Summary: Our sincere faith is the most important thing we can pass on to our children.
Text: 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Title: The necessity of sincere faith.
“I have been 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.” (V5)
Notice that the verse begins with “I have been reminded” and concludes with “I am persuaded.” “I have been reminded” and “ I am persuaded” are like two bookends with the most important thing we can pass on to our children and grandchildren found in between.
So what is it that we need to be reminded of and then persuaded is the most important we can pass on to our children and grandchildren? The most important thing we can pass on to our children and a grandchild is sincere faith.
That the most important thing we can pass on is our sincere faith is something we often need reminding or persuading. (We know this already but often forget or we don’t know this and might strongly disagree). If we ignore the reminders or fail to be persuaded then we can pass on a love for other things rather than a love for God.
Now we can’t pass on what we do not have so what makes faith sincere?
1. A sincere faith is a faith that is genuine.
The best place to start if we want to check on how sincere is our faith is to look at the definitions of sincere and faith.
The word sincere means “to not pretend.”
The word faith means “A firm and confident belief in Jesus and his gospel”
Do we have a firm and confident belief in Jesus and his gospel or are we just pretending to have one?
A.The inner witness
a.A clear conscience. (V3)
Do we have a clear conscience that our faith is indeed sincere or does the Holy Spirit convict us?
B.The outer witness
a.The testimony of other believers (v5)
Paul was persuaded that Timothy had a sincere faith. Are others persuaded that we too have a sincere faith?
It really takes time to discover if our faith is sincere or not. Notice that Paul said of Timothy that he was now persuaded. Just like in the parable of the sower it is not how well or how badly we start but how we finish that counts.
2. A sincere faith is a faith that is living. (V5)
“I have been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
A sincere faith is one that is living night and day (v3) God wants us to be a 24/7 Christian. In verse 7 we are reminded that this faith as all other gifts begins as a tiny spark. We must feed it in order for it to become a flame.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” (v6)
For what reason do we need to fan into flame our faith? Because we are reminded and persuaded it is the most important thing we can pass on to our children and grandchildren.
How do you fan something into flame? You have to give it your attention. The fuel for the fire is our worship, ministry, prayers (v3) fellowship, (v4) and our telling others about Jesus (v7)
3. A sincere faith is a faith that is overflowing.
In our scripture passage the Apostle Paul demonstrates a sincere faith that is overflowing.
a.I thank God (v3))
d.I long to see you (v4)
e.I tell others about Jesus (v7)
Notice that our sincere faith will be expressed first in our thankfulness to God for saving us through the death of Jesus Christ. I then thank God for saving me by serving him. I then find myself praying and longing to be with other believers because fulfilling joy cannot be found through thinking only of myself. Lastly I tell others about Jesus. God has not given us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. (The three essentials for telling others)
Is our faith sincere? Is it genuine? Is it living? Is it overflowing?