Vices Opposed to Faith

Teaching of Virtue

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Vices Opposed to Faith

The vices opposed to faith are, at one extreme, a lack of faith—which is unfaithfulness, and at the other extreme, one can never have too much faith, but one can have a disordered faith—which is false-faith.

The vice of unfaithfulness is a disposition dead or devoid of belief in Christ and commitment to His ways.

The unfaithful one holds their life tight to their chest, unwilling to give it fully to Christ, they search for fulfillment everywhere but Christ—never to find it.

The vice of false-faith is a disposition whereby one’s faith is empty, unauthentic, or unfounded in the truth.

Do not be deceived. Many are misled by “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1) and errant thoughts that “suit their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3). Scripture warns of both. Real faith can not be faked or fabricated. God sees the genuineness of one’s heart and truthfulness of one’s faith.

Whether it be by unfaithfulness or false-faith, the end result is the same—unbelief.

Unbelief denies grace and breeds faith-combating sins of many kinds—including infidelity, heresy, apostasy, blasphemy, and beyond. As a byproduct of pride, it is said, “Unbelief is the greatest of sins” (St. Thomas Aquinas), for one who does not place their belief in the Way of the Truth, places it in the way of destruction.

Faith, in accordance with the Gospel, is the only light that guides one to eternal life. None else. If you have it, keep it. If you do not, seek it—and by God’s grace, it's infinite treasure you will find.

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Scroll down for the related scriptures, quotes, and lesson plan associated with this teaching.

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Related Scripture

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” — 2 Peter 2:1 (NRSVCE)

“For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires,” — 2 Timothy 4:3 (NRSVCE)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” — Matthew 7:15 (NRSVCE)

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” — 1 John 4:1 (NRSVCE)

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” — Matthew 24:24 (NRSVCE)

“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;” — Matthew 15:8 (NRSVCE)

“For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.” — 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NRSVCE)

“They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” — Titus 1:16 (NRSVCE)

“So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” — Hebrews 3:19 (NRSVCE)

“That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.” — Romans 11:20 (NRSVCE)

“Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.” — John 3:18-19 (NRSVCE)

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.” — Romans 16:17-18 (NRSVCE)

“Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.” — James 1:21 (NRSVCE)

“Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” — Hebrews 3:12 (NRSVCE)

Related Quotes

“Unbelief is the greatest of sins.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

“A faith of devils, a mere intellectual faith, a man may have without love, but not that faith which saves. Love cannot usurp the office of faith. It cannot justify. It does not join the soul to Christ. It cannot bring peace to the conscience. But where there is real justifying faith in Christ, there will always be heart-love to Christ. He that is really forgiven is the man who will really love (Luke 7:47). If a man has no love to Christ, you may be sure he has no faith.” — J.C. Ryle

“Many a man has died from internal bleeding, and yet there has been no wound whatever to be seen by the eye. You may go to hell as well dressed in the garnishings of morality as in the rags of immorality. Unless the very center of your soul and the core of your being be made obedient to the living God, He will not accept you, for He looks not only to your outward condition,” — C.H. Spurgeon

“Faith teaches the sure way of eternal salvation, faith is the light that shines in the darkness of this mortal life and pilgrimage; it leads men securely to the possession of the fatherland to which they are wayfaring, if they do not allow it to die out by infidelity and sinfulness.” — Mary of Agreda

“Do you believe? 'I believe,' says one, and he begins to repeat what they call the 'Apostles’ Creed.' Hold your tongue, sir! That matters not; the devil believes that, perhaps more intelligently than you do; he believes and trembles. That kind of believing saves no man. You may believe the most orthodox creed in Christendom, and perish. Do you trust – for that is the cream of the word 'believe' – do you trust in Jesus? Do you lean your whole weight on Him? Have you that faith which the Puritans used to call 'recumbency' or 'leaning'? This is the faith that saves – faith that falls back into the arms of Jesus, a faith that drops from its own hanging-place into those mighty arms.” — C.H. Spurgeon

“No matter what has happened to you in the past or what is going on in your life right now, it has no power to keep you from having an amazingly good future if you will walk by faith in God. God loves you! He wants you to live with victory over sin so you can possess His promises for your life today!” — Joyce Meyer

“Discouragement is the opposite of faith. It is Satan’s device to thwart the work of God in your life.” — Billy Graham

“There is a vast difference between a struggling faith (Mk. 9:24)…and a stubborn unbelief (Mk. 3:3-6).” — Jerry Bridges

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of the vices opposed to faith. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • In your own words, what is the difference between unfaithfulness and false-faith?
  • Reflect on the statement, “God sees the genuineness of one’s heart and truthfulness of one’s faith.” What does this mean to you?
  • Scripture warns that many are misled by “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1) and errant thoughts that “suit their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3). In what ways can you avoid this?
  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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