Thematic Studies

Authentic Christianity

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

We pray this resource leads you deeply into the Word of God; into life-transforming intimacy with Christ at the very core of your being -- for this is authentic Christianity!

Authentic Christianity -- The Book
Preface Various
Ch 1: The Great Imitation 2 Corinthians 2:14-6:13
Ch 2: The Real Thing 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Ch 3: The Secret 2 Corinthians 3:4-6
Ch 4: Two Splendors 2 Corinthians 3:7-8
Ch 5: Death Versus Life 2 Corinthians 3:7-11
Ch 6: The Enemy Within 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
Ch 7: The Enemy Without 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Ch 8: Pots, Pressures and Power 2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Ch 9: Time and Eternity 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Ch 10: Our Highest Motivation 2 Corinthians 5:9-17
Ch 11: The Glory of Ministry 2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2
Ch 12: Exhibit A 2 Corinthians 6:3-13

Authentic Christianity

The whole Bible leads us to discover the glorious liberty of being a child of God. This life must be lived in relationship with God's Son, Jesus Christ, and is empowered by His indwelling Holy Spirit. This is the authentic life that mankind longs for, which has been promised and supplied to us in Christ's New Covenant. The power of that Covenant is simply Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Jesus has bought us with an incalculable price. His body was broken and His blood poured out for us. Now by His indwelling presence we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, in praise and worship to Christ Jesus (Romans 12:1-2). His incalculable sacrifice transforms into our immeasurable joy!

Ray Stedman's book, Authentic Christianity states this well:

The authentic Christian life is essentially and radically different from the natural life lived by a man or woman. Outwardly, it can be very much the same, but inwardly the basis of living is dramatically different. Christ is a part of every wholesome action, the corrector of every wrong deed or thought, the giver of joy and the healer of hurt. No longer merely on the edges of life, Christ is the center of everything. Life revolves around him. As a consequence, life comes into proper focus. Despite outward trials, a deep peace possesses the heart, strength grips the spirit and kindness and joy radiate abroad. This is really living!

The Christian life is made authentic only by the indwelling Christ in you. Christ's glory is made known as:

  • We rest in His new covenant
  • We love His people as the body of Christ
  • We stand firm together against the enemy
  • We are guided by servant leaders who yoke with us

These characteristics bind us and grow us together as authentic Christians.

The New Covenant

New covenant people of God are followers of the living Lord Jesus Christ. We are all members of Christ, and all are servants together of Jesus, all co-laborers in Him and with Him. Both the sheep and shepherds alike take our direction from our one Head, Jesus Christ. Christ as Head of His people remains the consistent bedrock truth of our authentic life of faith. Living in Him we grow in knowledge of Christ and in spiritual maturity, and our delight in serving is only by His life in us. For it is in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
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Body Life

The biblical church is therefore a living organism — not an institution. Under the Headship of Christ, clergy and laity are yoked together in His service. Each person is gifted to serve. Servant-leaders train and equip the body so that each member of His body is prepared for the ministry Christ gives to each one (Ephesians 4:11-16). Shepherds and sheep are to live, love and serve together in dependence on the Lord, in true body life.

This body life is never a performance or self-centered effort. Instead, the living Jesus within us expresses His character through us, and we share in His glory (John 14:20, 15:5). Our strength comes by His intimate, indwelling life in communion with us. The life of the Lord Jesus Himself is the treasure we impart as we love one another (John 13:34). His life of unconditional love is our resource for loving others; His forgiving grace and mercy our power to forgive. The love and grace of Christ in us overflows in our worship and gratitude (Romans 12:2).
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Spiritual Warfare

We know, too, that the devil continually seeks to distract us from this simplicity of who we are in Christ, and from our life and service together as a Body. Through the world's influence and our own flesh, he tries to turn us away from trusting that Christ in us is sufficient for all of life. But Jesus calls us to renew our minds — to remember to rest in Him (Hebrews 4:9-11), in the truth of who we now are because of the finished work of Christ crucified and risen alive.
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Leadership

Spiritually gifted leaders train us to stand firm against the evil one (Ephesians 6:10-11), reminding us of the victory already accomplished for us through the cross. Alive in us, Christ leads us into the good works He has prepared for us, both individually and corporately. Servant leaders walk along side us, helping us grow in joy, as together we mature in Christ who is our life.
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This is where Christ leads us. This is authentic Christianity!

Read the book Authentic Christianity