But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (I Timothy 1:5 NASB)
We end our letters of correspondence with the salutation, “sincerely.”
We want to end our communication with a tone of cordiality and authenticity. What does the Bible mean when it talks about a sincere faith? I think we might be a bit surprised when we examine the biblical meaning of the word sincere.
I once heard Dr. David Jeremiah do a word study on sincere in this passage. The word comes from two Greek words, sine and cera, which together mean “without wax.” A stone sculpture of that day, who might not be real honest, would accidently crack a statue and fill in the crack with bee’s wax.
He would carefully paint over the repaired fracture and sell it with the flaw unbeknownst to the buyer. People who knew of this practice would ask if the statue was sincere? Meaning without wax or with no defects.
How does this meaning of a sincere faith relate to our lives today as Christians? The issue is not really about us being perfect (We are all marred creations.), but are we covering up our imperfections. Jesus, though not condoning their sin, did not condemn the prostitutes and tax collectors who were pretty flawed people. The Pharisees, on the other hand, took some pretty harsh criticism from the Lord. Why? These religious leaders were always putting wax on their cracks. Outwardly they appeared righteous but inwardly their hearts were evil. They were not sincere people.
A Sincere Faith
In relation to your Christian walk, how does the salutation of your life read? Do you mask over who you really are with religious expertise? If you do you are only portraying your own righteousness, which the Bible calls “filthy rags.” Or are you open and honest about your inadequacies and trusting God for His mercy and grace to change? The latter will cause the righteousness of Christ to shine forth from you life. Which do you chose, sincerely yours, or a life sincerely about Christ?
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing