How to tell counterfeit Christians from the real thing …

You hand the clerk at the checkout stand in the store a $100 bill to pay for your purchase. Then the odd little examination begins …

The clerk rubs his fingers on the bill. He crinkles the paper, then smooths it, feeling the paper again. Then he holds the currency up toward the light and visually examines it. Finally, he takes a special “pen” and marks the bank note. He finally tucks the money away in his register till, satisfied the bill is not counterfeit.

Key to his deciding the bill was not a forgery was the watermark on the money.

Watermarks are a key security feature used by governments to protect against the counterfeiting of currency, passports, and stamps. You may have also noticed watermarks lightly embedded on fine stationery, denoting the quality of the paper and identifying where the paper was milled. Watermarks are also commonly placed across photos to denote copyrights or ownership.

Like these embedded watermarks used to guard against counterfeiting, and identifying a source of origin and quality, God has embedded His mark into the Christian in the form of the Holy Spirit.

“It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us,” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

“And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago,” Ephesians 1:13.

Those who claim to be children of God don’t have to undergo an odd examination to determine if their claim is true, just look for God’s watermark; if they truly belong to God, the embedding of the Holy Spirit in the life will be evident.

Is God’s watermark obvious in your life?