Summary: Paul commends Timothy for his faith which was first found in his grandmother and mother as both were women of faith – faith that was genuine, communicated, and influential.
Women of Faith
Illustration: A young man was standing at the grocery store checkout line when he noticed an elderly woman in front of him. As she unloaded her grocery cart, she kept looking up and staring at him. After a few awkward moments, he asked, “Why do you keep staring at me?” The woman said, “I'm sorry, but it's just that you look exactly like my son who recently died.""I'm so sorry to hear that," the young man replied. "Is there anything I can do for you?""Yes," she said. “As I leave, if you would say, 'Goodbye, Mother' it would make me feel so much better because I need closure." "I’d be glad to do that for you," he answered. As the old woman was leaving, he called out, "Goodbye, Mother!" After unloading his cart, the bill came to $147.50. "How can that be?" he asked the clerk. "I only purchased a few items."“Oh,” the clerk replied, "your mother said that you would pay for her." - Kent Crockett’s Sermon Illustrations, www.kentcrockett.com
Lois and Eunice were definitely not like that woman. We don’t know a lot about these two women. What we do know is contained in only a few verses in Second Timothy and in Acts 16. We know that they were both Jewesses. We know that Eunice was married to an unbelieving Greek and had a son Timothy. Lois was the first to become a believer followed by her daughter Eunice. Both were women of faith – faith that was genuine, communicated, and influential.
I. They had a faith that was genuine
A. 2 Timothy 1:5 “I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
B. “Unfeigned” is literally without play acting, without playing the part or without hypocrisy. It means to be genuine, unhypocritical and without pretense or deceit
C. Genuine faith, faith that results in true salvation, includes at least three main elements:
1. firm persuasion or firm conviction,
2. a surrender to that truth
3. a conduct emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life
D. John MacArthur comments that...”Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey.”
E. Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
F. W E Vine explains that a hypocrite was "a stage–actor; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice" (Vine, W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. 1996. Nelson)
G. A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. "Why do people call me a Christian?" the man asked. After a moment's pause, one youngster said, "Maybe it's because they don't know you." - copied
H. According to verse 5, their faith “dwelt” or took up residence, made its home in them. In other words their faith had become a vital and integral part of their lives
I. Genuine faith is evidenced by works.
J. James 2:17 “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
II. They had a faith that was communicated
A. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
B. "From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures". How did he acquire this knowledge? Not from his father, for he was a Greek, and thought it "foolishness". Nor from his school, for he grew up in Lystra, a city steeped in idolatry. No; his knowledge of Scripture came from his mother and grandmother. - copied
C. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
D. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote how during his childhood every Sunday evening his mother would read and explain the Scriptures to him and his brothers and sisters, and plead with them to think about the state of their souls and to seek the Lord. He remembers one time her praying, “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.” He wrote, “That thought of a mother’s bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart” – copied