Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Genuine Faith


This evening we are continuing our study in the Book of 2 Timothy. This letter is best understood when read in light of the circumstances surrounding both the Apostle Paul and his son in the faith, Timothy, during the time these words were penned. The best we can imagine from both world and biblical history is that in or near the year AD67 the Apostle Paul, being about 62 years old himself, was in prison and knew that he was going to be executed any day.

Paul had been ministering the Gospel message to the Gentiles and those living under Roman rule ever since his conversion to Christ on the Damascus Road some 35 years earlier. This was not the first time he had been put in prison for his faith but he knew it would be his last. Sensing his impending martyrdom coupled with his strong desire to leave those who followed him instructions on how to live the victorious life, Paul chooses to write this letter to Timothy who was most likely still in Ephesus at that time.

Overshadowed and inspired by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, Paul writes these words under the anointing and guidance of the mandate and destiny to which he had been called. He could not have known on his own how impacting these words would be for generations and generations of believers for centuries to come.

Today the book of 2 Timothy is catalogued under the Pastoral Epistles of Paul and provides each Believer in Christ with strong instructions concerning how to live and how to die by faith. Without further ado let’s continue our study by reviewing a verse in chapter 1.

2 Timothy 1:5  When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Paul called Timothy’s faith, “Genuine Faith”! Wow … How can I get some of that Genuine Faith in my life? Well, I’m glad you asked!!!

First let’s discover what Paul was talking about when he used the word, “Faith”. This little word, much poured over and often discussed, holds one of the most simple meanings in the whole bible. The word used by the Apostle Paul written in the Common Greek of the day was:
·        The Greek word: Pistis

Simply translated and best understood this word means: Trust. If more clarification is needed the word faith, mentioned more than 225 in the New Testament comes to mean: “Trust in the Truth”.

Of course, God and His Word represent the ultimate truth so one could rightly argue that faith best means: To put your trust in God.

There are several ways to obtain and to increase this genuine faith in your life. Let’s look at a few which are mentioned in the Bible:

1.   We obtain Genuine Faith through as a Spiritual Inheritance.
a.   2 Timothy 1:5 – Timothy inherited faith from his mother …
2.   We are also given a Measure of Genuine Faith as a gift from God
a.   Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
3.   Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
a.   Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
4.   Faith grows in our life like a fruit.
a.   John 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me will bring forth much fruit.”
b.   Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith
5.   Faith is also a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
a.   God reserves the right to simply show up and manifest Himself by faith in the life of a believer even when the believer has not inherited that much faith, read or heard about it, worked to grow it and it exceeds the initial measure they were given by God.

b.   1 Corinthians 12: to another faith by the same Spirit …