The “Real” Thing?

There was one word in Bro. Rufus’ sermon last Sunday that really got my attention. Authentic. Did you hear it? He was talking about “authentic” believers.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines authentic as “real or genuine, not copied or false, true and accurate.”

I began to ask myself if my faith was authentic. My knee jerk reaction was that, sure, it is authentic. But is it? Then I started to think of what the opposite would be. Counterfeit.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines counterfeit as “made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive.”

That really hit me. I know for the first part of my life, I was a Counterfeit Christian. I played the game, looked the part, and said all of the right things. But I was as lost as last year’s Easter egg and just as rotten on the inside. I remember coming to terms with my sin and that I desperately needed Jesus as an adult. Almost halfway through my life, I began my journey with Christ. Spiritual growth delayed because I willingly lived the lie that Satan weaves.

Following is a paragraph from the book “Follow Me” by David Platt: “Spiritual deception is dangerous—and damning. Any one of us can fool ourselves. We are sinful creatures, biased in our own favor, prone to assume that we are something when we are not. The Bible says that the god of this world (Satan) is blinding the minds of unbelievers to keep them from knowing Christ. Couldn’t it be that one of the ways the devil is doing this is by deceiving people into believing they are Christians when they are not?”

Surveys say that 80% of Americans call themselves Christians. If we can put aside the judgmental reaction, that number is just hard to believe. Wouldn’t our country, state, community and church be different? If 80% were “authentic” believers wouldn’t the world be different?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25.

To be authentic we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow. We must be disciples. Our eternity depends on it, so does our families and those to whom we come in contact. My prayer is that we, the men of RAMP, would be authentic in our faith. If we are authentic, with all of our scars and weaknesses, He is faithful and strong.

“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Always running to the cross,

Hugh

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