Are You A Good Christian?
I am going to be doing a series over the next several
weeks talking about being a good Christian. On Easter Sunday, which
is 3 weeks from today, I will take a break from this series and
do a special sermon on Easter.
The first and most important thing each person must
do to become a good Christian is accept Jesus into your heart and
life. You can not be a Christian - good or bad without Jesus. The
first question we must all answer is -- Are you saved?
Romans 10:9-10 explains how we are saved.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised
him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 tells us who can be saved.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved. Next question is-- Have you been baptized?
Acts 2:38 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Now do not misunderstand this verse and say that
a person must be baptized to be saved. It is not saying baptism
saves a person. Baptism is an act of obedience to what Jesus told
us to do after we are saved. Notice the verse says first to repent.
That means we need to accept Jesus into our hearts and lives and
ask him to forgive our sins, then we are to be baptized to show
others that we have accepted Jesus and we want to live for him.
Two different examples to show the difference about
- Person gets baptized then dies. Does this person go to heaven?
No, because this person never asked Jesus to forgive his sins
and come into his heart and life.
- Person accepts Jesus then dies before he is able to be baptized.
Does this person go to heaven? Yes, because he accepted Jesus
and asked him to come into his heart and forgive his sins.
Baptism alone does not save a person, first and most
important we must ask Jesus to forgive our sins and come live in
our hearts and lives, then to show that we are obeying Jesus we
should get baptized.
With today's sermon we will be learning about 2 more
things we are commanded to do after we are saved. Remember last
week we talked about the first thing we are to do after we are saved
is to obey God in believers baptism.
The next two things we are commanded to do is:
- Join a local Church of like believers and attend the services
faithfully. We find this in Hebrews 10:25
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much
the more, as ye see the day approaching. What this verse means
is that we are to come together for worship and to encourage (lift
up) one another. We are given a command here on what we are to,
and it takes a commitment (promise) on our part to do it.
- We are to give our time and money for the work of God. We find
this in 4 different verses; First one is: II Cor. 9:6-7 6 But
this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. The
picture here is the same as when you are planting seeds. You plant
few seeds, then you will only get small harvest. But if you plant
many seeds, then you will get large harvest. 7 Every man according
as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly,
or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Notice what
the last 5 words in this verse says, God loveth a cheerful giver.
God does not want us to give with a bad attitude or upset, but
God loves to see us give cheerful (happy).
Next verse is: I Cor. 16:2
I Cor. 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every
one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that
there be no gatherings when I come. Here we are told when we are
to bring our tithes and offerings to support the work of the church.
Next verse is: Luke 6:38
Luke 6:3838 Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,
shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye
mete withal it shall be measured to you again. We can't give more
to God than he will give to us. Remember God owns everything.
Final verse is: II Tim. 2:15
II Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word
of truth. Now you might be wondering what this verse has to do with
giving your time to God. When you are following what this verse
is talking about, which is studying God's word, you have to set
aside time to do that. Which means you are giving your time to God
to study his word.
As we continue learning what it means to be a good
Christian, we will be finding two more things we should be doing
everyday. First I want to remind each one that the most important
thing we must do in our life is to accept Jesus as Saviour. Second
we are to get baptized. Last week we learned that we are to join
a local church of believers and attend the services faithful and
give our time and money to support the local church.
Today I have two questions for each of you:
First question is: Do you read your Bible everyday?
We find in II Timothy 3:15-17
II Timothy 3:15-15 And that from a child thou hast
known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching right from wrong),
for reproof (conviction of sin), for correction (changing life),
for instruction (teaching) in righteousness:
II Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect,
thoroughly (completely) furnished unto all good works. These verses
are telling us about the importance of reading God's Word everyday
and what it can do for each person.
Then in II Timothy 2:15
II Timothy 3:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto
God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing
the word of truth. This verse talks about studying God's word so
that we can know the difference between right and wrong.
Second question is: Do you pray everyday?
I Thess. 5:17
I Thess. 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
This is a short verse, but has a big command from
God. We are never to stop praying. Does not matter what we are doing
in our everyday lives, we need to be praying all the time.
Paul in writing to the church at Thessalonica give
two examples of himself praying for the people there.
I Thess. 1:2-3
I Thess 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you
all, making mention of you in our prayers;
I Thess 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work
of faith, and labour (work) of love, and patience of hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
I Thess. 2:13
I Thess. 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard
of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth,
the word of God, which effectually (continue) worketh also in you
that believe. Paul is telling the church there that they received
the word that he (Paul) had preached and knew it was the truth from
God and was thankful to God for their belief. When we accept God's
word and allow it to work in us, God's word will show us how we
are to live everyday.
Then Jesus himself gives us the perfect example on
prayer in Matthew 6:9-13
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and
the glory, for ever. Amen.
Notice here we are to first honor and respect God,
second ask for our daily needs, and third ask for God to lead and
protect us. So we always are to start and end our prayer focus on
As we continue learning what it means to be a good
Christian, we are going to change our thinking a little bit. If
you remember we have been learning what we are supposed to do after
we are saved,
- get baptized,
- join a local body of believers (church) and attend the services
- support the local church by giving our time and money,
- read our Bible daily, and
- pray without ceasing (stopping).
Today we are going to learn what our actions show
to the world. Again two questions; First question: Do you practice
worldly, sinful habits? Another way to ask this question is: Do
you still follow what the world does?
We find in I Cor. 6:19-20 that we are to use our
bodies to please God.
I Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the
temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?
I Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore
glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. We
should not copy what the world does, for example: get drunk, over
eat, smoke, or anything else that would harm our bodies. Notice
it says in these verses that we do not belong to ourselves, but
we belong to God.
Also in Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself,
and no man dieth to himself. Second question; What do other people
have to say about your life? Another way; Can others see Jesus in
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which
is in heaven. We need to show the world by our actions, what we
do everyday lives that we are different.
We are not better than the world, we are only different
because of who we have in us. We need to show the world God's love
and mercy and tell them that we are the same except for God's grace
and they can have what we have if they want what we have. The only
way they will see a difference between them and us is if we start
acting like Jesus, and not copying the world. Our actions need to
match our words.
We are good at saying that we are Christians, but
are our actions proving what we are saying. I read a story about
another country that does not believe in God, and the soldiers went
to a Church where some Christians had a meeting and stood at the
door and told everyone to leave.
As they were leaving the soldiers gave the people
a choice, deny Christ and live or if the people refused to deny
Christ then they would be killed. One by one the people started
to leave and the first three men denied Christ, but then a little
girl said she would never deny Christ and one of the soldiers was
so amazed by the girl that he let her go free and commanded that
the men be killed. We need to never be afraid to tell with words
and show by our actions that we are Christians.
Jesus tells us in Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be
ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of
the holy angels.
As we finish we need to remember that we first need
to be saved, then we need to be baptized. After these two things
we are commanded to join a local church and support it with our
time and money, we are also to read the Bible everyday and pray
always. Once again I have two questions for you.
First: Are you practicing Christian living in your
daily lives? One of the ways we can do this is by reading God's
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart
out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written
therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous (improve),
and then thou shalt have good success.
This verse tells us we are to meditate (think) on
the word day and night. When we are in God's word daily He will
show us how we are to live for Him. When we obey and do what His
word tells us He will make us a good success and prosper (improve).
Some people think of success and prosper as having lots of money.
That could be part of it, but we need to be careful in our attitude.
We must have a humble attitude when we are obeying God and not be
thinking, ok God I am doing everything that you told me to do in
your word, so now you have to make me a success and give me lots
of money. That is wrong attitude to have.
Second: Would you be ashamed to meet the Lord today?
I John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him;
that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed
before him at his coming.
If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing,
and doing it with the right attitude, we should not be ashamed to
meet the Lord.
One of the things we are to be doing is found in
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world. Amen.
We are to go out and teach (same as witness) everyone
we meet. What are we to teach the people?
We are to teach them about the gospel, which is Jesus
birth, death, burial, and resurrection. We are to tell them that
Jesus is the only way to heaven. John 14:6-7