An Authentic Christian is probably best summarized in the Beatitudes. What it means to be a Christian encompasses at least all of what Matt 5:1-14 speaks of.
My mate Rob drew attention to the following two points:
And ideally it is the God – Man Jesus who best exemplifies these attributes – he is the perfect Authentic Christian ( man ).
And when we say perfect we don’t mean holy as a moral attribute but wholly as set apart for a purpose and being that! That is, perfect means doing what it was created for!
Now part of that coming to grips with being a Christian is to take notice of the rebuke of God where that occurs, not shirking it off and quickly turning to the more sating passages of God loving us and dying for us and other favorite themes.
Some today think it is harsh when a preacher points out the ramifications of a passage that speaks rebuke.
It’s like some prefer to think “Well God is just all on about encouragement, there’s no place for pointing out in detail or applying it in particular way because that is rattles my comfortableness and complacency. “ We think to ourselves “ I quite like going to church once a week and worshipping there” – and here I am being very generous with myself about the once a week bit. Sadly it is so easy to make God up in my own imagination – a personal God who is comfortable and doesn’t expect too much of me.
Yet what am I to make of all those passages that begin in Genesis that point out that God is unhappy with our ( mankind’s] behavior and holds us to account – Israel’s history is full of the consequences of ignoring God. It brings about the judgment he has already warned about.
In Christ, again it is true that we are graciously saved, and that not by our own works, but we need to hear again that after salvation He calls us to obedience. Not that obedience saves us, but rather an obedience that pleases Him. He wants for us to be made in the likeness of Christ, the perfectly obedient man! The second Adam as Paul would say.
And this is also for our benefit. To be in God’s place is to be in the right and best place even if we don’t want to acknowledge that or it disheartens us that there is a continual struggle against the flesh the world and the devil.
It is so easy to gripe against a preacher who points out our failure to obey Hebrews 10:25 “let us not forsake the meeting together.. as some do.” You see the “let us” is not a suggestion, it’s a command. And it warns us that in actuality, some are in fact doing this, that is what the text, God’s Word, says!
But if we gripe about that what about when the preacher preaches on Revelation 2-3? Has the preacher just lightly skipped over what is said in the letters to the 7 churches and merely read out the verses? Or has he failed to clearly apply it or have we become so hardened that we gloss over what he has said and the Word of God itself says? What are we to make of the warning that we are neither hot nor cold and He will spew them out of his mouth? Is that just them or is it possible some of us are in the same boat? After all why is it there in Scripture, God’s letter to us, anyway? Is it just padding and something that is intended to tickle our ears and make us point the finger at others? God forbid.
The Great Commission doesn’t say go out and make converts - after all, that is what God does, rather it says make disciples and they are people who follow Christ and do as he says. After all the verse actually says “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded”.
O that I would be sanctified in Obedience to You O Lord.