Summary: A message urging people to live authentically for Jesus.
Real Christianity in the Real World:
Living Authentically for Jesus
in the 21st Century.
January 9, 2005
Do you know what "buzzwords" are? They’re those words or phrases that are used in popular culture and elsewhere that are easily recognizable and have durability.
For instance, a huge buzzword a few years ago was "paradigm." Remember that one? Everyone was looking for a new "paradigm" for their business, life, or even ministry.
Another one that’s pretty popular now is "mentor." It seems that everyone either needs one or is one.
At times, buzzwords can be good. Let me give you a couple: faith, and compassion. Now, both of these can be over-used and mis-used, but they are never out of date or irrelevant, unlike many catch-phrases of today.
Here’s another one that I’m sure if you’ve been here over the last year or two have heard me use: authentic.
I believe we should be people who are authentic in our relationship with God and others, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
Before we go on, I want to mention that I’m not really into long titles. Lots of lectures and stuff look like this - Bald and Beautiful: the Inherent Attractiveness of the Follicly Challenged.
Or Nose Hairs: the Who, What, Why, and How to Get Rid of Them.
I’m afraid the title might give the impression that my message to you today is just something along the "intellectual" plane, but that is not my intention.
I just wanted to communicate where I hope to go with the message. And while no one’s accused me of being a dope, it’s also true that I have never been accused of being an intellectual, at least as that’s defined by society.
But back to being authentic. This is a huge deal in our times. Why? Because there are plenty of people around who call themselves Christians, yet don’t live for Him.
They might go to church and do all the stuff that their church might require, but there is no real love for Jesus, and no desire to please Him.
And if we hope to reach people in our times for Jesus, we need to be people who are authentic, especially when discussing our relationship with God.
But I want to start by giving you a definition of authentic. This is not Webster’s definition, but it’s mine, and it will give you the basis for why I think as I do, and for what’s coming up for the rest of the message.
PB’s definition of "authentic": being real for Christ in both form and substance. In other words, not just talking about Him, but actually living for Christ.
Some synonyms include "genuine" and "bona fide." If you are a genuine Christian, or a bona fide Christian, then your walk will match your talk, right?
So today I want us to explore 5 areas in which we must be authentic, if we want to claim to be genuine, or bona fide followers of Christ.
Ready? Here we go. Let’s look at what it means to be an authentic Christian. First...
Being authentic means...
1. ...being authentically saved.
Are you a child of God - a genuine, bona fide child of God? Here’s what I mean by that: accepting what Christ did for you at Calvary as your only hope of heaven.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
This does not mean: being baptized, being confirmed, or being a church member, or being a nice person who talks about Jesus.
If your hope is in any of these things, then you are not a child of God. Only those who have received Christ by placing their trust in Him have this status as children of God.
Years ago, I heard a pastor say this, "How would you finish this sentence: I’m going to heaven because..."
The natural response for many people is along the lines of, "because I go to church," or, "because I give to charity," or even, "because I prayed to receive Christ."
The problem with all that is the one small word, "I." You see, you cannot do anything to get to heaven.
All we can do is accept what Jesus did for us. So have you done that? If not, then you’ll have the opportunity to do that at the end of the message.
Folks, if you don’t have this taken care of, then there’s no sense on even bothering with the rest of what I’m talking about today, because you can’t do it without this first part.
So listen. Don’t assume that just because you’ve been coming to this church or any other church all your life that you’re in.