Read: Acts 4:13
It is of extreme importance that we know that we are saved tonight. One fellow said, "I know I am saved because I was there when it happened!" If we have been born again, we will definitely know it! Like the little boy who ate too many green apples and got a stomach-ache. When asked how he knew that the apples were green he answered that he had inside information! We need to realize that as Christians, we have inside information concerning our salvation. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of God indwells those who are saved or born again.
But what about others? How can they know that we are Christians? Note: Acts 4:13, "...they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." How can others know that we are Christians? We could wear a lapel pin, T-shirt, hat, or a cross; but that doesn't mean that we are a Christian. What matters is not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside! If we have the Holy Spirit on the inside, He will come out in various ways and the world will know it! The apostles were living their Christian lives daily and the world took notice and perceived that they had been with Jesus. I want to give you just a few ways that the world will know that we are Christians.
I. By Our Attitude Toward Sin.
A. Repentance is important.
1. When we get saved we are to repent of sin in our lives.
2. That means we are to turn away from it and no longer embrace it.
3. Our attitude toward sin will change!
4. Things that we used to do, or that we used to think was acceptable behavior will no longer be considered as acceptable.
B. Compromise is unacceptable for the Christian.
1. Webster's definition: b. something blending the characteristics of two others.
2. That is exactly what happens when a Christian tries to hold on to the world and profess Christ at the same time.
3. The result is a hybrid that doesn't fit with either the world or with the cause of Christ.
4. 1 Jn. 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
5. Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters..." cf Matthew 6:24
6. The greatest of all commandments: note Matthew 22:36-37
C. Note the example in Mark 5:1-20
1. Sin had control of this man, but Jesus cast out the demons and broke the bonds of sin in his life.
2. Note the change in his life that was visible to all. cf v18-20
3. People ought to see a difference in our lives, there needs to be a change in us.
4. The world should be able to see that we have left our sin and that we are walking with the Savior now!
5. What about our attitude toward sin?
II. By The Things That Satisfy Us
A. What satisfies us?
1. Note: Luke 12:16-21
2. In this parable we find a man that has ruled God completely out of his life.
3. He found his satisfaction in his farms, his barns, and his grain.
4. We know that he was unsaved because he was satisfied with material things.
5. What kind of message are sending to the lost world? Are we becoming satisfied with material blessings? What are we teaching our children?
B. Do we seek satisfaction from God?
1. David said, "My soul thirsteth for God" cf. Ps. 42:2
2. For what do we thirst? As long as we are satisfied with the world, satisfied with self, satisfied with sin, we will never have a thirst for God!
3. Jesus said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." cf. Jn. 7:37
4. We came to Christ for salvation, but we must also come to Him for satisfaction.
5. Others will know that we are Christians when we seek satisfaction, not from this world, but from God and God alone!
III. By Our Attitude Toward Others
A. There are three basic philosophies of life and they are displayed in the parable of the good Samaritan. cf. Luke 10:30-37
1. What is thine is mine.
a. This philosophy is portrayed by the thieves.
b. They saw this man as someone who had something that they didn't have, so he was fair game.
c. They took everything that he had and left him for dead.
d. This is the philosophy of this world: get what you want no matter who it may hurt...total selfishness.
e. Some would never rob a person like these men did...but cheat the IRS, steal from the company, or bilk an insurance company that is considered all right in many people's eyes.
2. What is mine is mine.
a. This attitude is portrayed by the priest and the Levite.
b. They had no time for others...they were too busy with their own agendas.
c. Each of them saw the need, but walked away.
d. So many today are blind to the needs of others because of selfishness, greed, and apathy.
e. Many just don't care! What's mine is mine and I will keep it!
3. What is mine is thine.
a. This is the attitude presented by the Samaritan.
b. This is the attitude of Jesus Christ. cf 2 Co. 8:9
c. This was the attitude of God when He gave His only begotten Son to you and I
d. When we see a need what do we do?
e. Which of these attitudes do we display?
B. Note the poem by Charles D. Meigs.
Lord help me live from day to day in such a self-forgetful way, that even when I kneel to pray my prayer shall be for others. Help me in all the work I do to ever be sincere and true; and know that all I do for thee must needs be done for others. Let self be crucified and slain and buried deep and all in vain may efforts be to rise again, unless to live for others. And when my work on earth is done, and my new work in Heaven begun. May I forget the crown I won while thinking still of others. Others, Lord, yes others, let this my motto be, help me to live for others that I may live like Thee.
C. Others will know that we are Christians by our attitude toward other people.
IV. By Our Fruits.
A. Note: Matthew 7:15-21
1. Jesus told His disciples to beware of false prophets.
2. And He told them how to identify them: by their fruits.
3. That also works with us!
4. What kind of fruit are we bearing in our lives?
B. Christian means Christ-like.
1. If we are filled with the Spirit of God, then the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives.
2. Paul makes the comparison of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:19-23.
3. If you want to know what a Christian ought to be like, just ask a lost person.
4. We are chosen to bear the image of Christ to the lost and dying world.
5. What kind of fruit is being produced in our lives?
Conclusion: Some would say that it doesn't matter what others think of us. It matters that we represent Christ faithfully here in this life. Consider tonight: How is our attitude toward sin? Where do we seek satisfaction? What is our attitude toward others? What kind of fruit are we bearing? Do others know that we are Christians?