Summary: This is a sermon dealing with the test to see if you really are a Christian or not.
Am I the Real Deal?
The other day I went to the bank and cashed a check for $ 100.00. I received 5 crisp new $ 20 dollar bills. Then I met my good friend Tony for lunch at Rally’s. When I went to pay for my food, the casher told me that my new $ 20 was a counterfeit. She took her special pen and drew another line on my new $ 20 dollar bill to show me that it was the wrong color. Well I began to explain to her that I had just come from the bank and they were the ones who gave me the bill. “Well it’s counterfeit” as she placed another mark on my bill.
Then my good friend Tony just had to inform her that I was a preacher trying to pass off a counterfeit bill. I couldn’t tell the difference and unless you had the magic pen or a trained eye, you couldn’t either.
I have been told that the training that is given by banks to determine what is real and what is counterfeit is not by recognizing the counterfeit; but rather knowing the real so well that anything that falls short is a counterfeit.
And that is what I want to do this morning is have you determine if you are the real deal or if you are a counterfeit or if you are a real Christian or not. Now first of all I want you to know that it’s not up to me to judge you. Not my job. But we can learn from God’s word and what it says about who is a Christian.
What makes a Christian a Christian? As I was growing up in church we always referred to someone who is a Christian as someone who is someone who is saved. But the term Christian can only be found in the Bible 3 times. The term “believer” is used 80 times. The word “saint” is found 60 times. The word “disciple” is found 30 times. But the word Christian is only found 3 times. However the three times that this word is found can tell us a lot about a real Christian is.
But before we begin, let’s look at a little history. The church did not come up with this term Christian. They didn’t call a meeting and say, “what should we call ourselves?” and then someone say, “How about Christians”. The unbelievers came up with the term Christians.
In 116 AD, there was a Roman historian who wrote about the persecution under the leadership of Nero, of the common people called Christians. Some 2000 years ago it was not a good thing if someone called you a Christian. But what was a name of shame is now a name of honor. You will find that out the next time we have an election.
So as we look at these 3 times we find this term Christian we hopefully will find will find out if we are the real deal or not. And we will do so by asking ourselves 3 simple questions to either persuade ourselves to become a Christian, or to test ourselves to see if you really are a Christian.
Question #1 to see if you are a Christian is…
Have I been saved by Christ Acts 11:25-26
This is the first we find the term Christian mentioned in the Bible. The interesting thing is where Christians were first given the name Christians, in Antioch. Antioch was the 3rd most important city in the Roman Empire. It was about 300 miles north of Jerusalem. If you read back through Acts, you find that Antioch became the headquarters for Paul’s missionary journeys. When Paul would get tired or need refreshed, he mainly went to Antioch for his rejuvenation.
It was a very religious city but in a very pagan way. If you would go to Antioch 2000 years ago you would not find many churches but what you would find is a bunch of statues and carvings of Caesar. The god that was primarily worshiped was Caesar. As a matter of fact, Caesar built a Temple to honor all of the “little g” gods of Rome. But as you went into the Temple, no matter which temple it was, the greatest most elaborate statue was one of Caesar.
And it was in this pagan unbelieving city who had no clue about Christianity was about, that the people began to notice a certain group of people. They would talk differently. They lived differently. They didn’t go the same places that others did. They had a character and a compassion that they had never seen before. So they began to call this group of people Christians.
Do you know what this name means? The word Christian means “little Christ”. Evidently these pagans began to watch these groups of people and they saw how they walked and how they talked and how they acted so differently from everyone else so they began to call them “Little Christ” or Christians.