8 Marks of Authentic Faith

Posted by on 05/04/2017 in: ,

Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.

Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’” But not even then did their testimony agree.

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing.

Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”

And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
— Mark 14:55–64, NKJV

Israel’s religious and political leaders wanted to rid themselves of Jesus, so they tried every means possible to convict Him of a crime. They paid an informant from among Jesus’ own followers, but he returned their money and declared the Lord innocent (Mark 14:43–46; Matthew 27:3–5). They orchestrated an armed mob to intimidate Jesus, but He kept His cool and restrained His followers (Matthew 26:51–54.). The leaders even presented witnesses to testify against Him, but the witnesses perjured themselves and contradicted each other (Mark 14:55, 56).

People tried to convict Jesus of a crime for which they lacked a shred of evidence. They failed because Jesus lived His life in plain sight. For every false accusation lodged against Him, there were countless examples of His love and moral perfection.

What signs of authentic faith do people see when they scrutinize our lives? Is it enough evidence to prove that our trust in God is real? The Bible suggests eight outward marks of authentic faith:

  1. We display the Beatitudes that Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3–16).
  2. We think with a transformed mind, we express genuine love, and we respect authority (Romans 12:1,2; 13:1–7).
  3. We overflow with love actions (1 Corinthians 13).
  4. We display the Spirit’s fruit (Galatians 5:22–26).
  5. We imitate Christ’s humility and look out for others’ interests (Philippians 2:1–4).
  6. We pray without ceasing, and in everything we give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
  7. We carry out works of faith and compassion (James 2:14–17), we control our tongues (3:1–11), and we speak wisdom (3:13).
  8. We hold to the truth about Jesus (2 John 4; 3 John 3, 4) and defend it (Jude 3).

As others study our lives for evidence that we are followers of Christ, how many of these marks do they see?

Drawn from the Apply the Word Study Bible Notes. Click here to add it to your library.

What challenges and successes have you encountered as you seek to pursue faith that is transformative and authentic?
Join the conversation below!

Originally posted at Bible Connection.

25 Comments

  • Betty L Dunn says:

    Loosing A GREAT Dr.
    Becoming Homeless.
    Finding a Sister who helped me get a vehicle to get off the street.
    Fighting Work Comp for 32 years. Let God lead the way to settlement.
    Going back to school for God’s need.
    Getting top grades led by God.
    When I was 9 I gave my life to God, He has had me fighting Abuse ever since, winning wars laid on his children for him.
    God keeps me alive for his cause of need not mine!

  • Shane Ponting says:

    The above assumes a degree of capability, and ignores Jesus own words “though the spirit is willing, the body is weak”

    Jesus dealt with the physical afflictions and then told people to confront their sin because he knew the body can block the mind can block the spirit and in reverse.

    If only you knew the kind of bondage that can inhibit the above so called marks of faith, so that one is seeking God but still very lost.

    I regard the above as silver spoons – if you are living like that it’s not because you are so grand but because you have so much of God’s grace, love and abundant blessing on your life.

    Some of us are in darkness finding our way back, and the last thing we need to hear is that we’re unfaithful.

    • Tracey June says:

      God bless you Shane. I can understand your struggles even if only a bit. Some days I feel like I’m fighting the darkness and faith seems hard to find. I pray that you find that purpose you wish.

    • Bro. D Deryl Downey says:

      However, if the truth *is* that someone is unfaithful, we are to tell them so. The Holy Spirit uses such to convict a person of their sins and thereby open them to calling on the Savior with sincere repentance, and a truthful desire for forgiveness.

      If one is truthfully trying to find their way back, they will not care what anyone says because nothing anyone says or does will affect whether they receive God’s grace. Only the sinner can put forth faith for their salvation. Only God and the sinner can do their mutual parts. It’s totally between God and the sinner, and *nothing* anyone else says or does ha *any* impact whatsoever for someone *truly* seeking God’s grace.

      • Brenda Himes says:

        Be careful, there is a fine line between telling a person they are unfaithful and judging. Continue to teach, teach, and teach, using the scriptures. People change only when they can recognize their lack of faith.

    • Ngozi Udochukwu says:

      God’s grace is abundant and sufficient for every one of us. It’s for us to draw from it daily. Knowing that of our own we can do nothing but God works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
      Our part is to surrender to him.
      As I read No.3, I remember a brother I need to love, and I prayed Lord help me to stop seeing his faults and judging him. Then No.7! Lord help me not to be critical.
      Its for us to take those weak areas in our lives to the Trinity and appropriate the finished work of the cross knowing that we are all work in progress.
      I’m blessed, encouraged and challenged with the article.

    • Stephen says:

      Shane, I can imagine how you feel.

      Many times even with the best of intentions, we still go wrong. However, I am happy with the “finding our way back” in your post.

      Acknowledging that we are wrong is the first thing that takes us to the reconciliation table of God​ and finding our way back is another awesome thing. I am glad you mention these as I pray that you will make it back and God will establish you firmly unshakable this time. I hope this is your resolution going forward.

      Nice day brother.

      • Mick says:

        Shane
        I have wandered away from GOD and done some bad things, but God never gives up on us nor leaves us or forsakes us ,God is always knocking at our doors ,no matter how far we may strayed just waiting for us to open the doors of our hearts and let Him back in ,and repent of our sins ,Shane God loves you more than you can fully comprehend, you dont need to be born again all over again if you already received Jesus in your heart,just let Jesus pick you up and dust yourself off and continue to walk by faith, we are all unfaithful at times but praise God He always remains faithful, His grace is more than enough. Its been 30 yrs since i went to jail,then put on the streets and on drugs because of the choices i made.i recommitted and surrendered all to Jesus ,,i thank Him for what i went through because He will use what i went through and my testimony for His glory. Remember there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Don’t let Satan deceive you in allowing those negative thoughts to creep in,remember who you are in Christ,God started a good work in you shane and He will finish it. Love you in Christ .

    • Oh Shane, no one is saying that you are unfaithful or that bondage is not difficult! But consider this for a moment, even those who you say have a ‘silver spoon’ are sinners…like filthy rags before the throne of God. Your sins, my sins, everyone sins are the same because God is Holy and looks at sin all the same, no matter what degree we humans may place on them. It doesn’t matter if you are in a dark place or any place for that matter, you can always show kindness and love…even to your enemies by surrendering and allowing Christ to live in you! I have been in very dark places, the men I mentor are or have been in very dark places…it is a matter of surrendering to the “Lordship” of Christ. Trust Him, allow His Holy Spirt to lead you and you will see His living water for you…to you and through you to others. Easy yet hard…but remember He died for you…FOR YOU, just as I know He died FOR ME (not just the generic world) but for each and every one of us personally! Get personal with Jesus, just talk to Him (get real with Him) as you would a friend (that will lead you to a deeper and more reverent place towards Him as your Savior) as you experience Him showering you with His Grace, Mercy and LOVE!!! Let go of bitterness and look at the love Jesus gives to you!! Can’t see it, tell Him that…He will reveal it to you in ways you never experienced before and He will show you He has been there the whole time…waiting for you to say “Hi Jesus, it’s me, Shane!!!

    • Pastor Ted Huelgas says:

      It is true that Jesus and the Bible said flesh and blood is against the Spirit and it wasn’t ignore by the blog. I know the Bible said that when sin abounds, grace of God abounds the more. But God didn’t save us in grace to live in dis-grace also. So what are we “believers” to do?

      It is just pointing out the mark of a mature Christian. Many of us “believers” are struggling with sin, but the same Holy Scripture is telling us also that
      1. “with God, nothing is impossible.”
      2. When there is temptation, there’s always a way out that we can always handle.
      3. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
      Furthermore, We are commanded to make disciples of all nations and teach everyone all what Jesus taught us. We can’t teach what we can not practice.
      When we received Jesus as our Lord and savior, did we ever missed the part that Jesus said “We are to carry the cross to be a disciple.”
      God understand our shortcomings and He promise that “He is faithful and just to forgive”. Good works doesn’t save us, but it is a sign that we love Lord Jesus and our faith is not dead. May God bless you.

  • Sunny says:

    Authentic Marks are more than 8. However even though none of the above is apparent in life there are many authentic Christians. The points are too simplistic.

  • Charles Critcher says:

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    These verses speak of being in Christ and doing through Christ. This is key.

  • Eddie says:

    (Holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.
    2 TIMOTHY 3:5 AMP)
    I see Christian principles for living here but God never called you to live by Christian principles. He calls you to live in relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ. One of the weaknesses of the Church today is that we teach people principles without the relationship.

    The western church is big on ten step programs, “how-to” methods and acrostics to illustrate memorable ideas. There is a place for establishing principles to change negative behaviour. However, we are not called to have a relationship with principles, but a living God.

    Living by principles is the equivalent to living by the law in the Old Testament. It is rooted in the Greek system of learning and is dependent upon our strength instead of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Principle-based living is powerless living. This makes our Christian experience a religion instead of a relationship. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law” (Gal 5:18).

    We read about principle-based followers in the book of Acts, “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people” (Acts 5:12-14). There was a group of followers who liked being taught but never entered the game.

    The prophet Jeremiah tells us about the nature of God and His desire for every believer.

    This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

    • Ngozi Udochukwu says:

      I doubt if these are about principles. But whatever we call it, A relationship must produce a mark. In the Acts of the Apostles Acts 4:13 people recognised that they have been with Jesus.
      God’s purpose for our lives is to be like Jesus. Not that I have attained but leaving everything behind I press towards the mark.

    • Jeff says:

      “Like button!”

    • Pamela vancleave says:

      very well said

  • John says:

    Some brief comments:
    1. The list is not ways TO salvation (works) but indicators OF salvation (fruit)
    2. Surely the list can just help us to reflect on our own walk and seek the Lord about anything that catches our attention
    3. The list is not exhaustive
    4. As far as others are concerned, let us have the necessary discernment to encourage where encouragement is needed, correct where correction is needed, teach where teaching is needed, etc
    5. May the world see that we have been with Jesus and that we love each other!

    • Pauline says:

      Amen, and Amen!

      • Angela Bannerman says:

        Amen and Amen

        By their fruit ye shall know them.

        We need to bear the fruit of the spirit. Gal 5:22-
        And this of course includes love. As we come daily to God who knows us intimately, to seek help in our Christian walk He helps us. Let’s learn not to give up. Our challenges and struggles in our walk with Him will soon become testimonies to God”s glory. And will help others also in their walk with God. We all remain work in progress. May the Good Lord help us all. Amen

  • Marty says:

    Jesus summed it up with these wotds .love the LORD with all your heart souland mind and love your neighbour as yourself……Love conquers all

  • Edafe Mike says:

    Indeed I have been receiving this email, but I don’t read. Thanks for sending and I pledge to always read and uphold the ways of christ.

  • Renson imbaya says:

    I am impressed with staff and comments coming all over.

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