Summary: This is a sermon that pleads with people to be bold enough to be real! Urging them to remove the masks that we so frequently wear.
TITLE: Removing the Mask in Church
SERIES: Identity Part 1
TOPIC: Genuine Christianity
OCCASION: Burnside Christian October 26, 2008
PROP.: Let’s take off our masks with one another and be real as together we figure life out.
INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Today we begin a new sermon series. The name of this sermon series is simply called: IDENTITY.
Two questions we will hit hard this month are:
1. Who am I?
2. Who am I created to be?
Do you struggle to be the same person on Sunday morning that you are during the rest of your week? Does it drive you nuts that you are you different when you walk into this place and then out “there” you are someone else?
Halloween will be approaching this weekend. A time where kids will travel with parents around neighborhoods dressed in costume and masks for the sole purpose of candy.
(Some have speculated that the origins of Halloween are satanic. I did my own research and have found that the origins are not satanic at all. In fact, the origins may surprise you. Halloween was first invented by a dentist. A pretty profitable holiday if you ask me!!!)
Many of us have grown too old to travel door to door asking for candy. But we have never outgrown the need for wearing masks. Oh, your mask may not be visible or physical. But it’s there. And the question of: “Who are you? I mean…who are you REALLY?” has you totally frustrated and confused. I believe many are struggling to be the same person on Sunday morning that they are during the rest of the week. And so wearing their mask has them totally content.
There are only two purposes of wearing a mask:
1. To change your identity. At Church, you look like a Christian. Around non-Christians, you blend in just fine. and so you wear a mask to ‘fit in’. And like a chameleon, you secure your mask in place because you want to blend in to your surroundings.
2. To hide your identity. You don’t want people to see the ‘real’ you. So you put on a mask as a way of hiding who you REALLY are.
Let me tell you two truths about the masks you wear:
1. None of the masks I wear are remotely close to who I am!
2. None of the masks I wear are remotely close to who God created me to be!
Our text is found Acts 5:1-11
In our text today, you are going to meet two people who wore masks to become something that they weren’t.
Let’s read the familiar story of Ananias & Sapphira.
1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?"
"Yes," she said, "that is the price."
9Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."
10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Scripture is so wonderful isn’t it? So meaningful! So practical! I believe that scripture has one meaning…but that it has several applications. Today, we are going to apply this familiar story so that it will help us be willing to remove the masks that you and I occasionally wear.
Do you see what happened? Ananias and his wife Sapphira were wearing masks. They wanted everyone to see what they wanted them to see. And the problem was, Peter saw through their mask.
Are you here this morning wearing a mask? I want you to remove the mask. Be real. Be YOU!