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Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Are You Real?". How do you know that your faith is genuine?

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Series: Are You Real? [#1]

A REAL CHRISTIAN

1 John 1:1-4

Introduction:

It is not unusual to hear the word “real” when someone is trying to convince you that what they have is genuine. Coca-Cola is the Real Thing, Dove soap has Real Beauty, etc… I have heard the statement more than once through the years, “I just want to be around real Christians”. What does it take to be a real Christian versus a fake Christian?

The Apostle John had battled false teachings, (a fake Christianity) for his entire ministry. He encountered a group called the Gnostics who believed that they had a secret spiritual knowledge that no one else had. They were enlightened and were more than happy to let others know how special they were. They also found great pleasure in dragging others into their pit of secret of knowledge. If you contradicted them, it was because you weren’t enlightened to their secret truths.

Believe or not, there are still many religious leaders and groups out there today proclaiming that they have the secret spiritual knowledge that will change your life. So how do we discern between the real and the fake Christian and how do we make sure that our relationship with Jesus Christ is genuine?

1 John 1:1-2 (NIV)

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.”

A real Christian…

1. Follows Jesus Christ.

Now before you get mad at me for stating the obvious, I want you to listen. What and who is your faith in? If your faith is in your Church membership, or a prayer you recited with a preacher, or your baptism, etc… then you are misguided. In John’s day, the word Christian meant, “little Christ”. It’s kind of like my uncle’s name is Jimmy and we call my cousin, (his son) little Jim. While the name Christian was actually a derogatory term, it was given to those who followed Jesus.

In order to follow Jesus as your Savior, there are some truths that you must believe and these truths are found in these verses.

You must believe that…

 Jesus Christ is God.

Jesus is God the Son and He has been here since the very beginning. When God created the Heavens and the Earth- That was Jesus. When God created man in His own image- That was Jesus.

You must believe that…

 Jesus Christ became a man.

Jesus came to this Earth in the form of a man. He was born of a virgin and He lived a perfect life on this Earth. You cannot believe in His resurrection if you cannot believe in the virgin birth and His living a perfect life.

You must believe that…

 Jesus Christ gives eternal life.

There is only one way to Heaven and that is through Jesus. It is because He took our place on the cross when He became our sin and then He died. On the 3rd day He arose victorious from the grave.

I pray that you don’t follow me, or Bel Aire Baptist Church, etc…; but that you follow Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who is the Word of life. It is Jesus Christ who saves lives and changes us forever.

1 John 1:3 (NIV)

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

A real Christian…

2. Fellowships with Jesus Christ.

We often talk about the importance of us fellowshipping with one another; but we don’t say much about fellowshipping with God. I think that many of us forget that the reason God created us was for fellowship and when Adam and Eve sinned; Jesus had to come and fix that mess that they had started. We are supposed to fellowship with other Christians; but that happens because of our fellowship with God.

We could spend much time on breaking down all of the details of what fellowship with God entails; but the bottom line is- Do you spend time with Him or not?

1 John 1:4 (NIV)

“We write this to make our joy complete.”

A real Christian…

3. Finds great joy in Jesus Christ.

I’ve never really understood why Christians seem to be the most depressed people on the planet. Everything gets us down. Everything hurts our feelings. We’re always down. Jesus has rescued you from eternal death and He is there with you every step of the way. He wants to feel you with His joy and His peace in a way like you have never experienced before and only reason that isn’t happening is because you won’t let it. God wants your joy to be full.

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