Apparently many of us who call ourselves Christians are not authentic at all. Jesus implies this crucial point in Matthew 7:21-23 when He tells His disciples the following: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we, not prophesy in your name? Did we not cast out demons in your name, and did many powerful deeds in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’”.
According to Greg Laurie of Jesus.org, there are five essential characteristics which a person must display before he or she can call them self an authentic Christian.
Firstly, an authentic Christian confesses Jesus Christ as Lord (1 John 4:15). Christianity must begin with a verbal acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. The Bible says that even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). True Christians should be able to say that Jesus Christ is their Lord.
Secondly, if a person is a true Christian, one will be unhappy or miserable when one is sinning (1 John 3:9). This does not means Christians are immune to sin. (1 John 1:8). A true child of God will have a sense of discomfort when he or she sin; because you know in your heart of hearts that what you are doing is wrong.
Thirdly, an authentic Christian enjoys fellowship with other believers. (1 John 5:1). A true Christian will want to be around other Christians. Those who isolate themselves from other believers do so at their own peril, because the Bible tells us that it is important to get together, encourage one another, and correct one another (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Fourthly, an authentic Christian obeys the commands of Jesus Christ. If you are a true believer, then you will obey the commands of Jesus Christ (1 John 5:3). The person who blatantly and continually breaks the commandments of God simply does not know Him.
Finally, an authentic Christian loves and obeys the Word of God (1 John 2:5). You cannot effectively live the Christian life without a love for, and obedience to, God’s Word. All true disciples of Jesus Christ will be students of Scripture and will walk according to its teaching. This is vital to authentic Christian living, because the Bible is indeed the very textbook of life (2 Timothy 3:16).