The second aspect of “walking in the Light” is authenticity (if you missed part 1, you may want to read the last post about Open Confession).
Whereas confession is an outward act done before men, authenticity refers more to your secret life. Going through the motions of religion doesn’t make you a bona fide Christian. Real Christianity requires the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, if you’re putting on the appearance of spiritual life but your secret life is dark and sinful, all you have is a performance-based act that is fake–plain and simple. You’re still walking in darkness. And as the scripture says, “what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Authenticity simply means that once you’ve confessed your sin and been forgiven, you proceed to live in repentance with the help of the Holy Spirit. This life is deemed authentic when it doesn’t matter whether or not anyone is looking. Authenticity keeps you in a present unity with Jesus Christ, which enables a present unity with His Body, the Church.
When a group of Christians are living authentic lives, they find real fellowship to be a piece of cake. They don’t feel any need to hide things from each other or put on masks. They genuinely love each other and take joy in helping one another. They like spending time together–especially when that time is spent on Kingdom-oriented activities as the Holy Spirit leads. They resolve issues quickly and forgive each other openly. They speak into each other’s lives and help each other grow in the Lord.
I’m not just spouting theories here. For three years I led a group just like this and experienced it on a daily basis. I’ve had long conversations with others who have practiced real fellowship and found the same results. Authenticity among a group of Christians enables power-packed fellowship in which the Holy Spirit plays an active role.
Authenticity is not synonymous with perfection; it simply means that you’re free from hypocrisy. You don’t claim to be one thing and live alternately. You’re transparent and open about your shortcomings. But the second part of authentic Christianity is that you’re actively seeking further transformation.
There’s a difference between healthy confession and “airing your dirty laundry.” Telling people that you’re not perfect is all well and good; but if you’re not taking steps to be transformed by the Holy Spirit (so you can be more perfect in Christ), then you’re only fooling yourself.
Through authenticity, we remain transparent before our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we are utterly consistent when no one else is looking. This is a genuine faith that is above reproach, and it is essential for true fellowship. Not only that, but it’s a foundational requirement for partaking in a third aspect of true fellowship: Communion.
In my next post, I’ll share about Communion (or “the Lord’s Supper”) and how this act fuels fellowship and keeps us walking in the Light.