Larry Miles

        larrydec26The Word of God tells us of many men and women of faith. We read about how they put their faith into action. Serving God requires action on our part. If we are willing to accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior and obey the Gospel by being “buried with Him in baptism,” God had promised that our sins will be remitted and we will receive the “Gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

We must want to grow “in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.” The Lord has promised to equip His followers for service. We must put our faith into action and be “doers of the Word and not hearers only.” We must desire to grow spiritually.

We must endeavor to have a faith that is real, a faith that is active and ongoing. The Apostle Paul had that kind of faith and he shared the importance of that faith with Timothy, as well as others. Paul never ceased to encourage Timothy. I’m sure he learned that, in part, from Barnabus, who is called “the son of encouragement.”

Faith, like other characteristics of believers is meant to grow. All of us are at different places in our spiritual pilgrimage. Paul in 1 & 2nd Timothy is attempting to encourage Timothy and get him to build upon his faith in Jesus. In the 2nd Epistle, Paul who is in prison in Rome awaiting execution knows that this is last chance to write to Timothy. He wants Timothy to come to Rome; we do not know if he made it.

In 2 Timothy 1:3-5 we have Paul reminding Timothy of the heritage he has in Christ. He first tells him that he is praying for him. Secondly, he reminds Timothy of his spiritual heritage. Timothy was blessed to have a faithful grandmother and mother.

Paul tells Timothy that he is confident of the faith of Lois and Eunice and that he believes that kind of faith is present in Timothy also. Paul calls it a “sincere” faith (ESV). The NKJV uses the word “genuine,” while the ASV uses “unfeigned.”

Denny Petrillo, President of Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver, in a series of expository lessons on 2 Timothy given at the 2012 “ReCharge Me Conference” in Monterey, CA explained “sincere faith” in the following manner. “It is a faith that is present, even in the dark. It is a 24/7 faith. His faith is the ‘real deal.’”

It seems, according to 2 Timothy 1:6-7 that Timothy’s faith may have been weakening. Paul admonishes him to “fan into flame” (ESV) or “kindle afresh” (NASB1977). We must always be growing in Jesus, using what He has given to equip us for service. We must take advantage of all the Lord has for us.

If we have the “sincere faith” Paul mentions here, we will be able to live an abundant life in the Lord Jesus and help others to the same, thus living out our faith as the Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 5:16: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”

Having a “sincere or genuine faith” means putting Jesus first and living out our faith.

-Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and  worships with the Cherry Street Church of Christ in New Albany, IN