Why Good Shepherd?
Good Shepherd Church in St. Catharines, ON believes that Jesus Christ is unique, and His gospel is the good news. There are some religions that offer nothing more than human effort and vague spirituality. We do not consider that as the gospel.
That is why Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The Bible says that we have rebelled against the one true God. We are hopeless and lost sinners.
Only Jesus can bring us back to right relationship with God and our neighbours. Jesus himself said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6
Sinning means rebelling against God and placing ourselves at the centre of our existence. Sin is not simply defined by specific actions contrary to God’s law, but primarily a mentality of “I know better than God.” Sin is a mindset that compels you to choose your own way, not God’s.
Sinners think that they know better than God regarding what is best for them. Sin is the broken relationship with God who made us and loves us. Sin is also expressed in the broken relationships with our inner selves, other people, and physical creation in general.
Saving Us Through Jesus
The stunning news is that He has taken it upon Himself to reconcile us to Him. The one true God through the second person of the eternal Trinity decided to become human in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life, died on a cross, and made atonement for our sins.
Jesus was rejected by humanity, tortured, and died. He took upon Himself the righteous judgment and punishment our rebellion deserves, so that we can stand before God as forgiven and loved. The crucifixion of the Son of God is a free act of the Triune God.
The Lord Jesus Christ freely and without compulsion, went to the cross for you. That is how the Bible defines love (John 3:16-18).
That is not the end of the story, as Jesus Christ was raised to new life on the third day. We celebrate this every Sunday, and the bodily resurrection is central to the gospel. Without it, Saint Paul says we would remain ignorant in this world seen, our church would die, and we would be run by hedonists (1 Corinthians 15:12-20).
However, Christ has been raised to new life, which gives us real hope. That is why the Apostles were willing to die for the gospel, as many of them did. They knew that Christ would raise them to new life on the last day.
Jesus Christ has ascended to the highest heaven, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named” (Ephesians 1:20-21). Now the Father, through the crucified, resurrected, and ascended Lord, sends His Holy Spirit to us to be forgiven, transformed, and to be sent out on a mission with Jesus. This mission is in our homes, neighbourhoods, our community in St. Catharines, and beyond.
When Jesus returns, he will restore and renew His entire creation that has been broken by sin. He will also separate humanity into two groups—those who belong to Him and those who have rejected Him. The former will enjoy eternal conscious bliss with the Triune God, while the latter will experience eternal separation from God. That gives us a reason to proclaim Christ as Lord and Saviour, and you are more than welcome to join us.
Respond to God
God tells us that we must repent from trying to create and run our own lives. We should trust in His Son, Jesus and be baptized. Being a Christian means living in response to what God has done, and our calling is to live as one community.
The church, or the “body of Christ”, is mystical. It is a local congregation or gathering of Christians empowered by the Holy Spirit where God’s people seek to live under His rule. Through the church, we experience the kingdom here on Earth as we serve, obey, and live for Jesus. We also wait for the kingdom to rise to its full glory when Jesus returns.
If you are pondering life’s big spiritual questions, are interested in learning more about Jesus, or want to connect with others who are searching for more in life, then we invite you to contact us. We would love to talk to you. Our Rector, Gerry Brodie, has Scottish ancestors and loves to see people take another look at the real Jesus.