What does a real Christian look like

Throughout church history there has been many changes to the perception of what a Christian should look like and should act like.

Well meaning people, myself included, have taken the word of God and tried to give a relevant interpretation to Scripture.

For those whose eyes are not open and those whose spiritual senses have not been activated. They rely upon another person’s vision. Who in turn do the very best they can to in detail describe what a Christian looks like what a Christian acts like and what are the expectations of one who bears the name of Christ Jesus.

Man is the judge of the outward appearance but God is the judge of the heart.

Much of the present church has been divided into two camps. These two camps have their headquarters in extremes.

Camp 1:
You have the very liberal – Rejection of rules, unrestrained and free living. It’s my own journey, it’s my own faith, it’s my own life. Don’t judge me.
Camp motto: God is love full of mercy and grace.
All things are viewed through the lens…we are all Gods people, he loves us, no worries.

Camp 2.
You have the ultra conservative- legalistic rule writing measuring stick watching pharisee.
Camp motto: God is Holy full of righteous Judgement
All things are viewed through this lens… cross the T. Dot the I. Make sure you don’t miss a beat God is always watching.

The motto is true in both camps. They stand firmly upon truth. They are often unmovable because they so strongly believe in their motto. They have both feet upon 1/2 of the revelation.

We see in part and understand in part.

Camp 3- God wants us to be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. These truths are not opposed to one another. God wants both of these rocks these pillars of truth to be the foundation of every believer. Place a foot firmly upon each motto.

Love-A compelling driving desire for relationship (closeness, fellowship, intimacy- and are culture everything is presumed sexual, this is not in a sexual way but rather affection confidence and strong and strengthening attachment)

1 John 4:7-11
7   Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8   He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10   Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11   Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Mercy-suspended or stayed and or delayed judgment. You don’t get what you do deserve.

Titus 3:3-5
3   For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4   But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Grace-transforming power. You get what you don’t deserve.
Grace – unmerited favor
Grace- enabling power

Grace gives the power to be accepted by God even with your past record.

In other words it doesn’t matter who you used to be what you used to do what you used to think about God yourself others or the world around you.

It doesn’t matter because Grace is not only here to justify you. Grace is here to transform you into another image.

So what you look like before the transformation doesn’t matter. His grace is sufficient for you.

I have confidence in his grace
HIs Grace has the power to transform me
It is all sufficient.

Grace gospel that is not transforming is a perverted Gospel.

Grace is our teacher and transforming power

Titus 2:11-15
11   For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13   Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15   These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

When you recognize you have missed the mark cry out for Gods grace that you may be transformed into his image.

I do not have confidence in my own will, my own abilities, my own flesh, but I do have confidence in your grace and your all sufficient power to make me into the image of yourself.

Some may trust in horses some may trust in chariots but we will trust in the name of our Lord

Holiness-separated and set apart from the world and from the crowd for a special purpose.
Those that reject holiness have consented to a life of average living. They reject the ability to do things the average person cannot do.

1 Peter 1:13-19
13   Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16   Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17   And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19   But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Righteousness-right action from one in a righteous state. None righteous no not one. Our righteousness is but filthy rags

2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18   And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19   To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Righteousness is not so much about what you have done, but more about what he has done in you.

We work the works of righteousness only when it is Christ’s work working through us.

Judgement- condemnation and justification.
The applying and the removal of penalty

Temporary judgement and eternal judgement.

Matthew 25:14-30

Matthew 25:23
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 25:28-30
28   Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29   For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30   And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We are not free from effort
Our job is
0. To have confidence or faith in Christ Jesus his sacrifice and his grace

0. To have a Clear conscience before God
Perfect before God perfect in conscience sprinkled and removed the evil conscience and replaced with a clear conscience before God

0. Receive sonship and the restoration of sonship by understanding your identity of what Jesus has done and accomplished for you on the cross This brings the best out of you.

0. Deny ourselves and worldly and fleshly lust
0. Be salt and light ambassadors for Christ

Are there areas in your life yet to be yielded.

Bearing fruit in a field of tares. 

Matthew 13:24-30
24   Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 

25   But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 

26   But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 

27   So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 

28    He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 

29   But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 

30   Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. 
You are a chosen generation- you are a race made of different races
Church folk like to get around other church folk that believe like they believe that talk their language. 
Most of the time in your life will be spent around Gentile’s…among the unbelievers. 
We must learn to live an upright life in a world of sinners. 

1 Peter 2:12

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  
Some Christians want to live right among the church folk but when they get into a crowd of Gentile’s they forget that they’re Christians. 
When you’re in the church you feel the need to act right because you know the other Christians are going to judge you on your behavior. But when they get out into the world….the world’s not going to judge you on your Christian behavior they’re going to except you for who you are not who you pretend to be. So those that don’t live uprightly naturally feel more comfortable in the world then what they do in the church. So, are you most comfortable when you are surrounded by the Gentiles? is that who you really are? What kind of a Christian are you? Are you faking it in church or are you faking it in the world?  
God doesn’t want us to be faking it at all. The church needs to be more companionate and the Christian needs to be bold enough to live right in the world of tares.

Maybe a small bunny trail here…a notable side note:

(Christian, are you Judging to condemnation or are you discerning to edification. 
Think about The Speck and beam parable.  

You need to judge your own Motivation and spirit behind the analyzing of another brothers conduct and the heart. 

Are you wanting to help or condemn that person?)
Tares were planted while the church was sleeping. 

Vs 25   But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 
While men are sleeping life goes on

Sleeping men – unconscious, powerless, insensible- they don’t know nor do they care about what is going on. 
Why is it that we are not seeing a revival. Why is it that the enemy is coming in and bringing destruction to our lives to our cities?

It is not because of our governmental situation. It is not because of our economical situation. It’s not because of our educational situation. 

It is because of our ecclesiastical situation. 
It’s because the church is full of apostates. From the pulpit to the pew we have forsaken what we know. What we have identified as The church are people 

Who know to live better than they’re living

Who know to pray better than they’re praying. Who know to watch better than they’re watching and to give better than they are giving. And to fear better than they’re fearing. 
What are Tares?

Anything that opposes healthy growth and fruitfulness in the people of God. May be opposition that is fleshly, mentally, or spiritually 
Spiritual opposition

Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.    
Soulish opposition

Mark 4:18-19

18   And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 

19   And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  

-Cares of the world

-Deceitfulness of riches

-Lusts of other things. 
Fleshly opposition 

-Sinful men- wicked and unrighteous men and women may vex your soul as lot who lived in Sodom. 

-A religious spirit- controlling religious leaders- some of your greatest opposition will come from those who claim they are doing the work of God but are operating in a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. 
Acts 17:5-6 Religious leaders moved with envy, hand in hand with the lewd and assaulted the house of God’s righteous in hopes to stop those that are turning the world upside down. 

So we understand what Tares are. We understand the Christian dilemma. We are planted among the tares and there is no escape until the final harvest. 

Since there will be tares until the time of reaping, we cannot use tares as an excuse for an unfruitful lifestyle. 
So how do you bear fruit in a field of tares?
Only the strong survive!

1. Make good use of every beam of light- the word is the light

Receive study and Process the word of God. 
Receive the revival in your own heart

Acts 17:11 Berea- received the word with readiness of mind searched scriptures
2. Drink in every drop of rain

Live in the blessing, the refreshing spirit of God
Gods blessing is upon the righteous 

Walking in His Favor 
Favor- a special attention or preference shown, gracious acts of kindness with rights and privileges granted. 
Who qualifies for God’s favor?

A. Those who are in covenant with him.  

      Genesis 12 

b. The righteous 

      1 Peter 3:12

C. Those who are merciful and speak the truth. 

      Proverbs 3:3-4. 

D. The repenting sinner seeking salvation of the lord. 

3. Fight for your position…give up no ground to your enemy. You must not give any position of opportunity to the devil.

Their is a great cloud of witnesses but there is also an adversary seeking to destroy. You must have a healthy balance of reality. 

Take heed lest you fall

1 Corinthians 10:12

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 

Fighting spiritual regression 

Some will Depart from the faith 
1 Timothy 4:1-5

1   Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 

2   Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 

3   Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 

4   For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 

5   For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 
The world is in a continual state of decline. 
Satan the god of this world is a downward force. Below are the steps Satan takes to gain total control of your life. 

Regression. – leaving your state of righteousness and returning to bondage. 

Repress – your desires for God 

Suppress– your praise and your prayer life stifling your expression of life. 

Depression– he will bring you into a state of depression sapping all spiritual and mental energy. You start to waste your life

Oppression – torment your mind you will have a hard time shaking off ungodly desire

Obsession – control your thoughts continually 

Possession -loose all control of curtain capacity 

Regression is the first sign that the enemy is at work. 
You must fight it aggressively 
1. Filled with the spirit and the word 

Combat the Seducing spirits doctrines of Devils with praise and the word
The word is a sword only in your mouth
2. We must maintain a forward vision

We must live the truth. Speaking lies in hypocrisy Don’t look back- 

Luke 9:62

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.   
3. Reject the culture of the world. 

They Forbid to marry and eat meat. 

We must separate our life from the culture of the world. In America it is hollywood that sets the worlds culture but it is the church that sets the Christian culture. We cannot allow the worldly culture to set the Christian culture. 
By Reaching forward and pressing toward perfection in Christ Jesus. What are you reaching for?

Philippians 3:12-14

12   Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 

13   Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 

14   I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

From Glory to glory

We are the Head not the tail

We lead and have authority 

We are more than conquerors 

Stewards of mysteries 

1 Corinthians 4:1-21   Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2    Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

A steward is someone who has been placed in charge of valuable things.  These valuable assets have increase potential. These assets can also be squandered and wasted. 
When we think stewardship, in the church, we always think about money. After all what churchgoing person hasn’t heard a good message on giving. The apostle Paul speaks of being a steward of mysteries not finances. 

We have been given gifts precious assets from the Lord.  As good stewards we must treat these assets as valuable and carefully consider how we interact and use these assets. 

1. The word of God- This is a mystery to the world. Many people do not realize the power of the living word of God. This word has potential to increase your life. It is effective to your Spirit, your soul, and your body. How have you been handling your responsibility as a steward of the mystery of God’s word?

2. The Holy Spirit- The Spirit is the earnest deposit from God. The Spirit is a mystery to the world but sadly is a mystery to the church attendees as well. It seems that few people have tapped into the increase potential that is found in the Spirit. 

2 Corinthians 1:22. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 

God has deposited his Spirit in us. He desires to increase the quality of our life and those around us by the power of the Holy Spirit. How have you been handling your responsibility as a steward of the mystery of the Holy Spirit?

3. Your life- Your life is a gift from God. The time that you have alive on this earth should be used wisely.  I heard someone say once that the place where you can find the most untapped potential in one place is the graveyard. There lies hundreds of people maybe thousands who have never reached their full potential in life. Your life is a God-given mystery and you are a steward of it. How have you been handling your responsibility?
Every steward of precious assets has three options to consider. 

1. You may release- A good steward only releases asset for a specific purpose. This precious asset has the ability to meet the specific need and accomplish an important task. As a steward of the mysteries of God you have the opportunity to release the Word, The Spirit, and the giving of your life to accomplish a specific purpose.  God’s chosen purpose. 
2.  You may invest- it is possible to invest the word the Holy Spirit and your life into others. I must admit sometimes your investment into people can come great disappointment. But some investments turn out to be tremendous blessings. Don’t be afraid to invest in the people that are around you. 

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  
3.  You may retain increase-it is important to realize that as you are giving and investing these precious mysteries, the Lord God also give back into you in great measure.  We must pray that we have the ability to retain more of the word, more of the Holy Spirit, and more life. Yes it is possible to have more life than what you have right now. God is the giver of life, he wants you to have abundant life. There are testimonies of many people who were ready to die naturally, but by the power of God they were given more life from the Lord.  

Never underestimate the increase potential in the precious assets that you have been given by God. 

Have you handled your responsibility as a steward well?

Opening and closing the spiritual doors

Opening and closing the spiritual doors in your life.

Proverbs 8:34 ESV

Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors

doorway or gate way is a point of entry and exit

There are no one-way doors in the spirit that I know of.

If I were to mention one possible one-way door it would be the lake of fire. I’m not so sure that God just doesn’t set a time to close that door of the lake of fire where no man nor spirit will ever exit again
God can open doors that no man can shut and he can close doors that no man can open.

Doors of salvation
Doors of faith
Access into the doors of God’s promise
Doors into heaven
Doors or gates into hell

Doors to your spirit
Gateway into your mind

Accessible doors to the Holy Ghost into your life

The high place. At the place of a spiritual gate to the heavenlies.

Samuel lived in Rahma and was a frequent visitor of the Highplace
Elijah and the showdown with the prophets of bail and Asherah
1 kings
18

1 Worship
2 prayer
3 sacrifice

Open a door on purpose.

Matthew 7:7 ESV

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

– Jesus is the door to eternal life.

John 10:9 ESV

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:1-42 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” …

-Door to sin and to demonic oppression and destruction.

Genesis 4:7 ESV

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

– Doors opening to personal fellowship with the Lord
Revelation 3:8 ESV

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelation 3:20 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Psalm 24:7 ESV

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

– door opening to heaven.
Revelation 4:1 ESV

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

-your mouth is a Doorway of blessing or cursing
Psalm 141:3 ESV

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

– doorways Of ministry opportunity
1 Corinthians 16:8-9 ESV

But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Face the music

Face The Music

Genesis 3
The fall of man

Genesis 3:7
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Prior to the sin of man in the garden Adam and Eve were not running around in only their birthday suits, they were in perfect fellowship with God and we’re covered by the glory of the Lord. A bright aura of light shown all about them as it does from the Lord. The same brightness that was on Moses’s face. The same brightness that shown from the face of Stephen. The same brightness that was on Jesus. To be covered in the glory of the Lord is to live life without shame.

After the fall in the garden man was very ashamed. The glory of the Lord was removed from them immediately they recognized a difference they were naked and ashamed.

1. Fig leaves represent man’s efforts to cover our shame. Our humanistic efforts. Though our efforts are great often celebrated and noteworthy they are futile and unproductive long term.

Fig leaves. Every person though they may be arrogant, some what conceded, and proud of some of their accomplishments, they recognize they are naked they try to flaunt their fig leaves so no one sees past and realizes how utterly depraved we are.

Depraved not just Deprived
Deprived – desperately lacking basic needs. Destitute and poverty stricken.

Although certain Sinful habits can cause you to be deprived. so

Depraved. – morally corrupt; wicked.
“a depraved indifference to human life”
synonyms: corrupt, perverted, deviant, degenerate, debased, immoral, unprincipled; More

Every person must come to the understanding that without Christ we are morally spiritually and otherwise totally depraved. We must stop masking our spiritual condition with humanistic efforts.

2. We must face the music.

Illustration : story face the music

We may be able to fake and deceive others but we can’t deceive ourselves and we can’t deceive God.

– We must understand that there is nothing good in us except that which has been brought to pass from God. – We must recognize our total reliance on God for success in every area of our life.

3. We must learn to pray, to be prayed up, and to mix prayer with our gift.

In every thing prayer suplication
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Prayer mixed with a gift gets something done

Story:in Japan. According to the old story, there was once a man in the imperial orchestra who couldn’t play a note. Because he was a wealthy person with great influence, he demanded that a place be given him in the group because he wanted to “perform” before the emperor. The old conductor agreed to let him sit in the second row of the orchestra and hold a flute, even though he couldn’t read a dot of music. When a concert would begin, he’d raise his instrument, pucker his lips, and move his fingers. He went through all the motions of playing, but never made a sound. This deception continued for two years.

Then the old conductor died, and a new conductor took over. He told the orchestra that he wanted to audition each player personally. One by one they performed in his presence. Then came the phony flutist’s turn. He was frantic with worry, so he pretended to be sick. However, the doctor who was ordered to examine him declared that he was perfectly well. The new conductor insisted that the man appear and demonstrate his skill. Shamefacedly he had to confess that he was a fake, a hypocrite. He wanted the prestige of being part of the orchestra, but since he never took the time to learn his instrument he was unable to “face the music.”