July 23, 2007, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Christ makes us human

Pastor Mike Newsom, Lamson Evangelical Free Church, Dassel

For some people, their goal as Christians is an attempt to obtain nothingness.

We could get the idea that the Christian must eliminate everything that we might call human. The thinking is that to become spiritual is to cease to be human, ceasing to have any desires that might be considered human.

If we think this way, then we strive toward some kind of wooden spirituality. When this happens, Christians become strange.

Both Jesus and Paul did something that we must consider quite remarkable. They went about preaching to total strangers.

Now, this is something we could do, but could we find 5,000 or 7,000 people who would come out into the wilderness to listen to us without lunch, without chairs to sit on, without a great worship team, and without any idea how long the sermon was going to be?

What made these guys so attractive? They were not some wooden statues of virtue, but they had something about them that made them attractive to other real human beings.

Christ and the apostles were not dead people talking. When the crowds saw them, they saw life.

When God created man He created him human. When sin entered into the world, it made us less human and more like the lower beasts of the field.

The goal of salvation is not to make us into dead people or wooden idols of virtue, but to make us alive in Christ.

Adam and Eve were created human and God said this was good. Sin has dehumanized us, but the work of the Spirit is to re-humanize us.

So what might a human being look like? We can read a description of the dehumanized man in Galatians 5:19-21.

Now look at what the re-humanized person looks like in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

The renewed human is not rigid and wooden. He or she is not an emotionless zombie, but is alive. The re-humanized person is overflowing with life and love; full of joy, patience, kindness and the peace of God.

If Christianity is changing someone into a harsh, rigid, cold, wooden Christian, then I think they have gone down the wrong road. This may be the road of the Pharisees, but it is not the way that God behaved when He walked the earth as a man.

Christ is declared to be fully God and fully man. He is the Divine One who has taken on humanity. And this is good!

To be human is good in Christ.

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