Anyone seen one of these yet?
It’s the new £1 coin. Why – because so many £1 coins in circulation are fake. They are easy to counterfeit.
Fake Reviews on Shopping Sites
Fake designer gear
Fake virus alerts on your computer, fake emails
Fake tan. Fake nails.
Now all this fakery is nothing new. Fakery has been going on almost since day one. In the old testament God often speaks of people following false Gods – fake Gods. Look like they are the real thing but they are not.
In OT times they would carve an image and worship it. These were fake Gods with no power
1 Cor 10:7 – don’t really exist –
People have many fake gods today. God of materialism
False religions, false Gods and false belief systems. The end of the world is coming tomorrow, next week, next year….
Amongst all this The gospel is the real deal. Amongst all the fake news the gospel is the GOOD NEWS. It is only the gospel that can bring us into a real, living relationship with God. Fake religion gives you rules, the real deal brings you genuine freedom. The gospel (Romans 1:16) is the power of God unto salvation. It is the real deal.
Because the gospel is the real deal – we who have received the gospel are the real deal
As xians we don’t have to fake it. We don’t have to present a photoshopped version of ourselves to God or to the world. We may be imperfect, we may mess up but we’ve got the real thing.
Most of us are not going to get a literal fake tan – but xians can have fake tan Xianity. Where we are worried about keeping up appearances, putting on an act.
We don’t need fake tan Xianity – we are the real deal.
You can be secure in who you are in Christ. You are the real deal.
PROVING THE GENUINE
So, if you need to know whether something is genuine or fake you have to test it.
At our old house I replaced the fence – new concrete posts. When the concrete had set I pushed the posts – I was testing them.
In the days of gold mining in America, they would test the gold by biting it. If it is soft it is gold! Bite coins.
I don’t like being tested! What is the purpose of testing? To show that something is genuine.
That’s when we know we are the real deal – when we are tested
WHEN WE ARE TESTED
It’s not a pass/fail test. Jesus has already passed that test for us.
We are going to look at a few bible verses about testing
2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
This verse is often misunderstood. And it’s misunderstood because people read it in isolation from the whole of the rest of 2 Corinthians.
Now this is not a verse saying that we should regularly check the evidence that we are a Christian and that maybe we might fail.
Nor is it a verse to say we need to check if there is any sin in our life.
That’s simply not what Paul is saying. This is not a verse designed to cast doubt. In fact the very opposite. The story here is that Paul has been writing back and forward to the church at Corinth and that in fact they were doubting HIS credentials as an apostle. So throughout 2 Corinthians Paul is defending his ministry. As part of his defence here he is turning it back on themselves. He is saying – you are questioning whether I am genuine – well you should examine yourselves. He’s not saying TEST yourselves as something you should do regularly, he is saying test YOURSELVES. But there is a twist. He is not saying because I don’t think you are genuine. No he is saying examine yourself and you will see Christ is in you. And if you find you are genuine, you will find I am genuine.
Examine yourselves and you will find evidence that Christ is in you. So you should be encouraged.
Testing yourself leads to encouragement and certainty and confidence.
It’s like saying – Gary examine yourself and you will find you are an Arsenal fan (unless you are a Tottenham fan in disguise)
So – the test here is one that we will pass. We are the real deal.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE THE REAL DEAL? Because we have the evidence of Christ in us.
BUT there are also other verses about testing in Peter and in James.
1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
So we’ve seen before – that testing leads to encouragement and confidence.
Ian and De – shared at the weekend away. So that testing was it good or bad? It was good the testing has made them more confident.
Now here in this verse we see that testing that comes through adverse circumstances leads to glory for Jesus.
Testing of your faith brings glory to Jesus.
Sometimes things don’t go right for us and people say “God has something better” – that may be true. But what is certainly true is that when your faith stands up when things go wrong Jesus gets glory. We may not see that. The devil sees that. The angels see that. Eternity sees that.
Maybe you lose your job – it’s hard to get a new job “God doesn’t love me” “Maybe I’ve let him down” “I’ve missed God’s path for me” – your faith that endures in such circumstances is more precious than gold. Maybe you feel bitten by circumstances – but your faith is more precious than gold. IT IS THE REAL DEAL