Summary: An authentic Christian is one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness. Jesus calls these believers blessed. He also promises that He will fill those, and give us all of our desires if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.
INTRO: Living the life of an “Authentic Christian” is of the utmost importance if we are to be true servants of Jesus Christ.
The world is full on Non-authentic Christians. Let that not be a label that we settle for. Authenticity is a life long pursuit. We as Christians need to be able to walk the walk, in more of a consistent way than we can talk the talk.
I posed a question last week. “Are you a REAL Christian?” Knowing that this short list is not an exhaustive list of what it means to be and Authentic Christian , however the four points will clearly put you on the right track.
· R- Righteous Lifestyle
· E- Evangelical Passion
· A- Authentic Walk
· L- Loving my Brothers (Neighbors)
This morning we are going to look at the R- in REAL- Righteous Lifestyle.
ILLUS: De Tocqueville of France, over a hundred years ago, visited America. Upon his return home he wrote: “I sought for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers and fertile fields, and her mines and commerce. It was not there. Not until I went into the churches and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the greatness of her power. America is great because she is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. Tan, P. L. 1996, c1979. Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Bible Communications: Garland TX
If this dignitary of France was to visit America today, I am sure he would not be able to make the same comment. Christians and Churches must be on the Front Line when it comes to living Righteous lives, if not us, then who?
I think history has proven that we need Authentic Christians to stand up and live righteous lives. We can look at the demoralization of America, and blame what ever we want, however, we must look at ourselves and ask the question- “Would my lifestyle be considered Righteous in the eyes of God?”
We need to understand that God has called all of us to a righteous life, His promise then to us, is to be the provider of all we shall ever want.
ILLUS: Frances Havergal, the song writer, lived and moved in the Word of God. His Word was her constant companion. On the last day of her life, she asked a friend to read to her the 42nd chapter of Isaiah. When the friend read the sixth verse. “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee,” Miss Havergal stopped her. She whispered, “Called—held—kept. I can go home on that!” And she did go home on that. —Pentecostal Evangel
There is No higher compliment that can be paid to a Christian, than to call him a “Righteous person”. He or she may be a zealous church worker, a conscientious parent, a faithful tither, a talented leader; but none of these things matter if, at the same time the person is not a righteous person.
PROP.SENT: An authentic Christian is one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness. Jesus calls these believers blessed. He also promises that He will fill those, and give us all of our desires if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.
I. ELEMENTS OF GOD
A. Godlike in Character!
1 John 1:15 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
If we want to develop “Godly Character, we must understand what the bible says about God.
John describes two traits of God’s Character-
1. God is Light
2. God is Love
The Christian who wants to live a righteous lifestyle needs to understand these traits, and apply them to his or here life.
There are two explanations we can look at- according to professor Howard Marshall.
One he says represents Revelation- (The Light) and Salvation- (The Love)
The other would be that of Righteousness, Light symbolizing the flawless perfection of God- with not even the hint of moral imperfection.
ILLUS: Dove soap, you know the one with ¼ moisturizing cream. It is very happy to state that it is 99.44 % pure. Pretty good by man’s standards, however, this would be a blasphemous statement about God. God is 100% Holy and righteous; there is not one stain on His character. Jerry Bridges
To live a righteous life then one would have to pursue a Holy Life. I say pursue, because it is impossible for us to be 100% pure this side of heaven. That is why we must pursue to live a life that resembles God.