Pastor Hill: Unfeigned faith

Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We live in a world that presents to us many opportunities to demonstrate our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of these opportunities come as trials. When trials come, we need a strong faith to help us make it through the storm. Sometimes God will remove the storm but at other times, He goes through the storms with us. Timothy was soon to experience greater trials in his life and Paul wanted to encourage him to keep the faith so he spoke to Timothy about the faith he could see in his life. We also need strong faith as we face mounting obstacles in a world that does not view Christians in the same light as several decades ago. Here is what Paul told Timothy.

Speaking the Truth in Love by Pastor Tommy Hill

Speaking the Truth in Love
by Pastor Tommy Hill

WE MUST HAVE REAL FAITH: In Paul’s writing to Timothy, he emphasizes the importance of faith. He encourages Timothy to keep the faith in the face of mounting peril and persecution. The church was entering a new phase, the persecution years were beginning and Christians would be facing hard trials. The age of tolerance was over and the age of tribulation was beginning. Timothy, as all other Christians, would have to stand on their own two feet. Paul knew Timothy was going to be fine because his faith was “unfeigned faith.”

This was a faith without hypocrisy, without playacting or pretending. Only real faith will withstand the storms that break against Christians. This unfeigned faith recognizes the authority, the inerrancy, and inspiration of God’s Word, and remains true and obedient to the commands of His word, knowing and trusting in its truths. We must have real faith in a world that no longer encourages the following of Jesus Christ.

WE MUST HAVE A ROOTED FAITH: The roots of Timothy’s faith were grounded in his early training that he received from his mother and grandmother. Proverbs 22:6 teaches that we are to; “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Timothy was trained by both his mother and grandmother.

Paul said the faith “dwelt first” in them and they passed this faith along to Timothy. He saw their faith lived out in the real world. Their example led him to place his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as well. When families teach their children, and they learn to trust God at an early age, their faith becomes securely rooted in Christ.

WE MUST HAVE A READY FAITH: Paul encourages Timothy to stir up the gift God has given him to assist him in the work of the ministry. As Christians, we must not allow the gifts God has given us to be idle. Gifts must be developed, exercised, and used or else they will be forgotten. “Stir up,” means to stir into a flame and fire needs constant attention. The more we stir the fire the hotter it becomes. As we grow our faith, we will find that our faith becomes stronger and we are more capable to withstand the trials that we face in life.

Paul did not want the circumstances of life to cause Timothy to neglect the duties God had given him. A ready faith wins the victory over the spirit of fear that presents itself when trials seem to be more than we can bear. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” A sound mind helps dispel our fears, develop our faith, and strengthens our walk with God.

May we not live with a weakened faith that is less than real, without roots, and not ready to meet the demands of a world that is less friendly to Christians? May your faith be real, rooted, ready, and unfeigned?

Pastor Tommy Hill is the pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in Hamlet. He is a Richmond County native. He can be reached at firstfwbchurchhamlet@gmail.com. His column will appear each Friday in The Pee Dee Post.

 

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion, Religion

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