Christianity has gone abuzz with trending the word “authentic.” I have literally viewed over a couple dozen websites of churches that list “authenticity” as a core value for their community. And none of them, no not one, has from where their authenticity is derived. Common phrases in these descriptions were “seeking or learning to love people honestly,” “practicing random acts of kindness with sincerity,” “living before God honestly,” “being real in community.” While these phrases are great, missing in all the definitions I read is the unanswered question: Who or what authenticates believer’s authenticity?
To be authentic-one must be authenticated!
It is impossible for anyone to authenticate himself or herself, unless one believes in the New Age/Eastern concept of self-actualization, which never truly actualizes-rather only modifies behaviors and attitudes-exhausting! No. One cannot possibly authenticate self. Only God can truly authenticate a person. Only God can remove the seal of death and raise a person to new life authentically. So how then does God authentically authenticate a person?
First of all, let’s be clear. No one person owns their own authenticity. Believers are made alive in Christ and therefore we are in Christ. The beginning and the ending of a believer’s authenticity is that we live, move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28).
Furthermore, not only are we purchased through the blood of Christ via the death of Christ, confirmed through His resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of the Father where he now makes intercession for you and me (Hebrews 7:25), but believers are also authentically sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
To be authentic is to know and believe that your authenticity has nothing to do with you. No believer (or anyone for that matter!) can become authentic by practicing certain behaviors or disciplines. No, authenticity is to be in Christ, to live as Christ, to love as Christ, and to share our lives with others as Christ (Galatians 5:16-26; 2 Peter 1:1-11).
The expression of one truly being authentic is to live a life that is legibly clear in a corrupt world. In other words, do others see Christ in your clearly (2 Corinthians 3:2)? Are you ready for your own authenticity check?
- Does Christ consume your thoughts?
- Do you seek every opportunity to make Him known? In your work place? Classroom? Home? Neighborhood?
- Do you spend daily intimate time with God joyfully?
- Are you embedded in Christian community-more than seeing Sunday morning as your community?
- Do you see life’s challenges as opportunities to glorify the Father?
- Are you engaged in your own spiritual formation/discipleship responsibly and actively?
- Is there evidence of fruit of the Spirit in your life (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)-Galatians 5:22-23)?
God is passionate about and for you. Are you passionate about and for Him?
Photo Copyright/Ali Gokhan