Would you say you are a good person?

Pastor's Notes

     Greetings and grace to you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord continues His blessings and goodness to us as the ERBC family.  Enabled by His faithfulness, may we be “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58)  We praise the Lord for new families and first time and repeat visitors on a weekly basis.  May we be alert to those the Lord is leading to visit with us and extend a friendly welcome and sincere love to each one. 

     February’s calendar isn’t as active as some months, but you can be greatly blessed by the three planned events.  The Children’s Ministry will be hosting a Children’s Night In on Valentine’s Day, February 14 from 6-9pm.  This is for 5th Grade and younger students.  Please see signup sheet at the welcome center.  Our Youth Ministry’s D-Now weekend is February 21-23.    Bro. Don Graham will begin our Winter Bible Conference on February 23, continuing through the 26th.  Bro. Don will be preaching through end time events in a series of messages entitled The Stamp of Eternity.

     Our 2020 theme verse, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able…” (2 Tim. 1:12) was inspiringly written by Paul about his faith relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Someone might ask, “Is it that important to know Jesus?”  The Bible declares that eternal life depends on knowing Jesus.  God’s Word declares in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  Only by knowing, believing in, Jesus Christ can anyone know the only true God and have eternal life, salvation.  We must not err from the fundamental belief that man must be born again through a personal faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bible itself is God’s Word to all people so we can know Him through faith in Christ.

This truth is taught in John 3 as Nicodemus comes to Jesus.  According to history, Nicodemus was a wealthy man, a religious man and a man of importance, being one of the seventy men that made up the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council along with the High Priest).  Nicodemus confessed he knew Jesus was a teacher come from God, and that God was with Him; evidenced by the miracles Jesus had done (3:2).  The immediate conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus is recorded for us in John 3:3-8.  Despite whom and what Nicodemus was as a person, Jesus told him that he would have to be “born again”, saved, being changed by the Spirit of God.  This is true of every person that has been born physically of earthly parents, because of sin. Nicodemus didn’t understand the truth Jesus was teaching him and asked how he would be born physically again.  Jesus distinguished the physical birth and the new spiritual birth first in verse 5, using water and Spirit and explained it with flesh and Spirit in verse 6.  Jesus tells Nicodemus that you don’t have to understand this truth for it to be true. Nicodemus still has questions and their conversation continues through John 3:9-15 as Jesus answers Nicodemus question and totally focuses on an individual’s belief of Who Jesus Christ is and what He has done.  Jesus switches from “earthly things,” such as the wind, to heavenly things, namely the Son of Man, which is a title for the Messiah, the Savior.  Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah, the Savior, promised by God.  Nicodemus would not have misunderstood this truth.  In verses 14 & 15 Jesus takes a historical story from the Jewish people’s journey from Egypt into the Promised Land to reveal what He has come to do.  The book of Numbers records this historical account in chapter 21.  In short, because the people had sinned against God, God sent “fiery serpents” to punish the people.  Everyone that was bitten by the serpents died.  When the people came to Moses and confessed they had sinned, God told Moses to make an image of a serpent and put it on a pole and to instruct the people when they were bitten if they would look to the serpent lifted up on the pole, they would not die.  In Jesus’ day to be “lifted up” meant to be crucified.  Jesus is saying He is going to be crucified, and in order to be “born again,” the sinner must believe on Him.  Jesus would explain why God would do this, and emphasize again the individual’s belief (faith) in Who He is and what He has done in John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Yes, an individual’s eternal destination, heaven or hell, is decided upon whether they know Jesus or not. 

 

By His grace,

Toney





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