Genuine Christianity

October 26, 2013

Genuine Christianity

            “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”  (Matthew 5:16).

Genuine Christianity manifests itself in the shopping mall, in the work place, in the school, in the neighborhood; wherever genuine Christians are found.  It is something we live, no matter what happens or where we happen to be.  It is a matter of living out our Lord’s command in Matthew 5:16.

It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to live the Christian life if we attempt to do it solely by self-discipline.  Perhaps some succeed in living some semblance of it for a few weeks.  Many unbelievers decline to accept the invitation to become a child of God because they know they don’t have what it would take to live the Christian life.  What they don’t understand is that genuine Christianity is something that is produced by the power of God in the life of the believer that is surrendered to the will of God.  None of us have within ourselves what it takes to live the Christian life.

Living the Christian life doesn’t mean to have bizarre behavior that puts us on the lunatic fringe.  It is just doing what is right, loving, decent, and proper.  It should serve to put us in good standing with those around us.  Even though the life style of others may be different from ours, many will respect us for our honesty and purity.  There are always those who despise us because we put them to shame.  Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean we are doing wrong.

Genuine Christian living results from our being in Christ.  Several places in the New Testament we read that the genuine Christian is “in Christ.” II Corinthians 5:17 gives us one of the results of being in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” It is a process that begins the moment we become a child of God and it continues until we go to heaven.

If Christians discipline themselves to spend time with God every day they can become more like Christ.  John chapter fifteen speaks of our relationship with Christ. Abiding in Christ means to spend time with him. It says in verses 2-3 that those who abide in him need to be cleansed. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” This is saying that the things that aren’t pleasing to God need to be eliminated.  Then in verse 5 it says he will be fruitful.  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Some of the things that are included in fruitfulness are listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,   Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”   If we spend time with ,  the Holy Spirit produces this fruit in us.  It will just naturally be a part of our lives.

Genuine Christians find that God gives them special strength to help them in times of adversity.  Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” A similar promise is found in II Corinthians 9:8.  “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” The word “grace” means unmerited favor.

It’s not a sin to wear a cross on a chain around your neck, but it doesn’t indicate that you are a genuine Christian.  Genuine Christianity manifests itself by the manner of life one lives.  Many profess to be Christians, but they don’t manifest it by their life.  If you are a genuine Christian, walking in obedience to Christ, it will be manifest by your life.

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