by Dr. Dale Yerton
Authentic Christianity: A Faith We Can Trust
Smart people are asking, “What makes your faith different from any other?” The Bible opens with these words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) These words require faith. It tells us that there is a God but it doesn’t tell us anything about that God. In the New Testament, John opens his gospel with similar words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) The Word is an intelligent thought expressed. God is a genius, first He plans His work, and then He works His plan. John continues in verse 14 by saying, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Jesus came and revealed God to us. This is the same creator God we read about in Genesis 1:1. Jesus came and revealed to us the glory of God. “For it is the God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6) Through Jesus Christ, we begin to understand what the invisible God is like. John tells us the main purpose of his gospel is “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31) And so, John continues his story in his letter to the churches, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the Word of life.” (I John 1:1) John tells us the purpose of his letter to the churches is so “you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:13) This is an authentic Christianity.
1. A Faith They Can SeeThe first step toward an authentic Christianity is seeing the difference in the believer’s life. We must go to them just like Jesus did. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace.” (Romans 10:15) What makes feet beautiful? It is the message they are carrying. The world is watching to see the word made flesh. “ Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth, And by this, we shall know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” (I John 3:18-19)
2. A Faith They Can Feel“Our hands have handled concerning the Word of life.” Authentic Christianity is a faith that can be felt. Faith is more than a feeling, but it must be felt to be real. Things that are without feeling are dead. They are mechanical. People are waiting for someone to touch them in the same way in which Jesus touched His disciples.
3. A Faith That Changes LivesThe Word must become flesh just as it did in Jesus. People are looking for things that make a difference in their everyday lives. They don’t just want to pray, they want to see answers to their prayers. They want to find safe places in which to raise their families. They are looking for a faith that improves the quality of their everyday lives. Many years ago, it was my privilege to help dedicate the first Kurdish Church in the country of Armenia. The Kurdish people were known as devil worshippers and their culture was filled with witchcraft. This first Kurdish Church was pastored by a wonderful brother named “Boris.” Among the honored guests at the dedication was a gentleman from the Parliament government of Armenia in Yerevan, and I remember distinctly his remarks at the dedication. He said, “My friends in Parliament are asking me, ‘What is so important about a Kurdish Church?’ and I have told them. ‘Look at this Pastor Boris. He is the type of man any of you would be proud to call his son. You know the reputation of the Kurdish people, how they are known for their drinking, their fighting, and immorality. But look at this man. He is always helping someone, he feeds poor people, he is educating his village, he even uses his car as an ambulance to transport people to the hospital.’ He continued, ‘This is what makes the dedication of a Kurdish Church important. Look at the difference it has made in this man’s life.’”
Authentic Christianity is finding some heaven to go to heaven in. A Transformed Life is the Greatest Miracle.
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