Authentic is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. You have authentic clothes, shoes, bags, drinks, coffee, stores, etc. It seems everything and everyone wants to be authentic.
But have you ever thought about what it actually means to be authentic and why it matters that we are authentic disciples?
When you look authentic up in the dictionary, you’ll find that one of the definitions is genuine. Genuine is how I’m using authentic in this post. As Jesus’ disciples, we are to be genuine.
Disciples gather together in authentic community
How we know we are a part of an authentic community?
Acts 2:42 helps us understand what it means to be disciples who live in a genuine community.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”(Acts 2:42)
Authentic disciples don’t have ulterior motives.
As we look at this verse, we learn authentic community occurs when we are genuinely sharing our lives with one another, so that we are all growing in Christ. Authentic people genuinely care about the lives of those around them. They genuinely want to see others built up in the faith. They genuinely want to use their God-given gifts to minister to one another.
Authentic disciples gather together in a transformative learning community because it is the best place for them and others to grow to be more like Christ.Tweet
Authentic disciples care about transformation, not comfort
Those who are authentic don’t hold back with one another. They press into difficult situations and conversations because they actually care about transformation, not just what another can do for them.
If you catch yourself saying or thinking, “I know I should talk with that person about what’s going on in their life, but I am not going to do it because it might hinder our relationship or they might react in a negative way.” If that is your mentality, your relationship is not authentic. You are in it for what you can get out of it.
Authentic disciples share their lives with others
Authentic disciples are not only willing to speak the truth in love, but they are also willing to share their life with those in whom they are in community. When someone asks how they are doing, authentic disciples share how they are really doing. When someone asks how they can pray for them, authentic disciples share how others can really pray for them.
It is because we value their opinion over our spiritual growth. But here is the thing, we ought to be able to share our struggles with one another because their acceptance of us shouldn’t ultimately matter.
Authentic disciples are gospel-centered
As Christians, we have the greatest acceptance we could ever want — that is the acceptance of Jesus. His acceptance is not conditional. It is not based on our appearance of having everything put together. Jesus knows we don’t have everything put together. Jesus knows our social media profile is not representative of actual life.
Let’s just be real for a minute. We are all messed up, jacked up people. None of us really have it all together. To think you are the only one who is struggling with something is a lie from Satan. We are all struggling with something, which means we all need prayer. If that is true, we can and should ask others to pray for us in our time of need.
Transformation doesn’t happen without teaching, it doesn’t happen without counsel, it doesn’t happen without prayer. Transformation doesn’t happen if we aren’t authentic with one another.Tweet
Being authentic leads to interdependent relationships. We will talk about interdependent relationships next time. If you haven’t already, subscribe so you don’t miss the next element of a Christian community that contributes to growth in Christlikeness.
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2 thoughts on “What is the best place for us to grow as disciples? – Part 3”
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1 Cor 13:11.(NLT).
What was the sign that he had grown up?
“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet ‘I will show you the most excellent way’. 1 Cor 12:31.
His ability to discern the ‘more excellent way’ is proof that he had grown up.
How did he come by this ability?
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”. Hebrews 5:13-14.
There is nothing wrong with milk but that’s all the baby receives. Solid food is not given to make a person mature but is given because he is mature enough to receive it.
What are the spiritual senses?
“For we walk by faith and not by sight”. 2 Cor 5:7.
So anytime he works his faith he is exercising his spiritual senses.
How does he work his faith and exercise his spiritual senses?
“For [if we are] in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but only faith activated and expressed and working through love”. Galatians 5:6(AMP).
Through good works or works of love .
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God”.Phil 1:9-11.
What is the prescribed order of growing to being eligible for strong meat?
1. Feed on milk to build your faith.
2. Work your faith through good works or works of love, till you are filled with the fruits of righteousness.
3. Become skilled in the word of righteousness by being filled with the fruits of righteousness.
4. Become able to discern the more excellent way by being skilled in the word of righteousness.
5. Become eligible for strong meat.
What does it mean to be skilled in the word of righteousness, which is a result of being filled with the fruits of righteousness?
“And now, little children abide in Him, that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at his coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practises righteousness is born of Him”. 1 John 2:28-29.
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him”. 1 john 3:18-19.
Skill comes though practise. He has worked his faith by practising righteousness through good works, so he has become too familiar with the ‘knowing’ that he is righteous and has therefore been initiated into the ‘Confidence of Sonship’
So therefore, having met these requirements, he makes himself able to receive strong meat.
What is this strong meat? For truly when the heir is mature he longs for it.
“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God”.
Strong meat is the right of the heir, the promises of God, our inheritance in Christ.
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