Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
July 16, 2017 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Religious But Not Saved
Description

  

Religious, But Not Saved

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a
ruler of the Jews…who came to Jesus…Rabbi…no man
can do these miracles…except God be with him”. Jo. 3:1.

There are several historic religions found in different

parts of the world. Among the long standing ones are:

Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Toism,

and several other less well known religions. All of these

religions have doctrines, rituals, rituals, and beliefs.

The sermon today addresses the core of Christianity

which is that of regeneration, or the rebirth. While all of

these religions must confront the reality of death, they

vary greatly in their creed, belief, and promise regarding

the aftermath.

Christianity stands alone in its promise of a resurrected

life and an eternal afterlife with the Eternal Father. Being

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anchored by this glorious fact, the sermon entitled, Being

Religious, but not saved, will explore the following three

dimensions or topics, namely: the uniqueness of

Christianity, the eagerness of Nicodemus to learn more

about the source of Jesus’ power, and the challenges facing

us.
Turning immediately to the first phase of the sermon

which is – the uniqueness of Christianity. It must first be

noted that Christianity is not the oldest established

religion. In theological history it is classified as one of the

three religions traced back to the two sons of Abram whose

named was changed by the voice of God to Abraham

( Gen. 17:5 ). His sons were Ishmael ( Gen. 16:15) and

Isaac ( Gen. 17:19 ). Many years later, the two boys would

become the lineage through which three major Religions

be formed known categorically as The Abrahamic Religions.

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Those religions, in the order of their emergence were

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The scope and locations

of these Religions exceed the time, but not knowledge of

this speaker, required to even highlight the scope of each

religion. Hence, it is deemed appropriate to focus on the

second aspect of this sermon which is – the eagerness of

Nicodemus to learn more about Jesus.

As noted in the textual anchor, John wrote “There

was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of

the Jews: who came to Jesus by night, and said unto him,

Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:

for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except

God be with him” ( John 1:1-2 ).

This character, Nicodemus, has relevance for the

subject of our sermon – Religious, but not saved. It is herein

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submitted that his life contains realities that leap across

the annals of time to this day and age. This assertion will

be more fully addressed in the third phase of the sermon.

In the meantime, attention will be focused on Nicodemus.

He “was a religious man…”, he was a Pharisees which is

a religion but it does not require regeneration. Therefore,

he was not a saved man. Nicodemus was a member of the

Sanhedrin Council which was the legal body in Israel during

the time of Jesus. He was a learned scholar and controller

of the people. Yet, Nicodemus had an insatiable desire to

know more about the man known as Jesus whose teachings

miracles along growing followers. Hence, recognizing his

religious and legal position, Nicodemus deemed it safe to

“Go to Jesus by night”. He was pious as noted in his

greeting and inquiry, thus, he said, “ Rabbi, we know that

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thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these

miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Notice

Jesus’ response; it was not complimentary nor affirming;

instead was a message of the required rebirth to see the

kingdom of God. After some exchange involving the rebirth,

Nicodemus asked “how can these things be” and Jesus

replied, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knoweth not these

things. Following that secret meeting with Jesus,

Nicodemus appeared two times later at setting involving

Jesus; they were at the trial of Christ ( John 7:45-52 )

where he raised a point of order regarding the procedure,

but he did not exercise his authority to terminate the

proceedings and, secondly, after the death of Christ ( John:

19:30, 40 ) Nicodemus “…openly joined Joseph Arimathaea,

another secret disciple, in preparing Christ’ body for a

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burial”.

Having listened or read this sermon on Being Religious

But not Saved, hopefully the somber question is – What are

the challenges for me? This question will now be addressed.

Beloved, the Bible teaches that by the sin of Adam and Eve,

the federal family of the universe, the whole of humanity

falls under the Original Sin. It, further, teaches “Wherefore,

as by one man ( Adam ) sin entered into the world and

death by sin; and so death passed upon men, for that

all have sinned:.” ( Romans 5:12 ). Be not dismayed because

John 3:16 informs us that “ 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.” But

this divine provision is not inherited! It requires a personal

conviction of wrong doings and an earnest desire for divine

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forgiveness along with a commitment to efficacy of God’s

power to raise his Son, Jesus, from the dead. ( Rom. 10:9 )

Beloved, until you have experienced this conviction, you

may be a church member, you may contribute tithes and

offerings, you may participate in the communion services,

and you may attend prayer meetings, but those actions –

while showing being religious, but – sadly, they fail to show

that you are SAVED. So how can you determine whether

you are save? Merely read Roman 10:9 and live accordingly

thereafter. Amen!

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