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Series: Authentic Living in an Artificial
Message 1: What Does It Mean to be Real?
Pastor Mike Chapman
Many people have the perception that church people are wellintentioned,
but just a shade south of normal—that Christians
aren’t real people. This sometimes presents roadblock to some
who like to fully follow Christ. In my experience I have noticed
three milestones an adult must pass through before they take
the “Christian plunge.” These are
1. We experience a deep nagging sense that all is not as
it should be in our lives.
2. We begin to question the claims of Christianity. Is it
3. We consider what it means to really become a
Christian. What would it be like to be a true follower
of Jesus? What kind of person would we become?
What kind of people would we be hanging out with?
In this message, I want to address this third issue.
CARICATURES OF CHRISTIANS
A caricature is an image rooted in reality, but distorted in a
way that drastically overemphasizes some feature of that
“No Fun Nellie”
“”Willie the Wimp”
All of these caricatures have to do with the practice of
Christianity is not fundamentally about practicing a religion.
It is about a relationship with God.
It is essentially about loving God and having a
relationship with the God of the universe.
Mark 12:29-30, Jesus replied, “The most important
commandment is this…You must love the Lord your
God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind,
and all your strength.”
THE CHARACTER OF REAL CHRISTIANITY
Real Christianity is about loving God, which is a different
agenda than the rest of the world lives by.
Three aspects of the character of this relationship with God
1. Dependence on God
Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord with all your
heart; do not depend on your own
2 Corinthians 1:8-10, We were crushed and
completely overwhelmed, and we thought we
would never live through it. In fact, we expected
to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on
ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.
And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And
we are confident that he will continue to deliver
2. Delight in God
Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord and he will
give you your heart’s desire.
Psalm 43:4, I go to the altar of God, to God, my
joy and my delight.
3. Devotion to God
2 Corinthians 5:15, Those who receive this new
life no long live to please themselves. Instead,
they will live to please Christ, who died and was
raised for them.
Ray Steadman, in his book Authentic Christianity, listed five
characteristics of such a faith…
Unquenchable optimism (2 Corinthians 2:14a)
Unvarying success (2 Corinthians 1:14b)
Unforgettable impact (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
Unimpeachable integrity (2 Corinthians 2:17)
Undeniable reality (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)
God is not interested in turning you into some outrageous,
unreal, artificial person. He wants to give you a more and better
life (John 10:10). He doesn’t want to be distant and dreaded by
you. He wants to be your loving Father. Will you take the step
to become real today?
Series: Authentic Living in an Artificial World - City Church of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN
Denomination: Church of God
Author(s): Dr. Mike Chapman
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