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AUTHENTIC

Authenticity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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True Christianity shows up in real life.

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April 23, 1985 is a day that will forever live in infamy.
With all of the focus in our world on the concepts of organic and all natural, it is fitting for us to demonstrate to the world what Authentic Christianity looks like

#1 Authentic Christians Find Each Other

Acts 11:19 NASB95
So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.
One of the most amazing realities that we see in the early church is that when the persecution began rather than stay separate, believers united in other areas.
There is a connection that Authentic Christians have with one another that compels them to unite together.
Acts 2:46–47 NASB95
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:
Acts 2:46 NASB95
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
Hebrews 10:23–25 NASB95
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
This happened in Antioch and it is foundational to why we are here today.
It is the normal expectation that Authentic Christians will unite together with other Authentic Christians in churches for a purpose.
So what is that purpose?

#2 Authentic Christians Spread the Word

Acts 11:19–20 NASB95
So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Acts 11:19–21 NASB95
So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.
Acts 19:20–21 NASB95
So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.”
Acts 11:19-20
Acts 19:20-2
The Authentic Christian will be diligent to spread the Word of God.

To others like themselves. “…speaking the word to no one except Jews alone.” ()

“…speaking the word to no one except Jews alone.” (Acts 11:19b)

To those who are different from themselves. “…and began speaking to the Greeks also” ()

“…and began speaking to the Greeks also” ()
The issue is not who but when. Authentic Christians will absolutely display a willingness to evangelize and share the Gospel with as many people as possible.

The result of faithfully sharing the Gospel, coupled with the Authentic Christian life, is that many will respond.

“a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” ()

“a large number who believed turned to the Lord.” ()
It is the normal expectation that Authentic Christians will be faithful to share the Gospel that many will come to know Jesus.
So, why would this be important?

#3 Authentic Christians Draw Attention to God’s Grace

Acts 11:22–23 NASB95
The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord;
Acts 19:
Jerusalem was about 300 miles from Antioch. When those gathered there began living as Authentic Christians, the news traveled far and wide.
Barnabas, who seems to be the wandering investigator of the early Church, was sent to find out what was happening.

“Then when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God...” (Acts 11:23a)

Look at what was noticed about what was happening.
It wasn’t that the Antioch believers were following the rules exceptionally well.
It wasn’t that they dressed a certain way, or ate a certain way or anything else that set them apart from those around them.
It is the normal expectation that the Authentic Christian life will draw attention to God’s Grace flowing through their lives.

#4 Authentic Christians Recognize Leaders

Acts 11:25–26 NASB95
And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
The Antioch Church was the first church to embrace the leadership of Saul, later known as Paul.
The Antioch believers understood that the role of God’s given leaders to the church was to equip them for the ministry he had given them.
Ephesians 4:11–12 NASB95
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Hebrews 11:7 NASB95
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 13:7 NASB95
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:17 NASB95
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
It is the normal expectation that the Authentic Christian will recognize God’s ordained leaders and honor Him for sending them.

#5 Authentic Christians Look like Jesus

Acts 11:26
Acts 11:26 NASB95
and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
When looking to define an object, the most logical place to look is at the original object. Study it, observe it, learn from it.
The first place that disciples were called Christians was at Antioch. This early band of believers united together, preached the Gospel, made much of God’s Grace, and recognized leaders.
When they did that, those around them started calling them “Christians”.
The term means “Christ-like”.
It is the normal expectation that the Authentic Christian life should be recognized by the world around us.
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