AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY

 

OR

 

YO DUDE, LIKE,. I REALY JUST NEED TO FIND MYSELF!

 

(2nd Corinthians 13:5 NLT) Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test.

 

 

Or then we could call it “What’s it all about Alfie.” Or “Being true to your true self.” Or “Actual Self-Actualization.” No matter what we call it the topic remains the same it is all about self discovery and aligning yourself with the truth. Not the truth as you so it. Not what’s true for you, but what is the truth. That I believe is what is so difficult to get through to the secular world today. I had a wonderful discussion with a Scientologist the other day. And I have to tell you it did not start out all that good, but Praise the LORD we had the opportunity to dialog and hopefully shine the light of truth on the young mans ideology.

 

I guess I have to tell you why it did not start out so good, don’t I? It was completely my fault. You see, I have this real big problem with Scientology and I like to remind them of Xenu, who according to L. Ron Hubbard was this space alien ruler of the Galactic confederacy who brought all these psychologist to earth to mess with everybody’s heads.

That’s where Tom Cruse gets the idea that “he knows the history of psychology!”

 

Anyway so the scientologist had this kiosk set up in the mall and as I walked by I inadvertently said out loud, “Xenu is coming, Xenu is coming!” I didn’t really think to much of it at the time but as I walked back down the other direction the young man who was sitting at the booth recognized me and confronted me and asked me if I believed in God?

 

Well I am not going to go through the entire conversation it lasted over a half an hour and I ended up being late for a meeting but it was well worth it.

 

The sum of it was that he did not believe in that part of scientology but he was finding what was true for him. So everyone can find their own truth as long as we all just get along and the world becomes a wonderful peaceful place for everyone to live.

 

The thing that bothered me with it all was the thing that has haunted me since childhood’s hour. Truth. Not some relevant truth but the universal truth. Because whether you believe it or not the truth is the truth.

 

And so, my first prerequisite to finding yourself is first finding the truth. Because if you think you have found yourself and are caught up in living a lie, you are dreadfully lost, and all you have found is fantasy.

 

 

 

 

 

(2nd Corinthians 13:7-8 NLT) We pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. We pray this, not to show that our ministry to you has been successful, but because we want you to do right even if we ourselves seem to have failed. Our responsibility is never to oppose the truth, but to stand for the truth at all times.

 

 

I say all of this just as an introduction. Because what I truly want to get across to you today is the truth. For it is the truth that will set you free. And only when you are truly free from the lies and deception and fantasies of life can you really discover who you are, who you have been called to be and see the path to being.

 

Let’s begin with a review of what the Bible tells us is our purpose for live in. Far too many people ask what am I living for. What’s it all about? What is the purpose of it all?

 

Now we discovered and are discovering through “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren that there are basically five purposes for us to examine. And I say examine because I do not want to blindly take Rick Warrens ideas of my Purpose nor do I want you to blindly take my ideas. In order for you to know your personally calling you have to diligently seek the truth from the truth.

 

With tat said here again are the five purposes we are studying:

 

1. Worship

2. Fellowship

3. Discipleship

4. Service

5. Evangelism

 

First and foremost we need to discover who the one true and living God is. Religion is all well and good but if it is not teaching you the truth then it is a blind religion… “the blind leading the blind.”

 

Paul tried to show the philosophers in Athens the true God on Mars Hill. Some listened but most preferred to remain in their fantasy world and die.

 

 

(Acts:22 & 23 NLT)So Paul, standing before the Council, addressed them as follows: "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious, for as I was walking along I saw your many altars. And one of them had this inscription on it--`To an Unknown God.' You have been worshiping him without knowing who he is, and now I wish to tell you about him.

 

We were created in the Image of God. That means if we really want to know who we are we need to know who God is. And if you want to know who God is then all you have to do is to get to know Jesus.

 

Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”

(John 14:9 NLT) Jesus replied, "Philip, don't you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him?

 

So then if you want to find yourself, find Jesus. If you want to be who you have been called to be, be more like Jesus.

Our first two purposes are worship and fellowship. That goes hand in hand with what Jesus taught was the greatest commandments. “To love the LORD you God with everything you got and Love you neighbor as yourself.”

 

If we could just get those two down we would be so far ahead of the game. And that is one of the great things about the Church. It gives you a microcosm of the world. We have people form all walks of life. Literally people from all over the world, coming together to worship God and to enjoy one another. In that fellowship we can sometimes rub the wrong way with somebody, but rather than abandoning the whole body we work out the relationships and learn to love one another and grow together. You have heard how steal sharpens steal, well you can’t get sharp unless there is some friction. And true love endure the friction and grows stronger.

Then we have the idea of discipleship. We talked about this on Wednesday night a little bit how Jesus began His earthly ministry by preaching the good news that the kingdom of God is at hand and then he called people to “FOLLOW HIM!”

 

Discipleship is following Jesus. I like to say that we need to be Jesus with skin on. The first words that Jesus speaks in the New Testament is what?

 

“It is written!”

 

Jesus knows the word of God. If we are to be followers of Christ. Christians we need to get into the word. And that takes discipline. Thus the word “disciple.” And going right along with that is the whole idea of service. That is the example that Jesus set for us, that we should be servants. The first shall be last and the last first.

 

Remember the foot washing at the last supper.

 

(John 13:13-17 NLT)You call me `Teacher' and `Lord,' and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than the master. Nor are messengers more important than the one who sends them. You know these things--now do them! That is the path of blessing.

 

I love the way the New Living Translation says “That is the path of blessing.” We all want to be blessed and highly favored of the LORD. And I am trying to teach you that you are. But the more we walk in the path of blessing the more we experience who we truly are. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your LORD and savior then you are a joint heir with Christ. Do you have any idea what that means?

 

That means that you are blessed and highly favored of the LORD. You are more than anj conqueror, no weapon formed against you will prosper What ever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, it means that you and the Father are one. It means that All things are possible through Him, it means He will provide for your every need. It means you can have joy unspeakable and full of glory. It means that you are the head and not the tail. It means that you have an eternal home in heaven. It means all… ALL you sins are washed away and forgotten, never to be brought up again. It means you have healing, deliverance, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. It means you are an overcommer. Never forget the many blessings your salvation brings.

 

And if you are not experiencing any of these in your life right now then you have the right and authority as a child of God to go after them. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened. But please, please, let’s keep the main thing the main thing and seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.

 

That brings us to the fifth purpose which is evangelism. When you really begin to experience the fullness of Christ in you life then you will have his heart for the lost. Remember Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came and gave it all so that you could have life and have it more abundantly. He came to reconcile you unto the Father and to give to you the ministry of reconciliation.

 

God wants you to be on fire for him. He wants you to burn with that burning desire that keeps you up at night lost in the fantasy to be found in him. When you discover the truth you will tell somebody about it. But if you are just playing a game and coming to church to be seen or out of duty then that my friends is being luke warm and he would rather have you hot or cold then luke warm. He will vomit you out of his mouth … Get on fire for Jesus…. There is nothing better to live for.. There is nothing more real. There is nothing more important. There is nothing more rewarding.

I have to close by going back to my conversation with the scientologist. We were talking about his idea of truth being relative to each individual and I went back to my same old argument asking him what if?

I asked him what if I was wrong… Then I lived a full and abundant life, was set free form dugs and alcohol. Had my family restored to me and found love and joy and peace. And if Scientology is true and I am wrong then I get a do over, no big deal.

 

But what if he is wrong? Not only did he waist his life believing and living and spreading a lie but if the Bible is true then it is appointed onto man only once to die and then …. The judgment…

 

I told him that I did not want him to find himself there without knowing the truth.

 

So what if?

 

 On our study of spiritual stages, this message can be applied to where ever you are. If you have not discovered the truth yet of Jesus Christ being the one true LORD and your only chance for a savior then today if your day of salvation. All you have to do is to change your mind…. And believe the truth. Say yes to Jesus and ask him right now to come into your heart. If you are a Christian and have been trying to discover who you are in Christ then this message has an extra special purpose for you. Because as you remember the blessings and discover the path to the way, you are even now growing from glory to glory. Ask God to forgive you of your missteps and to continue to use his word as a lamp unto your feet. Make a fresh commitment to spend more time in the study of the truth and in your private, personal development of a deeper relationship with Jesus. If you are a spiritual giant then you are blessed in deed and can use these words to glean the truth of God’s purpose for your life. We all have a place in the Body of Christ. We are all essential parts of the whole. 

 

Now is the time of celebration because you are a child of the KING of KINGS. Rejoice in the joy of your salvation and reach forward to that high calling in Christ Jesus.

 

Amen?

 

AMEN!