“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
1 Timothy 1: 5
1 Timothy 1: 3-7
In today’s passage Paul urged Timothy to command ‘certain men’ not to teach false doctrines nor to devote themselves to myths and genealogies (vs. 3-4). At that time some literature was being circulated that rewrote sections of the Old Testament with embellishments and additions. Gnosticism was also impacting the early Church (we see this issue behind warnings in the Epistles and fourth Gospel). Gnosticism did not hold to the biblical teaching on creation; matter was imperfect, an evil thing, so a good God could never have made it. The Gnosticism emphasised personal spiritual knowledge over the doctrines and authority of the Church and became concerned with myths and genealogies. The result was that some wandered away from the truth and took part in meaningless talk; the teachers appeared confident but were in fact ignorant (vs. 6-7).
The motive behind Paul’s command is love (vs. 5). If we unpack this verse we see a reverse order: faith, by God’s Grace and our repentance, begets a clear conscience which precipitates a pure heart. Love flows out from a pure heart as God’s love flows in. Faith has its origins in believing the truth of God; His Gospel. We are justified through faith by God’s Grace (Ephesians 2: 8), this leads to a clear conscience (Romans 8: 1 & 30) and a pure heart. The believer is now a new creation with an enlightened heart (2 Corinthians 5: 17; 1: 22; & 4: 6). In this new life love becomes the driving force in a cycle of blessing where fear and guilt are driven out (1 John 4: 18). Take away truth though and all collapses like a house without foundation; Jesus is the truth and the cornerstone on which all stands.
False doctrines exist today where God’s Word is embellished or added to. There are many alternatives to His truth and the promulgators appear confident in their assurances. I am convinced that many who hold to such views are motivated by a form of love. Indeed we are commanded to love God, our neighbour and ourselves but we are also to love in deed and in TRUTH (1 John 3: 18). To love outside of truth is to love in an ineffective way that may inadvertently keep people away from the loving relationship with God that we have been created for. Truth’s goal is love and that love is found in reconciliation with God our Father through faith in Jesus Christ (the truth, Colossians 1: 19-20).
To Ponder: Consider an issue that you are unsure about; is it line with God’s truth or may it be a false doctrine? Test this matter against the truth of faith, does it come from God? Then test it against love; does it promote unity in God’s Church? Teaching that is of God’s truth will always stand on Jesus Christ, promote God’s Glory and edify the Church
Prayer; Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: graft in our hearts the love of your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Praise: Come my way my truth my life
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzJNdXOHLIU
One way Jesus
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7IQvg6VSNI
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.