Summary: Instructions on how we ought to live as Christians.
“THE PATTERN FOR A REAL CHRISTIAN”—Titus 2:7-8
Introduction: To be a real Christian, you must have more than just a Salvation Experience. Let us Examine the Scriptural Portrait of a “Real Christian.”
I. THE WAY OF A REAL CHRISTIAN (Mt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.)
A. THE BELIEVER UNDER CONTROL—ACTS 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
B. THE BELIEVER WITH COMPASSION—JUDE 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
C. THE BELIEVER IN CONFLICT-I PETER 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
ILLUSTRATE: "The characteristic of love is that it is spontaneous, it bursts up in extraordinary ways; it is never premeditated."
Unity is a heart condition of a regenerated believer that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and bears the fruit of kindness, compassion, peace-making, forgiveness, humbling ourselves and esteeming others more highly than ourselves.
II. THE WALK OF A REAL CHRISTIAN (Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?)
A. THE PLACE THE WALK COMMENCES
B. THE PRICE THE WALK COSTS
C. THE PACE THE WALK CONTINUES
ILLUSTRATE: SERVICE REQUIRES ACTION (THE WALK)
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A subjective person came along and said, "I feel for you down there."
An objective person walked by and said, "It’s logical that someone would fall down there."
A Pharisee said, "Only bad people fall into pits."
A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.
A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.
An IRS agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.
A self-pitying person says, "You haven’t seen anything til you’ve seen my pit."
A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, "You deserve your pit."
A Christian Scientist observed, "The pit is just in your mind."
A psychologist noted, "Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit."
A self-esteem therapist said, "Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit."
An optimist said, "Things could be worse."
A pessimist claimed, "Things will get worse."
Jesus lovingly the man, took him and lifted him out of the pit." –
What about us? Do we have the loving heart of Jesus?
III. THE WITNESS OF A REAL CHRISTIAN (John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.)
A. HOW THEY ARE MARKED
1. BY WHAT THEY FORSAKE
2. BY WHAT THEY FEED ON
3. BY WHO THEY FELLOWSHIP
ILLUSTRATE: "To live a disciplined life, and to accept the result of that discipline as the will of God that is the mark of a man."
Perseverance reveals genuine believers. To believe in Jesus and stand “firm to the end” will take perseverance, because our faith will be challenged and opposed. Severe trials will sift true Christians from fair-weather believers. Enduring to the end does not earn salvation for us, but marks us as already saved.
B. HOW THEY ARE MANIFESTED
1. THEY ARE DIFFERENT THRU CHRIST—II Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. THEY ARE DELIGHTED IN CHRIST—I’ve never met a person yet who was SORRY they got SAVED.
ILLUSTRATE: George Müller told of a wealthy German whose wife was a devout believer. This man was a heavy drinker, spending late nights in the tavern. She would send the servants to bed, stay up till he returned, receive him kindly, and never scold him or complain. At times she would even have to undress him and put him to bed.
One night in the tavern he said to his cronies, “I bet if we go to my house, my wife will be sitting up, waiting for me. She’ll come to the door, give us a royal welcome, and even make supper for us, if I ask her.”
They were skeptical at first, but decided to go along and see. Sure enough, she came to the door, received them courteously, and willingly agreed to make supper for them without the slightest trace of resentment. After serving them, she went off to her room. As soon as she had left, one of the men began to condemn the husband. “What kind of a man are you to treat such a good woman so miserably?” The accuser got up without finishing his supper and left the house. Another did the same and another till they had all departed without eating the meal.