Many people today are fed up with fakes and frustrated with phoneys. Whether it’s cheap imitation Rolex watches or poor quality ‘Dolce & Banana’ handbags, people are less and less satisfied by counterfeits and more concerned for the genuine article.

Authenticity is attractive, especially when it comes to things that really matter, like faith and spirituality. A dictionary definition of authentic (adj) is: 1. genuine 2. reliable; trustworthy; true to the original.

As Christ-followers, we desire a robust faith that can adequately address the realities of life; its highs and lows: a faith that empowers us to triumph over tests and temptations. A cheap imitation of Christianity will not satisfy; neither will it appeal to those outside the church, who commonly accuse Christians of hypocrisy. Only authentic Christianity courageously and honestly lived out in the shop window of our lives will win people to Christ.

Our new Life Groups study series explores what it means to be authentic believers by examining the life of one of the most authentic and original men in the Old Testament; David.

More has been written about David than any other Biblical character: more than 60 chapters of the Bible, over 70 Psalms, and 59 references in the New Testament. David was a great leader. Israel is believed to have grown from 6,000 to 60,000 square miles under his direction as he brought unity and vision to the twelve tribes of Israel. And, by the way, he’s the only person in the Bible to be described as being “after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).

There’s certainly a lot to emulate and apply from his life but there’s also a lot to avoid and guard against. In his book on David, Charles Swindoll writes:

“In many ways he was an extraordinary man – intelligent, handsome, abundantly gifted as a poet, musician, warrior, and administrator. Yet in other ways he was a most ordinary man – often gripped by destructive passion, rocked by family chaos and personal tragedy, and motivated by political expediency…David’s life offers hope to all of us. It shows that God can do extraordinary things through ordinary men and women. And David offers an insightful perspective into what it means to be truly spiritual, to become like David – men and women after God’s own heart.”

Above all though, as God’s chosen king, and the recipient of the covenant promise, (that from his house or family line, a king would be established to rule forever (2 Samuel 7:16)) David is a type (anticipation or foreshadowing) of Jesus Christ, Himself.

Which means that David’s well worth studying!