Summary: The Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy the importance of ensuring that his followers renew their faith.

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A Renewed Faith

(1st Timothy 1:5, 18-19)

5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1st Timothy 1:5). Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith (1st Timothy, 18-19).

Christmas 2014 has now passed, and we have celebrated this commemorative event since the around the 4th Century. Similarly, people, birthdays, as well as anniversaries have all passed in 2014; and we have reflected, celebrated, and commemorated them; but now we look to ahead. However, as we posture to set our physical attention forward we must remember that the human being is not only physical but also mental and spiritual. So, in order to move our whole-self ahead and accomplish the goals which we have set in our lives, our mindsets must be renewed. In order to move our whole-self ahead towards realizing all that God has purposed for our lives our spirits must be renewed. In order to overcome personal, communal, as well as life obstacles; in order to continue our journeys to our Promised Lands; in order to maintain confidence, peace, and joy our faith must be renewed.

Songwriter Andre Crouch sang a song back in the 70s that encapsulates the reflection and celebration in a renewed faith, saying:

I must confess, Lord I've been blessed

But yet my soul's not satisfied.

Renew my faith, restore my joy

And dry my weeping eyes.

Take me back, take me back dear Lord

To the place where I first received you.

Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I

First believed.

In this song, the songwriter was not speaking of returning to a physical place (per se), but was referencing a renewal of his faith. In our scripture today, Paul say’s “18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies [to renew the prophesies] once made about you, so that by recalling [renewing] them you may fight the battle well, 19 holding on to faith and a good conscience” (I Timothy 1:18-19).

Renewing is a form of Refreshing the basics of what we were taught and now know

I. As an educator we renew our certifications…

A. By demonstrating competences in the philosophy of education

B. By demonstrating an understanding of the State’s or National Standards

C. By demonstrating competence in the subject of our expertise.

II. Followers of God throughout the ages have practiced the renewal of their faith…

A. In the New Testament they returned to Jerusalem in order to reflect over the Passover

B. Passover celebrates the Jewish people's freedom from Egyptian bondage that took place approximately 3,300 years ago, as told in the first 15 chapters of the biblical Book of Exodus. To remember the miraculous events that G-d performed for the Hebrews which led to their freedom, G-d commanded Moses and the Hebrews to slaughter and eat a roasted paschal lamb which symbolizes the Passover sacrifice, and eat it with bitter herbs and matzah. G-d also instructed the Hebrews to spread the blood of the paschal lamb on the two doorposts and on the beam above the door of the houses in which they will eat the paschal lamb ("doorposts and lintel"). This act was G-d's sign to pass over the Hebrews' homes during the 10th plague, which was the killing of the first born sons of the Egyptians as punishment for enslaving the Hebrews and disrespecting G-d by believing that their multiple G-ds had more powers than the one true G-d. G-d also instructed the Hebrews to eat matzah for the seven-day period of the Passover festival and to clear their home of leavened items by the first day of Passover. G-d also stated that the first and seventh days of Passover were to be sacred holidays for the Hebrews which were to be spent in sustaining themselves with food. If this meant that one had to work on those days then that was permitted, but no other work was permitted for any other reason.

C. Each Easter, believers around the world reflect and celebrate the Lamb of God who was sent to take away the sins of the world. And over the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God over our lives we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

III. We reflect and celebrate over our Salvation

A. We reflect and celebrate our salvation

We reflect over the fact that “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3)

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