A sincere faith is a faith that is genuine and authentic. Our English word “authentic” comes from the Greek word authentikos and this word conveys the meaning of being genuine, trustworthy, reliable, and sincere. People with a sincere faith practice what they believe – their walk matches their talk. The Apostle Paul’s desire was to demonstrate a sincere faith to others,

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

The opposite of a sincere faith is a faith that says one thing but does another – we call that hypocrisy. Jesus gives us an example of a hypocrite in the Sermon on the Mount. This is the type of person who can be critical of others. Are you in a relationship with someone else and you’re thinking, “If they would change, then my life would be better?” You’re worried about the speck in someone else’s eye, but you don’t see the log that is in your own eye. Jesus identifies the problem and tells us what we must do,

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)

A sincere faith comes to God in humility realizing that without God I can do nothing. A sincere faith recognizes that apart from the grace of God I can be guilty of the most reprehensible sins. A sincere faith chooses to respond in faith knowing that I do not need to be held in bondage to my emotions, but I can choose to experience the joy and peace of God regardless of my circumstances!

If you do not own up to your responsibility and see what changes that you must make, then you are a hypocrite. Don’t tell me how spiritual you are and how often you read the Bible – you’re acting like a Pharisee. You may look good on the outside but Jesus says you’re a white-washed tomb! Unless you realize the log that is in your own eye, you will remain in your sin. Look what Jesus said to the Pharisees,

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:25-27)

If you come to the relationship with love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith, then God can bring healing. If you believe that you do not have a problem and it’s all the fault of the other person then this is what Jesus says to you,

So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:28)

May your attitude and behavior reflect the truth that you believe,

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (2 Timothy 1:5)

RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

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