Summary: This culture is longing for an authentic view of Christianity and God demands it. This series paints a picture of the Authentic Christian.
“Authentic Christianity” - #1 of 4
* What do you think when you hear the word “Authentic?” Most think of the text book definition; real, genuine, and even original. Unless you’re a collector, you might forget the simple truth that authentic is more valuable than a copy.
* A full-set of a first edition of the Gutenberg Bible (1456) is reported worth $35m+, while a collection of Shakespeare’s works (1632) are worth approximately $6m, and a first edition copy of the Declaration of Independence approximately $8m. It seems to be that there is something to be said for being ‘authentic’ because we understand each time a copy is made, the value goes down because it is less like the original.
* A great illustration of this truth can be seen in the ‘key’ to your house. Over time you make many keys until at some point the newly made key doesn’t work. While it may resemble the original, it is not close enough to turn the tumblers or better said, “Work right.” This means being able to perform the task for which it was designed.
* It is this concept about being ‘authentic’ that, for the next four weeks, we will look at. An authentic Christian is a Biblical Christian. He/She is worth her weight in gold (and more because of influence, live style, and activity. This person is the one in whom the world looks and see non-other but Jesus.
* From the beginnings of His earthly ministry – His call was simply, “Follow Me.”
1. We Follow Him in Salvation – Following Jesus in salvation is, without a doubt, one of the most misunderstood truths of the Bible. That is why, right now, there are untold scores of people sitting at home, on their boats, on the golf course, and in bed, who if asked would say this, “Yes I am a Christian. I have trusted Christ as my Savior.” Quite likely, there are those in this room who would say, “Well if they prayed the prayer, then they’ll make heaven.” Theologians (& others) would say, “Are you about to favor what is called “REFORMED” theology.” My answer is no. I support FORMED theology – that is, the truth as spoke by Jesus and the Apostles. The truth that, YES the sinner’s prayer can & needs to be the point in time or better said the vehicle to faith in Christ but, at the same time, the person who demonstrates no walk of faith, change in life, no ongoing relationship with Jesus, and bases their eternal destiny on a ‘prayer’ is trusting more in the prayer than they are in Jesus. For to follow Jesus in salvation means Jesus becomes the center of our lives.
* Jesus says that there is no other way to the Father except through HIM. This means we come to know Him personally, intimately, and walk with Him consistently. Authentic Christianity is birthed in a life-changing, mind-renewing, and soul-saving experience with Jesus Christ of Calvary. This type of experience is one which re-charts a person’s outlook, uplook, inlook, their life forever.
* To follow Jesus in salvation is to hitch our wagon to Him and go where He tells us to. In salvation, we lose our control of our personal lives. If you are running your life today, then guess who has been left out. There is only one way to be saved. It is Jesus. And there are only two ways to KNOW that you’re saved; fruit & love.
* Do you believe that Jesus is the answer for you to get to heaven? Do you believe that Jesus is the answer for you to get to your house or to lunch today? We seem to want to trust Jesus with our eternity, our tomorrows, and our hope – but we want to control today. It doesn’t work that way.
* To be saved means the Holy Spirit of God spoke to our hearts, convicting us of our need, He brought to a place where we knew that our sin dammed us to hell and that we understood Jesus was the only answer. And without Jesus, we would have no hope. You see this happening in Acts 2:37 when they were cut to the heart.
* If the Holy Spirit has never cut your heart, then it is possible you placed faith in a prayer & not a person. This is critical for us to understand today. Salvation is of the Lord, by the Lord, and through the Lord Jesus – our part is to respond to His call.