fact, I had to experience it first, before I understood how deep God’s love is. God wants to become your most intimate Friend, more intimate than any friend you ever had. 
24:21 Teacher - The Bible even says that we are Jesus’s Bride. Our relationship to him is like a beautifully happy marriage. For example, my wife is my best friend. I can talk about anything with her. (Playing a family game at the table) Jesus hopes to become your best friend. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will give evidence (bear witness) to your heart. We are God’s children. The Bible uses the love of fathers and mothers to describe our relationship with God.  But, even though the love of human parents is great, it is not perfect and has limits. In reality, God’s love is much greater than parental love, because he is perfect and never changes. God wants to you know in your deepest heart that you are his beloved child. So he gives the Holy Spirit to bear witness to this. Through the Holy Spirit we can sometimes feel God’s love and experience his embrace and acceptance. Even though 
you haven’t received it, and don’t have relationship yet, we are still deeply, deeply loved by God. God’s desire for intimate relationship with us will never change, because the Father has sent the Holy Spirit as a seal. This is a fact that doesn’t change. If you long to have this kind of intimate relationship with God. I invite you now to make a simple prayer. Express to God that you are willing to open your heart to receive his love. Even if you are not yet ready, that is okay. I hope you will continue to take this course. There is much more to understand and experience. Many years before, I prayed this same prayer, and began my journey in the new life. If you want to now, you can pray along sentence by sentence in your heart. 
Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for me and pardoning my sin. Now I invite you, through your Holy Spirit, to enter my life and be with me forever. Help me to live a new life. Thank you, in Jesus’s name. Amen. 
Small Group Discussion |