A Faith Unfeigned …
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”
When I read the phrase “the end of the commandment”, it makes me think of the phrase “the fulfillment of the law”. Who was “the fulfillment of the law”? Jesus Christ was, of course! Romans 8:2 says “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”. Christ has done the work on Calvary, and 1Timothy 1:5 describes the results of His finished work. We are to have a “pure heart”, a “good conscience” and a “faith unfeigned”.
A pure heart.
1 Peter 1:22-23 says “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit into unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever”. We are called to love with a pure heart. What is a pure heart? A pure heart, as described in the above verse, is one that is born again, a heart that comes not from the flesh, but from God. A pure heart arises from the word of God which “liveth and abideth forever”. We cultivate a pure heart by striving for holiness, by following God’s commands out of love for Him, and by casting those things out of our hearts and minds which are not aligned with the word of God. Most importantly, I believe, for cultivating purity, is watching what goes into our minds and hearts. Remember Philippians 4:8, ” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” Pray that God would sanctify your heart, that it would be refined and made pure, for “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. (Matthew 5:8 )
A good conscience.
Paul speaks in Acts 24:16 “And herin do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God , and toward men.” In his letter to the Romans (9:1), Paul speaks again of his conscience. “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost”. Once we accept Christ and become a new creation, our conscience is made one with the Holy Spirit. Think of it as the suped-up version of your old conscience. We now have Christ living in us, bringing thoughts to our minds, interceding on our behalf, and helping us to make decisions! Hebrews 9:14 states, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Once our old conscience is purged, we are left with a shimmering new conscience which is able, for the first time, to really and truly “serve the living God”. Pray that you would be indwelled with the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit would work in your mind and heart, guiding and directing you today.
A faith unfeigned.
A faith unfeigned is a faith without hypocrisy. Faith must be true and it must be based on something real. We cannot have faith unless God has given it to us and the only person worthy of our faith is God. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen”. Faith is a belief that the things that we hope for will happen, but most importantly faith itself is a gift and therefore testifies as evidence of God. God created and gives us faith, that we might please Him with it. Hebrews 11:6 describes this, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. If we seek God, He will be found. If we believe, He will gift us with faith. Faith grows and is strengthened as we continue to see God. This faith journey is an ongoing process. We can never have too much faith, we can just seek Him more and more. James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed”. Pray that God would never let you be like the storm-tossed wave. Ask Him for more and more faith as you seek Him, and pray that He will strengthen you with a strong foundation – one that is faith-based and mightier than any storm.