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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Sincere Faith

Pastor Craig Carter

North Kent Community Church

1480 Indian Lakes Rd. NE • Sparta, MI 49345

 

I recently had the privilege of performing the funeral of a gentleman who was born and raised in a small community near McBain, Michigan. In learning more about this family, I soon discovered he was the grandson of a family who raised 7 children in a small 2-bedroom home near the edge of the town. They were very devout Christians, who were very active in their community and church. It was clear that their honest devotion and sacrifice to others had made a huge impact on this community for years to follow.

I was reminded of a similar story in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 1:3-5, we read of the Apostle Paul’s memory of a family dear to him. It was the family of young Timothy. Paul says, “I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 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.” (NIV)

Notice, Paul recalled the legacy of this family that began with Timothy’s grandmother and then was also passed on to his mother, Eunice. Now, Paul says he is persuaded, or convinced that it lives or exists in Timothy!

What was it? What did Paul see in Timothy? What family trait did Paul find had been passed down from one generation to the next?

In Verse 5, Paul calls it “Sincere Faith.” The Word “sincere” here in the Greek means real, without hypocrisy. In Latin, it comes from the word, “Sincera,” which means “without wax.” It was word used to describe pottery or sculptures made by artist that were authentic or flawless. Artist often made mistakes! The way they would correct them was to fill the cracks or flaws with wax. They would then paint them and cover them up. If the artist was not honest they would sell them as flawless or authentic pieces.

So, what was the Apostle Paul saying about Timothy and his family? What made Timothy’s grandmother and mother so effective in sharing their faith with Timothy? They were real! They were sincere! They were authentic! They did not try and hide their flaws. Interestingly, Timothy’s mother was Jewish and his father was Greek. One would be considered and believer and the other a non-believer. So, they had their flaws and differences. Every family has them. None of us are perfect, but if we are going to impact our families and communities with the love of Christ, we need to be real! I have been a probation officer, high school security officer and pastor for over 35 years now. People just want you to be authentic. Too often Christians try and portray this perfect image. We are good at filling our flaws with wax and then acting like we’re the real thing. You want to have a lasting impact in your family, church or community? You want to leave a legacy? Then live out a “sincere” faith first among your family and then others.

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