Over the last several years, there has been a growing call in the Body of Christ for authenticity or genuineness among its people, particularly its leaders. This is a good thing; we should be real and genuine in our walk with God. Phonies really have no place in the Kingdom of God. It’s a sad thing to see the number of ministers who have fallen because of a secret life they are living. And of course, there are many we don’t hear about because they’re not as famous. These were people who have the outward display of godliness, but lack an inward conviction about godliness.

Now of course there are many Christians who do have a genuine desire to please God in their lives – they are the real deal. As we all know, this is not as easy as it sounds. As Paul says in Galatians 5:17, this creates some internal battles between the flesh and the spirit. Sometimes this raises a question in their minds about “authenticity.” Is our obedience to God really coming from our heart or is it simply self-imposed discipline? And if you make yourself do something because you know it’s right, even if you don’t really want to, are you being hypocritical?

This problem is big enough just dealing with our own lives. But it only gets more complicated when we look at other’s lives - what do we expect from one another when it comes to living the “Christian Life?” This creates a very real tension, both within ourselves and in some of our relationships.

So what can we do to help resolve this tension? Where do we look for answers? As Christians, we look to the Bible for truth. It is God’s instruction manual for life, and so it should help us in figuring this all out.  If we can find out in Scripture what a genuine Christian is, we should be able to apply that truth to our individual lives.

One of the great truths we read about in the New Testament is that as believers, we are “in Christ” (ex. 2Cor 5:21, Rom 8:1, Gal 3:28). This phrase shows up dozens of times throughout Scripture and explains a lot about our identity, our benefits and our responsibilities as the family of God.

When we find out who we are in Christ according to Scripture, we will get a clear picture of what a genuine Christian is. Based in this, we should be able to work out the tension between who we really are and how we live our lives.

 

Consider:

Have I ever felt like a hypocrite because I did something I didn’t really believe in?

Do I believe that the Bible can help me sort this tension out?