Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Real Deal

“Our actions show that we belong to the truth…” 1 John 3:19

In the last 24 hours, I’ve consciously held my tongue four times. Four times I’ve had opportunity to respond in a way that, although true, would truly serve no purpose, except to justify self. Four times I’ve had to pray for the Holy Spirit to guard my lips.

Almost seven years ago now, my Pastor shared a sermon entitled, “Are You the Real Deal?” In his message he shared four proofs that serve as tests of authenticity. We find those proofs in our reading today.

1. Right Choices: The Moral Test (1 John 2:3-6)
Too often our tendency is to be selective in our obedience. We do what is easy and convenient or what seems “important”. We obey “Thou shall not murder” and “Thou shall not steal”, but what about tithing or stealing someone else’s reputation? Each act of obedience moves us one step closer to Jesus.

2. Right Love: The Social Test (1 John 2:7-17)
A selfless love saves you from stumbling (2:10). A seductive love leads you to sin (2:15-17). A couple of tests for true love are found in answering the following two questions: How easily am I offended? And “How quickly do I diminish other’s accomplishments?

3. Right Belief: The Doctrinal Test (1 John 2:18-28) We are to remain in community (2:19); remain in original teaching (2:24); and remain in Christ (2:24,27).

4. Right Living: The Parentage Test (1 John 2:29-3:10)
We should show evidence of some family resemblance. The DNA of God is placed in us at salvation and it cannot be removed. Does my life reflect my Father?

Jesus obeyed the Father, loved people, believed doctrine and lived right. Our life is the best proof of Christianity. Are you the "real deal"?

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