First Baptist Church Highland City | Evidence of a Genuine Witness

Evidence of a Genuine Witness

March 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Acts: Send Me
Evidence of a Genuine Witness

Scripture Text: Acts 4:32-5:11


Introduction:


Matthew 7:15-23
Jesus was very clear that everyone who claims to be His is not genuine in their desire to follow
Him. He referred to some as wolves in sheep's clothing because of the danger that they pose,
and said that we would know the difference by their fruit. In other words there is evidence in the
life of a genuine believer, and there is also evidence in the life of someone who is not a true
believer. Today we'll look at the difference between them, and talk about what to do about that
difference.

I. Genuine Witnesses – verses 4:32-37
We begin with another snapshot of life in the early church. Similar to chp 2 we see that they had
a love for God and each other that drove them to take care of each other.

We're also introduced to someone who used as an illustration of a genuine believer, and will
have a major role in the church in the days to come.

Barnabas - Introduced Paul to the Apostles, went on first mission trip with Paul, split with Paul
over John Mark and then had his own significant ministry.

Unity - one in heart and mind. It doesn't mean that everyone thinks the same, but that everyone
looks out for each other. Philippians 2

Generosity - genuine love for God produces love for others, and we can't love others without
being willing to meet physical needs. Generosity should be a way of life for believers. It flows
out of understanding that everything we have comes from God, and that all people have value.

These believers saw needs, sold things to meet the needs, and trusted the Apostles with the
oversight of this ministry.

Testimony - the testimony about Christ was at the center of all of this. They weren't just working
to meet needs, or to cause social reform, they were proclaiming Christ. Genuine believers will
always point to Jesus. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

II. Questionable Witnesses – verses 5:1-11
By contrast we are introduced to a couple who is on the opposite end of the spectrum. What we
see in them is the fruit of hearts that are not fully committed to Jesus.

Selfishness - this is always the fruit of an unrepentant heart. The core of our sin nature is to look
out for self first. That cannot change unless the hear is changed.

Deceit - Peter points out that what they are guilty of is trying to lie to the Holy Spirit. Deceit is a
fruit of sin because we will be driven to lie in order to cover up what we have done.

Ruin - sin always ends in destruction. God warned us from the beginning that our rebellion
would lead to death. It brings death to our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and so God will
not just let it go.

And we have to be discerning (2 Timothy 3)

III. What makes the difference? – verses Matthew 7:24-29
Real transformation can only come from faith in Christ. If we're not careful we can fall into the
trap of promoting behavior modification. Simply changing someone's actions will not address
the real issue.

It's the heart that needs to be rebuilt, and only Jesus can do that. It's faith in Him that changes the
heart and produces the kind of fruit that genuine believers are known for.

CONCLUSION:

  • Start by looking at your own heart. Does your heart produce the fruit that comes from faith in Jesus?
  • Be discerning but not condemning
  • Be a witness

 


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