Summary: A sermon that examines how we as believers can have and maintain sincere faith. Finishes with a youtube clip which I have outlined at the end of the sermon.

2 Timothy 1:5New International Version (NIV)

5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

What is sincere faith

Some of the great sincere Christians I have met have often permeated the character and ministry of Jesus Christ. To be fair many have been people in churches who, although carrying responsibilities somehow were not in prominence in terms of position in the church – Here’s a couple – Dave. Dave was an elder in our church, as well as that, up in his seventies, he was still leading Boy’s brigade and used to attend the evening services in our growing church. Dave drove trucks for Fulton Hogan. What struck me about Dave was he would often bring a well prayed out word for the evening and would share it in tears at our services – Everything I saw about Dave was sincere and truthful –

Then there was Betty – Whenever I meet Betty she always seems to have that deep sincerity of a quiet walk with God. She always as a younger woman would share about how God was moving in her life and even now even though she is well up in her eighties in a rest home spends her time in prayer and discerning the word of God. There are of course many others these two are just standouts in a lifetime of meeting Christians with sincere faith.

Of course the reverse side of this coin is those who carry insincere faith. We don’t need to spend too long on that but an example would be allegedly Peter Popoff, 1987

A self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer in the 1980s, Popoff’s ministry went bankrupt in 1987 after magician and skeptic James Randi and Steve Shaw debunked his methods by showing that instead of receiving information about audience members from supernatural sources, he received it through an in-ear receiver.[8] That, if true, would be an insincere faith.

I think though there is a difference between a Christian who is struggling and failing and one who is an absolute fake – I was reading some information on forgeries this week in relation to the art world. BY JEFF TAYLOR

In A Forger’s Tale—convicted forger Shaun Greenhalgh reveals that he drew Leonardo da Vinci’s La Bella Principessa, which has been valued upwards of $100 million.

Greenhalgh even admits that he modeled the subject after a supermarket checkout girl.How did it pass the sniff tests of so many art historians? Undoubtedly, Greenhalgh was able to combine excellent painting skills with a knowledge of art history, materials, and technique he also understood how to corrupt the very systems of knowledge the art world uses to determine authenticity.

As Christians it is important that we are the real deal. Paul says to Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:5New International Version (NIV)

5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

When I read this passage I asked myself what does a sincere faith look like and how could Paul recognise it in Timothy.

Here are some key things to check that would help us recognise sincere faith in ourselves. If you want to be God’s masterpeace here is some stuff we could work on!

In fact they can become for us a to do list.

In 1 timothy Paul writes of Timothy 1:1-2 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the royal command of God, our Saviour, and of Jesus Christ, our Hope, writes this letter to Timothy, his true child in the faith. Grace, mercy and peace be to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul is an astute judge of Character – he detects forgeries easily – even in believers for example in Acts chapter 15 we read: Acts 15:36-41New International Version (NIV)

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

When Paul wrote to Timothy it is 7 or 8 years later but the attitude of Paul towards his young friend has not changed. He calls Timothy in 1 timothy To Timothy my true son in the faith:

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