Mark Affleck


May 23, 2021
Spiritual Growth

SPIRITUALLY AUTHENTIC Christians are “walking letters from God” (2 Corinthians 3:1-5) exhibiting a transformed life that CANNOT be explained by anything else but God’s hand. They are infused with boundless joy. Held up by hope. Freed from shame. Rescued from darkness. Protected from fear. Powered with purpose.
Many Christians try—without success–to manufacture this kind of spiritually-authentic TRANSFORMATION. But at some point, that artificial attempt is exposed as a flawed construct that cannot stand up to the tension life puts on its form.
People try this “manufacture maneuver”—to find the spiritual authenticity that transforms–because we are all born with a hypocrisy gene. That’s why many Christians think giving their life to Jesus will, by itself and automatically, produce spiritual authenticity that TRANSFORMS. Nope.
If we are brave enough to inspect our hypocrisy, we will see that “just” becoming a Christian does not produce authenticity that TRANSFORMS a life. It is how we LIVE as a Christian that determines our level of authenticity and the degree that authenticity transforms us. It is how much we surrender our actions to, and obey, Christ. It is how quickly we shut down our self-propelled plans to create an “authenticity suit” we can wear in public.
The Apostle Paul starts moving us toward SPIRITUALLY-AUTHENTIC TRANSFORMATION with this question:
“And who is equal to such a task?” 2 Corinthians 2:16
Who, indeed, is equal to such a task–day-in and day-out–that is steadfastly consistent to emulate Christ? To be full of hope in all circumstances? To get up with God’s help when the world knocks them down? To be a positive influence on those they encounter?
Thankfully, Paul answers the question for us: “Such confidence we have through Christ before God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4
Clear like Sierra stream sending its liquid snow downstream over velvet rocks—the believer who is up to the challenge of living a spiritually authentic life is person who will receive the needed confidence and sufficiency through CHRIST.
Paul drives home that point by asking us to flip the coin over: “Not that we are competent or sufficient in ourselves! No, our sufficiency comes from God alone.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
So there it is in bold, screaming letters—NOTHING comes from us and EVERYTHING comes from God.
I ask God to help me live out the kind of spiritual authenticity that TRANSFORMS.
Is your SPIRITUAL AUTHENTICITY transforming your faith walk…and your life?
“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5

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