We are in the final part of our series on the parts of love. We have been using 1 Timothy 1:5 as our baseline for the aspects of life that make up love. So far we have looked at a pure heart and a good conscience. To conclude, I want to talk about a sincere faith and what it looks like to live it out.
This word sincere that appears here in the text is a Greek word meaning true, real, or genuine. It describes a faith that is not hidden by other things and it is real and genuine. This isn’t the only time we see this type of phrase in Scripture. 2 Corinthians 13:5 reflects on the thought of genuine faith. Paul tells the Corinthians here to test themselves. “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.” Paul wants them to test their faith to prove if they are really faithful to Christ. If they really have faith in Jesus, testing themselves will prove it, thus proving their faith is real.
There are some things that come our way that can tell us if we are really dedicated to Christ. These come in the form of trials. Hardships, suffering, and relationships test our faith in God. If we remain faithful through these trials, then we know that our faith is real and strong. Peter reflects on this in 1 Peter 1:7 which he says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine.” He gives the example of fire testing gold. If it remains after the fire, it is real gold. If not, it is false gold, only an imitator, and it is not real. This fire also purifies which is a metaphor for our faith being proved real if we remain faithful through trials.
A sincere, genuine faith leads to love. If we are truly faithful to Christ Jesus, then the outcome is love because he commands us to love God and others (Matthew 22:37-39). When we have a pure heart that has been cleansed by Jesus, a good conscience free from sin guilt, and a true faith, we have love. Jesus provides the way to salvation and he provides a way for us to love through His sacrifice. His sacrifice allows us to have a pure heart and a good conscience. Through a true faith in Jesus, we can love the way we were created to love. .