A. Mere externalism (excessive concern about outward appearances) is of no avail. Any ceremonial requirement for salvation is a defilement of the truth
II. THE SINGLE BEST DEFINITION OF A CHRISTIAN
A. Philippians 3:3 “Worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.”
B. The outward mark done by surgery vs. the inward cleansing performed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
III. The duty of the Pastor/Elder/Teacher is to affirm to you the clear marks of a true believer. Charles e. Whisnant. Rivers of Joy Baptist Church. 10-10-10
A. Always bringing up the question: “Do you believe that person is a Christian?”
IV. In 1661 Matthew Mead wrote a book: “The Almost Christian Discovered.”
A. To address a very significant problem.
1. Many people claimed to be saved and weren’t.
2. Where the Gospel is presented, often it’s followed with instructions as how to tell a true response to the Gospel from a false deceived one.
B. HOW FAR CAN A PERSON GO AND STILL NOT BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN?
1. Have much knowledge of Christ and yet be almost a Christian
2. Have a great gift and yet be almost a Christian
3. Have a high profession of religion and yet. . . .
4. May go far in opposing his sin and yet….
5. May hate sin and yet be almost. . . . .
6. Make great vows and promises and resolutions and yet . . .
7. Maintain a striving and a combat against sin and yet . . . .
8. Have great hope of heaven and yet . . . .
9. Very zealous to matters of religion and yet be almost . . . . . .
10. Be much in prayer
11. May even suffer for Christ’s sake
12. May outwardly obey the commandments
13. May perform external worship
14. May be a member of a church
15. May be under visible change, alter life
C. Reverse the list you would think you were describing a Christian.
V. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN?
A. What it does not take to be a true Christian
1. Outward profession and outward good
VI. What are the marks then of one who has been truly saved.
A. Worships God in (by) the Spirit is the first mark of a true believer.
1. Worship is supernatural, not natural. Worship is generated by the Spirit of God, not by selfish desires or rituals. Worship is removed from the flesh and is in the Spirit. Worship is beyond the external things.
2. Worship that is false: Pressured by the culture, by tradition, guilt, fear, desire to be popular, go through the motions
3. Believers deeply understand that to glorify God is the truest mark of his desires.
4. Jesus explains to the Samaritan woman in John 4:19-24.
a) Worship is not in a place; worship is not where you are.
b) Worship is not accomplished by means which you have developed
c) Worship is a way of life, worship is a life in total, a lifestyle
d) Worship is in spirit, in heart, in life. Romans 8:8-9, 12:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17
5. Worship God in the spirit from the inside, and by the knowledge of the Word of God
6. Definition of worship: to serve, to render religious service. “Service” Romans 12:1 “To render respectful spiritual service.”
a) Worship is more than: saying things that praise God; singing things that praise God; thinking things that do. Yes, it is; but more that…..
b) Worship comes down finally to how you live: In the church, but also at home.
B. Do I worship God? How do I look at my heart and know I am a worshipper of God?
1. The Heart of Worship: Loves God and Loves Christ; Desire for closeness, tenderness, fondness; Expressed in attitude and behavior and talk.
2. There will be a splendid, overwhelmed pleasure in God and delight in Christ. Jeremiah 9:23-24, I Corinthians 2:2, Galatians 6:14
3. There will be assurance and relying on Christ, A peace about the future.
a) As a result of this kind of worship
(1) Devotion: When the conversation turns to Christ, the heart pounds with overwhelming joy.