Is Your Faith in Christ Sincere?

2 Timothy 1:5-7 ESV

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 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, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Is your faith in Jesus Christ sincere? If so, how do you know that for sure? Is it because someone told you it was? Or is it because you feel it is? What basis do you have for determining that your faith is sincere?

Well, the only basis any of us has is the Word of God. Our faith has to match with what the Word of God teaches our faith should look like to be called sincere faith. And so the first thing that comes to mind here is Jesus’ words when he said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self), and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we die with him to sin that we might live to his righteousness, we have eternal life (Luke 9:23-26).

And then we read in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2), and our faith comes from him, and it is gifted to us by God, and it is not of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8-10). And we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ (John 6:44), i.e. unless God the Father first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to repent of our sins (to turn from them) to follow Jesus in obedience. So sincere faith is of God, not of the will of man, so it will align with God’s will.

And then we have many Scriptures which teach us what this faith looks like. For example in Romans 6:1-23 we read that we died to sin so how can we still live in it? Indeed, we cannot. For we were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we were raised with him to walk in newness of life in him. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. So we are not to let sin reign any longer in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, and not obedience, it will end in death, not life.

And then we read in Ephesians 4:17-24 that we are to no longer walk in sin, giving ourselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. For that is not the way we should have learned Christ, assuming we were taught the truth that is in Christ Jesus that we are to put off our old self, which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

So, sincere faith results in us dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, in walks of obedience to his commands. For this is why Jesus died on that cross, that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now be God’s possession, and so we will now honor God with our lives. And he died to free us from our slavery to sin (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23).

And the gift of God is our salvation, our faith, eternal life, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, etc. And to fan this into flame is to put the Word of God into practice in our daily lives, to walk in fellowship with our Lord in walks of obedience to his commands, to be prayer warriors, to do all that God has called us to do and that he has gifted us to do in his power and strength and to the glory and praise of God. And it is to not let fear overtake us but to be strong in the Lord and in his strength and to put on the armor of God daily in order to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us (Ephesians 6:10-20).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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