Enlightenment vs. Enlivenment – What’s the Difference?

Authentic is a word we are hearing more and more these days, but what does it actually mean? Dictionaries define the word is various ways but my favorite comes from Merriam-Webster. They define authentic as; “confirming to an original so as to reproduce essential features.”

I think that is a great description of authenticity from my perspective.  Just think about it, an authentic Rolex watch is one that conforms to the original design in every way and reproduces the essential features. It does no good to look like the original if it doesn’t function like the original. I wish I could have told that to my younger self many years ago before he bought that shiny new Rolex, for the great price, from a street merchant in NYC. Well at least it was only $25.

When it comes to people, what does it mean to be authentic? You are hearing that term used more today than ever before, at least in memory that seems so. But, what does it mean? In general, I think it means that someone is being true to their own personality, spirit or character. It means they are not fake or phony in any way. It means they are the real thing, the thing they represent themselves to be. My mother-in-law had a phrase that she used to use to describe inauthentic people.  She would say, “I wish I could by them for what they’re worth and sell them for what they think they’re worth…”

Speaking of authenticity, what does an authentic Christian look like? What marks them as being genuine? How can we tell if they conform to the original design and reproduce all the essential features? What happens if start out authentic but lose authenticity over time, can it be restored?

Okay, enough with the mystery and intrigue. I hope you will join us this week for our study. We are hitting the pause button and taking a week off cycle in our study of Luke to revisit the Parable of the Soils (Luke 8:11-15) as an entree into a deeper discussing one of the most difficult passages in all of Scripture (Hebrews 6:4-8). You asked for it, so here it is. Can an authentic Christian lose their salvation, I hope you will join us for the study this week and find out.

Who knows, you might even learn the difference between enlightenment and enlivenment.  Or maybe it would be better called “in-livenment,” if that were a word…

If you are unable to join us in person for this study, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File.  For more information about this Bible study series please see Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.

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