Summary: the difference between true faith and false faith
True Or False?
Courage comes with True Faith
Insecurity comes with False Faith
Christ is the object of True Faith
Self is the object of False Faith
Joy is the result of True Faith
Bitterness is the result of False Faith
Have you ever met someone who claimed to be a Christian, but their conduct made you wonder what it was that they truly believed.
One of the biggest turn offs for myself and I am sure for many others was the apparent hypocrisy of some leaders who claimed Christianity but totally disregarded living it.
I came out of a religious background where I was completely turned off by the apparent hypocrisy of many there.
But hypocrisy is not limited to any one particular denomination.
We don’t have to go back too far to come up with a list of prominent protestant televangelists that had fallen due to moral failure.
Now I am not suggesting that everyone who sins morally is not a Christian, but there must be repentance from those who sin.
And beyond that, we should see differences in the way life is lived as a whole from those who claim the name of Christ.
We are getting back into our Acts Series today after focusing on the promises of Easter that the Lord has made to us.
We are going to be looking at 2 men who claim the name of Christ with one of them having a True Faith while the other has a False Faith and see if we can discern some things that should accompany a True Faith in our own life.
When we last left the book of Acts, we were looking at Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and his life of Success and how we can be successful in life. We saw that being successful has to do with fulfilling your purpose and that our purpose is to glorify the Lord.
We too often are searching for success in what the world says will make you successful and we only end up empty inside.
Well, lets move on and look at Philip and Simon and see what we can learn about how a True Faith looks like versus False Faith and some of the things that go along with each of them.
Turn with me to Acts 8:1-25 (p. 776-777)
Now before I begin, I want to state that as a Christian, we have a dual nature. When we receive Jesus as Savior, the Bible tells us that we become a new creation.
We are a new creation in the sense that now we have Spiritual nature that is of God. But we also still have our fleshly nature while we are in this body. And these natures battle each other. We see Paul describing this battle for himself in Romans chapter 7.
So as I talk about the things that go with and are the result of true faith, these are in the extreme.
There are going to be times that True Christians experience some of the things that go along with what we associate with a False faith. This is because that each one of us is in some condition of maturing. We are all at different stages. But nevertheless, these things should never be the norm for us.
The norm for us should be the things that accompany and result from a True faith.
So that being said, we are going to be reading in Acts 8:1-25 (p. 776-777)
Stephen has just finished giving a history of Israel leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus and now he has just been stoned and killed for his testimony to them.
And beginning in Acts 8:1 we read
1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.