Passage: 1 Timothy 1:1-2

Speaker: Steve Hands

Series: Truth Over Spin

Forming Faith

            This week we begin a new series: Truth and Spin in a Culture of Spin and Fear. For a description of the entire series, click here. In 1 Timothy Paul counters spin with truth. He counsels him of the dangers of spin “which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (1:4), and he counters that spin with sound doctrine (1:10). Truth is the best antidote to spin, the truth of the gospel. Throughout this letter Paul focuses on the importance of truth and calls Timothy his “true child in the faith” (1:2). In a time when spin seems so prevalent, how do we form true children in the faith? We form true children in the faith through confident conviction, genuine relationship, and the power of God.

            To form true children in the faith, we first need confident conviction (1 Tim 1:1). Paul carries himself as “an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Jesus Christ our hope” (1:1). He clearly knows how he is— an apostle sent by Christ Jesus, despite his failings and limitations, and commanded by God. Similarly we need to have confident conviction in who we are as children of God, called to make disciples. We don’t step into relationship with others because of how great we are, but we are confident in the One who calls us. Today so many sources of authority are undermined. It used to be that news was seen as a reliable, objective authority, but now news is seen as a subjective opinion to manipulate people. Where do we find authority? Yet the authority for the Christian is found in God’s Word, and that authority is communicated to us through people we trust. We

            Second we also need genuine relationship to form true children in the faith (1 Tim 1:2a). Paul calls Timothy, “my true child in the faith.” He is not simply a pupil or student, but Paul calls him his child. There is a very close relationship between Paul and Timothy. Deep impact only happens through genuine relationship. Throughout this letter these relationships matter alot, for the church is the household of God….a pillar and buttress of the truth (3:15). Our relationships and our doctrine reflect God’s order in the world in important ways.

            Finally we need the power of God (1 TIm 1:2b). Paul releases “grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Each of these are characteristics and qualities of God, and his power is released. People need more than good ideas and good thoughts from us; they need the power of God.

So what? We are living in fractured, polarizing, and divisive times. As an election looms soon, we want to purvey truth not spin. And the key is that we form true children in the faith through confident conviction, genuine relationship, and the power of God.