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Summary: What does it really mean to be a Christian? 1. Relating to the Father’s family. 2. Receiving the Lord's touch. 3. Rising to serve the Savior.

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True Christianity

Matthew 8:14-17

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 11, 2017

*Many people think you're a Christian if your parents were Christians, or if you have been baptized, or if you have been going to church. But you can go to church a thousand times, and still not be a true Christian. What does it really mean to be a Christian? God's Word shows us today.

1. First: True Christianity involves a relationship in the family of God.

*Real Christians have a relationship with God the Father through our faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

[1] This means we are linked together with the Savior.

*Verse 14 tells us that "when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever." The Lord went to Peter's house that day, because He was with Peter. They were linked together in a personal relationship.

*And when I become a Christian, I begin to learn that Jesus comes with me! In fact, I take Jesus with me into my home, and everywhere I go. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, there is an invisible bond formed between us.

*The Bible uses many terms to talk about this reality:

*For example, we are born again as children of God, so John 1:12 says: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."

*Romans 8:15-16 also tells Christians:

15. . . You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.''

16. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God."

*Christians: We are children of God. -- We are also new creations in Christ.

*As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

*Real Christians are new creations in Christ. We are also described as the Bride of Christ. In Ephesians 5:25-27, God's Word says:

25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,

26. that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27. that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

*We are the Bride of Christ. But we are also the Temple of the Holy Spirit. So in 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul put this question to Christians: "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"

*We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. But we are also the Body of Christ in this world. The New Living Translation puts it this way in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:

12. The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ.

13. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.

*Here God's Word gives us an amazing truth about being true Christians: We are in Jesus Christ! And He is in us!

*Thinking back to my high school days 48 years ago. I still remember Crazy Robbie Smith. Robbie was in my high school fraternity, and he was one of the nicest guys in school. He didn't drink or cuss. He was a good student and a good athlete. But my friends and I always called him "Crazy Robbie Smith," because Robbie had this crazy idea that he knew God in a personal way. Robbie even thought that Jesus Christ was actually living in his heart.

*We thought he was crazy. But 6 years later I found out that "Crazy Robbie" wasn't crazy after all. He was saved! Robbie was a true Christian, and the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ really was living in his heart.

*In 2 Corinthians 6:16 God tells Christians an amazing thing: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." God says: "I will dwell in them, and walk in them."

*What assurance, Christians! Wherever we go, God is right there with us. Whatever we go through, wherever we are, whatever task God calls us to perform, whatever trial we have to endure, whatever delights we enjoy or heartbreaks we suffer, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is right here with us.

[2] True Christians are linked with the Savior. -- We are also linked with the saints.

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