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Authentic

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An authentic church can not be stoped

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This morning I want to get real…
ILLUSTRATION- The fake fire at home depot.
POINT- An authentic church is a dangerous church.
(NLT) — 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
KEY- I want CrossFire to be known as a place that is real.
We are picking up early in the book of Acts… Peter and John were just arrested for preaching in Jesus name after healing a lame man begging outside of the temple…
(NLT) — 5 The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. 7 They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
Notice there is no denial of what had happened…
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9 are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.
I love how peter doesn’t delay in getting right to the point… You can not have power without Jesus, you can not have healing without Jesus…
11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ 12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. 15 So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves. 16 “What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17 But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” 18 So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20 We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” 21 The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God 22 for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
It’s time to get real!!
I don’t want my ministry to be all flash and no substance…
I don’t want to look the part and when things get real the truth come out that I’m not who I claim I am…
POINT- Understand that when a church is authentic it becomes unstoppable!
(NLT) — 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.
The world daily is trying to deny the authority and power of Jesus Christ… The world displays it’s propaganda trying to convince you that you can be your own God…
This is what we are up against…
KEY- When we are fake the world will notice, but on the same hand when we are authentic the world will see it too.
KEY- When we get an authentic drive we will get authentic results.
You might think no one is going to notice me…
POINT- Authenticity is not noticed in the flashy or in the impressive, it is noticed in the ordinary.
MAIN QUESTION- How can we be authentic.
MAIN POINT- When believers become authentic we are unstoppable and despite the best attempts and greatest attacks from the enemy we will not just hold our ground but take new ground! But we must FIRST learn how to be authentic.
To be authentic
To be authentic we have to…

1. Keep Jesus the center of your focus.

… Lets look back just a little bit before this miracle takes place…
(NLT) — 1 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. 2 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple.
KEY- Notice Peter and John did not go out that day looking for someone to heal, or to find a crowd to preach to.
(NLT) — 12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?
POINT- Authenticity creates opportunity.
ILLUSTRATION- I probably should have taken more time to learn how to grocery shop growing up, cause when I first moved out on my own I remember the first time I went grocery shopping… A grocery store is just this place where someone disassembled all my favorite meals and hid the ingredients all over this warehouse…
It seems like sometimes in the church we are looking for individual parts that we like… You need to be running after Jesus
(NLT) — 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 8
KEY- When you are keeping Jesus the center of your focus you can expect miracles because at the center of every miracle is Jesus…
When you are keeping Jesus the center of your focus you can expect the outpouring of the spirit cause at the center of every outpouring is Jesus…

2. Be plain

(NLT) — 13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
DEFINE- The greek word for boldness here in this passage is the word parresia which means plainly, openness, candor.
KEY- Peter and John didn’t show up with some manufactured truth they just simply testified to what they have seen and expereince.
KEY- If I could talk you into following God then someone could talk you out of it.
POINT- Can we stop apologizing for what God’s word says!
God’s word is full of life AS IT IS!! I don’t need to suager coat anything in God’s word, it is sweet enough…
From the heart of God flows grace and mercy and love… He is slow to anger quick to rescue… YES he hates sin, it was the cause of death of his son…
KEY- Peter and John didn’t show up with some manufactured truth they just simply testified to what they have seen and expereince.
This point should bring relief to many… There are some in this room that have wondered, can I be effective in being used by God… I don’t really preach, I don’t really have those “church” talents… What is my role…
KEY- If I could talk you into following God then someone could talk you out of it.
(NIV) — 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

3. Obey God.

(NLT) — 19 But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?
KEY POINT- Authenticity is the side effect of a real change that happens inside, you can’t truly be authentic while you are conflicted inside.
(NIV) — 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
ILLUSTRATION- Following the wrong line at Disney land.
Do you think God would rather have you obey culture than him???
Do you think God would rather have you obey the standards of the world than him???
Do you think God would rather have you obey friends and family rather than him???
KEY- Sometimes in order to obey God you are going to have to disobey this world.
KEY- It was unusual for anyone other than the religious leaders to teach in the temple.
KEY POINT- Sometimes authenticity breaks the mold.
(NLT) — 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.
KEY- Is it possible that in our churches its not that we have an obedience problem but a love problem?

4. Be Full of the spirit.

(NLT) — 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people,
(NLT) — 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
KEY POINT- The holy spirit will fuel authenticity.

Conclusion…

POINT- An authentic church is unstoppable.
(NLT) — 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.
It is amazing to me how what was so authentic could be perceived differently by different groups of people…
For one group of people they said, oh no, this is the real thing… This is what we have tried to stop…
For another group of people they said, THIS IS WHAT WE WERE WAITING FOR!!
You need to understand the timeline here…
(NLT) — 3 They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning.
(NLT) — 21 The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God
The next day people were still praising!!
There are people waiting to see something authentic! They are searching!
ILLUSTRATION- People in India looking for something authentic in their religion, hurting people looking for something authentic in their money…
CHALLENGE- Will you be the one they have been looking for!!
Will you be the person God has called you to be?!?
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