Can You Spot a Fake?

Did you know that the U.S. Treasury embeds sophisticated security features into currency, such as color-shifting ink, microprinting, and intricate watermarks? The do this to make it impossible for counterfeiters to reproduce authentic bills.

In the same way, God’s Spirit embeds special features into the lives of genuine believers that are impossible for the world to duplicate. Paul addressed the issue of counterfeit believers in Philippians 3:3, “For we are the true circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Here are three marks of authentic believers: Spirit-led service, joyful reliance, confident unconfidence.

Spirit-led Service: The word for worship in this verse has nothing to do with singing or music. It’s the Greek word “to serve” and it refers to something done for God’s sake by the power of the Spirit. Counterfeit Christians use the church as a means to serve themselves (good teaching, engaging music, and free childcare). Genuine believers live a life of service to God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Joyful Reliance: The word “rejoice” here is literally “boast” and conveys the idea of a deep and joyful confidence. It’s like the pride one feels in their country, or the joy in seeing your kids or grandkids succeed. Fake Christians tend to find satisfaction in self-reliance. Genuine Christians find a deep and joyful satisfaction in relying completely on Jesus. This radical Jesus-reliance leads us to the third mark of an authentic Christian.

Confidently unconfident: The third mark of a genuine believer is that they place zero confidence in themselves. Because trust fully in Jesus, they actually feel more confident the less self-confidence they have. Counterfeit Christians are always trying to build their self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-reliance. Genuine believers on the other hand know that they can’t do anything without Jesus, have a healthy distrust of self and a absolute reliance on Christ

Let’s take an honest and careful look at our lives and determine if our faith is the genuine article or just a convincing counterfeit. 
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