Denying the Faith

I have been reading 1 Timothy as part of my daily reading and today I came across this:

“If anyone does not provide for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8

Now I have read this verse many times, but amazingly enough I have never really seen the intensity with which Paul speaks. How does Paul say we deny the faith? Those who do not provide for their immediate family (which by the way, I think would be a lot bigger than our traditional nuclear family)! If someone had said to me, what does it mean to deny the faith? I think my answer would have had something to do with our thinking, our theology, our understanding of the gospel (i.e. denying that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone). Now Paul does not say that is not denying the faith, I think we would agree with me there.

But what struck me is that when we fail to live out the Kingdom life, when we fail to live as those who have been bought by the truth, that too is denial of our faith. I don’t know if I have ever heard it put quite so strongly in any church I have been in. I have heard it said that you are being an unfaithful or ungodly Christian. But Paul here seems to say you are not even a Christian! Reminds me of Romans 2:13 when Paul is critiquing the Jews and their religious observance: “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” It is never enough to “just believe”, and we mislead people when we speak like this. Am I being too radical?

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~ by John on June 5, 2008.

One Response to “Denying the Faith”

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI have been reading 1 Timothy as part of my daily reading and today I came across this: “If anyone does not provide for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 Now I have read this … […]

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