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Pastor’s Letter, July, 2018

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There’s nothing like the birth of a baby, including “spiritual babies!” When Jesus talked about the necessity of being “born again” in John chapter 3, He was not referring to “physical child birth,” but rather He was referring to “spiritual birth.” Everyone who identifies themselves as a follower of Jesus (to any degree) faces a dilemma: are we a real Christian, or just a religious person? John chapter 3 records Jesus’ encounter with a man named Nicodemus, who was a very religious person. Nicodemus was held in high esteem by his fellow Jews for his intense efforts to keep every aspect of the Law of Moses as a Pharisee, and as a member of the 70 member Jewish council called the Sanhedrin. However, in trying to humanly make themselves acceptable to God the religious spirit of the Pharisees simply led to hypocrisy and pride. A lot of people today fall into the same trap that the Pharisees did–they believe that if they only work hard enough at it they can make their way to heaven on their own. Nicodemus was a good, moral person who knew about God, but didn’t know God personally. His story reminds us that religion is good, but religions is not good enough. Religion is man’s attempts to get to God; Christianity is God’s attempt to reach out to mankind. When Jesus comes into our lives in a personal; way, you can expect a lot of changes. Some changes happen instantly, other changes occur over a lifetime as we continue to follow Jesus, desiring to be more and more like Him. Pastor Keith