Summary: Being a follower of Jesus means we follow Him in salvation, sanctification and service.
Years ago, I knew someone who said that they had just purchased a new Lamborghini and that they were bringing it around for me to see. In the back of my mind I was thinking, how in the world could this person ever afford an Italian sports car? I heard a car pull up and went out to see it. What they had bought was a cheap Lamborghini kit car. Basically, it was fiberglass shell stuck onto an old VW Beatle frame and engine. It was not a very good copy. The seams did not line up. The logo was in the wrong place and upside-down. The glass was all plastic. The engine sounded like a VW – basically a big lawn mower engine. Not the purr of a 12 cylinder super car. What I remember most was how proud the person was who was showing it off. Showing it off like it was an authentic $200,000 car when it was actually worth about $2,000.
What do you think when you hear the word “Authentic?” Most think of the text book definition; real, genuine, and original. You do not have to be a collector to know that authentic is always more valuable than a copy.
Story of the zoo on Monday. Authentic is the difference between a real Rolex watch and the copy some guy on Yonge St. tries to sell you for $10. It is the difference between the original Declaration of Independence and the copy they sell at the gift store as you leave the Museum.
After our new addition opened we re-keyed the entire church. We ordered new locks for every door in the church received a new key. The new key looks a lot like the old key. On the surface, you could probably not tell the two apart, but if you try using an old key with the new locks, it does not work. While it may resemble the original, it is not close enough to perform the task for which it was designed.
Today we are starting a new series called Authentic Faith. For the next 7 weeks we are going to be looking at what it means to be a Christian. An authentic Christian is a Biblical Christian. They do not simply look the part, they are the real deal. Today I want to start with the most basic attribute of what it means to have authentic faith. They are people who have received Jesus Christ by making Him Lord of their lives. Authentic faith requires lordship.
Act 19:11-20 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon- possessed. They would say, "In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out." 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. 17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.
1. We Follow Him in Salvation
In this scripture, we see a clear distinction between the authentic faith of Paul vs the imitation faith of the sons of Sceva. They were trying to do what Paul was doing but without a relationship with Christ. There are people in the church that are like that today. They are following religious duty and tradition, but they do not have a true relationship with Jesus. What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? From the beginnings of His earthly ministry Jesus’ call was simply, “Follow Me.” What does it mean to be a Christian?
Act 16:29-33 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved -- you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.