Faithlife Sermons

Living in Authentic Community

Who are we? City Hope Vision and Values  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:21
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Have you ever been in a fake community? A place where everyone pretends and hides all the mess of their lives? At City Hope, we want to be a place where we live authentically with one another, without any hint of being fake. But to do that we will have to be honest with the mess of our lives.

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Have you ever been in a fake community? A place where everyone pretends and hides all the mess of their lives? At City Hope, we want to be a place where we live authentically with one another, without any hint of being fake. But to do that we will have to be honest with the mess of our lives.
Opening intro?- something about Fake lives?
reality tv- looks real- no script- but isn’t real- the characters are playing “themselves” but they are still playing a role- they are acting more than being real.
Here’s the thing- sometimes we treat the church is a reality tv show- we play our part- not really being authentic- not really showing who we are- why? Maybe its because we have something that we are trying to hide, we haven’t ever told anyone about our secret life- that we hide from everyone. Then we come to church and put on a smile. Or maybe its Because we are scared- what will people think of us- will they love us if they really know us?
This is how I lived my life growing up in the church- showing everyone my good deeds while secretly rotting out within- addicting to pornography. I thought if I shared that with anyone- if anyone knew- my life would be over- what I didn’t know is that the only way I could have real life was by being authentic and honest with my sin. And if I would be open and honest, by life would be transformed. And when I came to college and got involved in a community of believers that was living authentically with one another- honest about their struggles and trusting Jesus together- my life changed.
In this passage- thats the exact kind of community that Paul is instructing the Christians in Rome to create. A community living authentically together- living with authentic love.
To look at this we are going to walk through this passage twice- once looking for signs of fake love- and once looking for signs of authentic love

Signs of Fake Love

-hypocrisy- What exactly does that mean? its like wearing a mask- saying one thing while being or doing another
-claiming one thing and being another-
-There is all kinds of hypocrisy- but here its hypocrisy in love towards our brothers and sisters- what would that mean? saying that we are really for each other and committed to one another- but then actually not doing anything-
-secretly loving the wrong
-hating the good
-pride/ competition to gain the place of honor
-Why? a few major reasons- pride- we really want to be at the top- community forces us to look at one another as equals and serve
-fear- of whether we will be loved, of our past, of our present- you don’t know the real me? you don’t know my thoughts, my life

Signs of Authentic Love

-Really love them- genuine love-
-What does that look like?
-Holding fast to the truth- it is not authentic love if it is not holding fast- tied down tight to the truth- it must be connected with the ultimate truth of who Jesus is, what he has done and what he requires of us- so friends- if you seek to love someone authentically in this community and let them continue in sin without addressing it you are not loving them- however- if you love to point out their sin but hate it when they point out yours- you are not loving them- if you point out their sin without first confronting your own, you are not loving them, if you love pointing out their sin but don’t actually give them a place to process their life- you are not loving them.
-hating evil- pursuing holiness together
-taking delight in honoring others
-working hard- serving the Lord enthusiastically
-Rejoicing in our confident hope
-generosity- helping God’s people in need
-blessing those who persecute you
-being happy with those who are happy
-weeping with those who weep
-harmony- this does not mean that we ignore whats really going on-
-race conversations- if we would just stop talking about it would get better- friends the absence of conflict is not the presence of harmony
You need to be authentically you- we are not asking everyone to become some a-cultural person to join here- but to join to Jesus together bringing our cultural expressions of that together- what does that mean? You have a voice here. Come talk to me about your concerns-
Also- we are going to blow it- someone is going to say something offensive, ignorant, or just plain dumb- that will happen- but what can’t happen if we are going to make this work- is that we disengage then- or shame the person, we must approach, love, educate, and work towards repentance. I hope that being a part of this church roots up all sorts of disharmony that exists in your heart- so that we can bring it to the surface- repent of it and move towards Jesus together.
-our lives- you cannot be superficial- you must go deep.
-being honest about what is really going on- if you are struggling with something- depression, your past, secret sins- like pornography, or struggling to understand yourself- like not sure you understand your sexuality- you are wrestling and afraid- this ought to be a safe space for you to process that reality- how sad that so many people live life wanting to tell other people whats going on, how they really feel, what they really think about, who they really are- I hope you know friends at this church we will always call people to Jesus- which means both faith and repentance- if you come to Jesus your life will be transformed- but we don’t call people to that as those who have it all figured out- but as those who are in process- pursuing Jesus together
-humility- never thinking you are so above being with people you would think lesser than you- friends- this place is a great leveler- the Christian faith is the ultimate leveler- it does not matter that the world may rank you highly or lowly- here- we are brothers and sisters in Christ
-Conquering evil with Good

How will we be equipped to live in an authentic community like this?

-Jesus- his love is without hypocrisy- its real and genuine
he did not pretend to love you- just give you a nice platitude- but really loved you- went all the way to the cross for you
friends- he knows all of your mess- he died for all your mess- why not be honest with him about it- and then honest with each other about it
Friends if you have been completely forgiven and made 100% righteous- why are you afraid to share you life with others- you have been totally loved- and friends- if you
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