"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" A Faith That Is Genuine (1:5) INTRODUCTION 1. When Paul was in prison awaiting his imminent death, the apostle wrote to Timothy... a. Mentioning his remembrance of him in his frequent prayers
- 2 Ti 1:3 b. Expressing his desire to see him, which would fill him with joy - 2Ti 1:4 2. Paul's love and longing was due to Timothy's faith... a. A faith that dwelt first in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice b. A faith that Paul was persuaded dwelt in Timothy also -- A faith Paul describes as "genuine" (sincere, unfeigned)
- 2 Ti 1:5 [Paul's statement implies that not all faith is "genuine". How about your faith? What kind of faith do you have? Let's examine the subject of faith more closely...] I. NOT ALL FAITH IS GENUINE A. FAITH THAT DISPLEASES GOD... 1. There is little faith a. That fails to trust in God's providence - Mt 6:30 b. That is filled with fear and doubt - Mt 8:26; 14:31 c. That allows human reasoning to forget God's power
- Mt 16:8-9 2. There is dead faith a. That fails to produce works - Jm 2:17,20 b. Like a dead body without a spirit - Jm 2:26 3. There is demonic faith a. Who believe in God, but only to tremble - Jm 2:19 b. Who believe in Jesus, but want to be left alone - Mk 1:24 4. There is unconfessing faith a. By those who may believe, but will not confess Jesus
- Jn 12:42-43 b. Such faith will not save, for confessing Christ is necessary - Ro 10:9-10; Mt 10:32-33 5. There is "environmental faith" a. I.e., a faith totally dependent upon one's external environment 1) E.g., remaining faithful while under the positive influences of one's home, church, or "Christian" college 2) But take that person out of such an environment, and his or her faith is lost! b. Some signs of an "environmental faith" 1) Praying in public, but not in private 2) Studying the Bible when at church, but not in private 3) A lack of personal closeness and dependence upon God and Jesus Christ 6. There is "blind faith" (credulity) a. credulity - "readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence" - Merriam-Webster b. Many have this misconception of faith 1) That faith is believing in something without evidence 2) As some have said, "You just have to have faith", rather than provide reasons for such faith c. Yet God expects us to love Him with our minds as well as our hearts - Mt 22:37 B. FAITH THAT PLEASES GOD... 1. Faith that is a strong conviction in things unseen a. Such is the Biblical definition of faith - He 11:1 b. Especially in God and His promises - He 11:6 2. Faith that believes God raised Jesus from the dead a. For such is necessary for our salvation - Ro 10:9 b. For such is the source of great blessings - Jn 20:29 3. Faith that works through love a. Faith that justifies by works, not by faith only - Jm 2:24 b. Faith that works through love, not by works only - Ga 5:6 4. Faith that is genuine a. Faith that is sincere, unfeigned - 2Ti 1:5 b. The kind of faith that is the goal of God's commandments - 1Ti 1:5 [Thus not all faith saves. How can we have a saving faith that is genuine...?] II. DEVELOPING A FAITH THAT IS GENUINE A. THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD... 1. The Word of God is designed to produce faith - Ro 10:17 2. Books were written to create and strengthen faith
- Jn 20:30-31; 1Jn 5:13 3. The Bible contains evidence to develop faith (harmony of the Scriptures, scientific foreknowledge, fulfilled prophecy, eyewitness testimony, etc.) -- Are we willing to allow the Bible to produce a faith that is genuine? B. THROUGH THE FAMILY OF GOD... 1. Timothy had been blessed being around people of faith
- 2 Ti 1:5 a. His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice b. The good example of their faith undoubtedly cultivated his own 2. Our faith is strengthened by our association with other Christians a. Whose frequent assemblies exhort us to love and good works - He 10:24-25 b. Whose daily exhortations can ward off an evil heart of unbelief - He 3:12-13 -- Are we willing to let fellowship with God's family nurture a faith that is genuine? C. THROUGH WALKING WITH GOD... 1. Abraham is the father of the faithful - cf. Ga 3:7,9 2. Abraham demonstrated his faith by walking with and wherever God told Him - He 11:8-9 3. Abraham grew in faith as he walked with God, even to where he was willing to offer his son - cf. He 11:17-18 a. His faith was not developed all at once, but in stages b. It grew as he walked with God throughout his sojourn in life c. The same could be said concerning the faith of the apostles of Christ -- Are we willing to let our own walk with God develop a faith that is genuine? CONCLUSION 1. God is willing to help provide the kind of faith that pleases Him... a. He provides His Word to create faith b. He provides His Family to nurture faith c. He provides His Companionship to strengthen faith -- Working together to produce "A Faith That Is Genuine" 2. When people think of you, what kind of faith do you have that comes to their remembrance...? a. Does it produce gratitude as Timothy's faith did for Paul? - cf. 2Ti 1:3-5 b. Does it produce sadness, as Demas' lack of faith undoubtedly did for Paul? - cf. 2Ti 4:10 May we always strive to develop a genuine faith that pleases God and delights those who know us...!