Summary: What Evidence are You Leaving Behind as a Follower of Christ? If you were accused and on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
CSI: Critical Spiritual Investigation
What Evidence Are You Leaving Behind As A Follower of Christ?
- ILLUS: William A Hamm, Jr., was leaving his office in Minneapolis on a summer evening in 1933 when he was grabbed by four men and shoved into a car. That kidnapping was solved a few months later . The Hamm case used a “forensic first” – a technique that is commonly used by crime scene investigators: Latent Fingerprint Identification.
o This mob sent a ransom note for $100,000 dollars that they demanded for William Hamm (they thought it was a perfect crime)
o But F.B.I. investigators discovered that each fingerprint contains perspiration and using a special silver nitrate solution – the fingerprint stains on the ransom note reacted chemically to that solution and became visible to the naked eye.
o Voila! The fingerprints stood out clearly and that mob was arrested.
- Today, our crime scene investigation goes way beyond fingerprints.
o We have CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) which can analyze DNA left behind at a crime scene.
o We have FLIR (Forward Looking Infared Sensors)
o We have SLIP (Shoewear Linking and Identification Program) which can identify shoe prints left at crime scenes.
- The Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction says that Crime Scene Investigation is “the use of science, physical evidence, and reasoning to gain knowledge of the series of events that led to a crime.”
- And what is EVIDENCE?
o The Dictionary says that “evidence” is anything helpful in forming a conclusion or evidence; it is something indicative; it is an outward sign.”
- So today, we’re going to use the principles of modern Crime Scene Investigation to become CSI experts ourselves – only we’ll be studying a “Critical Spiritual Investigation.”
- HERE’S WHAT I WANT US TO DISCOVER: If you were accused and on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
- When someone is called on to serve as a witness in court: there are only 2 things that a witness is asked to recount – what they have seen and what they have heard (They’re not asked to give their opinion as to what they think.)
- The Apostle John declared that he wrote only what any honest witness would write…
o I John 1:1-3 says that he wrote: “What he had seen and heard concerning Christ.”
- SO…what would someone write about you if they were doing a Critical Spiritual Investigation of your life?
o What are our words and our lives communicating about the faith that we say we have?
o Are we “guilty” of being truly committed followers of Christ?
- PROPOSITION: Every Christian ought to be leaving behind four kinds of evidence as you move through this life on a daily basis:
I. PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
- If someone followed you around for a week, where would they find themselves?
o In church on Sunday mornings?
o How about Sunday night or at other regularly scheduled times?
- Would they follow you anywhere which would make them wonder whether Christ was truly your highest priority in life?
- READ – Ephesians 4:17-21 (NLT)
- This Physical Evidence speaks of being an example
o I Timothy 4:12 12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
o Circle that word “EXAMPLE” – it means a pattern; a model; something to be copied or followed.”
o 1 Cor 11:1, Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also IMITATE Christ."
o Could you say that by the way that you have lived this week?
o We need to be trendsetters in making ourselves godly examples.
o James Thom said, “If you try to improve one person by being a good example, you’re improving two. If you try to improve someone without being a good example, you won’t improve anybody.”
- We need to be practicing a lifestyle that is substantially different from our neighbor who doesn’t even know the Lord!
o If someone were to follow you around for a week and then follow your lost neighbor around for a week – would they be able to tell a difference in how you live?
o They might see a difference in the potency of what’s in the fridge (He had six-pack of Budweiser / You have a Diet Pepsi)
o They might see a difference in the kind of movies in your entertainment center (He has a lot of vulgar and sexually-provocative R rated movies / You have some PG-13’s)
o They might see on Sunday morning, (You have on a tie or a skirt / but they have on a golf shirt)
o They might see that you are putting a Bible in your car, but he is putting in golf clubs.