CHRIST CHURCH NYC Sermon (From 18th of May 2008)
John 3:1-21 (Sermon is from the NRSV)
Let's draw 3 conclusions, and ask 2 questions. This may help us all to know what it means to for someone to be Christian.
First conclusion - This is deeply radical!
The Christian is not simply getting a little religion to round off a good life. The Human life is not 'an otherwise good product' that needs a lick of paint.
The human life needs to be completely remade. And this is radical.
If I can switch metaphors to make the same point: Sin has turned the human heart into the 'Blue Screen of Death'. And the computer needs a new hard drive, not just a dust down.
It's important to note that Nicodemus is a good man: No doubt he pays his taxes, contributes to the economy, and is sincere. He is moral and religious. But Jesus says: "You too need to be born again".
We tend to think of 'born again' people as people who claim religious or moral ground. But Jesus comment is a challenge to morality and to religion, not an affirmation of it. Nicodemus has morality and religion in spades, but Jesus says - Even YOU need to be born from above!
No matter what you are or what have done, you have to start at Ground Zero with God. It’s one of the beautiful things about Christianity: It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentile; male or female; slave or free; black or white; rich or poor; Republican or Democrat -- every has to start at the beginning.
And that's radical.
Personally, I think its incredible that 'Blue Screen of Death' has a HUGE Wikipedia Entry. Don't you?