Sermon Illustration: The Real Article
When officials are trained to detect counterfeit money, they do not study fake bills. Cops and detectives and store owners are not encouraged, nor taught, nor instructed with examples of fake money. The way, I am told, officials are trained and equipped to detect counterfeit money is to study the real thing. If they know what the real article looks like, feels like, and smells like – they can detect a fake from a mile away. If they have studied a real article, knowing all the marks, all the elements, all the components, all the colors – when a fake is in their hand, they know it immediately.
The way you determine a counterfeit is by being confident of the real thing.
The same is true with Jesus followers who grow up into maturity. Disciples of Jesus are never encouraged to study “false Jesus’.” Just the opposite. Christians are told to follow the One and Only Jesus. The One revealed in the Scriptures. When we are familiar with that Jesus, any other one will be immediately recognized and declared as counterfeit. Keep yourself from error by knowing the real Article.