Becoming a Convincing Christian
Ephesians 4:24: put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Purpose: to speak the truth in love, to become a godly person, to live distinctly different from the culture.
1. What does it take to convince someone to become a Christian?
# Kevin became a Christian after watching his Christian girlfriend and her parents for two years.
# E. Stanley Jones relates that Mahatma Gandhi lived for a year with a Wesleyan couple whose lives showed no joy. He decided not to become a Christian.
# Terry accepted Jesus because John, his manager, took a personal interest in him while living a consistent Christian life.
2. What are people who are thinking about a life with Christ looking for among Christian witnesses?
3. How does God advise us to live so as to be convincing?
I. Grow in knowledge and stability (14)
A. A Christian knows doctrine
# “We don’t believe in doctrine,” some say. My response, “That is quite a doctrinal statement.”
1. To know what we believe is important.
2. In an age when what you feel gets catered to, the Christian chooses a higher more stable path.
3. We believe there is absolute truth.
4. We know truth does not change even when times do.
B. A Christian grows in Christ (15)
1. If Christians acquired information and cited certain creeds, Christianity would be merely cerebral and cold.
2. Christians increase in intimacy with Christ, a person.
3. Christians allow Christ to be the governing love of their lives.
4. God who is good, loving, just, kind calls us to be like Him.
5. Christians can live out a convincing portrait of God.
C. A Christian distinguishes himself/herself from the culture (17)
1. Our culture has become futile in their thinking.
a. They have come to accept relativism.
# Questions of wrong and right are answered with, “It depends upon the individual,” or “it depends upon the situation.”
b. Our culture denies transcendent truth and refuses to embrace absolutes.
c. Even Christians have come to think, “There are lots of ways to God.”
d. Embracing pluralism has lessened the need to evangelize.
2. Futile thinking has led to hard hearts (18).
a. Insensitivity leads to sensuality.
b. Sensuality leads to insatiability “a continual lust for more” (19).
3. A Christian knows Christ not from feelings but by the truth found in Jesus (21).
II. Become active as the church (16)
A. We, the church, are held together by Christ.
1. We are not a human organization alone.
2. We function under divine Lordship.
B. We, the church, grow and build in love
1. Love binds us together
2. Love propels us to grow
C. We, the church, each function along the lines of our assigned work.
1. Our work is to love each other
2. We are to build up one another
III. Put on the new self (24)
A. Put off the old self (22)
1. The old self follows desires rather than principles.
2. Physical drives and psychological needs cry out for fulfillment.
3. Desires deceive and they corrupt.
B. Put on holy living (24)
1. The new self begins with our attitudes.
2. The set of our minds decides our behavior.
3. When our motivation is to be God-like, we become a new self.
4. We were created for righteousness.
1. Our task in the world is to speak the truth.
2. We are to speak the truth in love (15)
3. This, then, is how we become convincing Christians.