"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" The Purpose Of The Commandment (1:5) INTRODUCTION 1. The idea of "commandment-keeping" is not a popular one among many people today... a. Some equate it with what they call "legalism" b. Others look at keeping any kind of commandment as an unpleasant task 1) Perhaps a carry-over from childhood? 2) Where they feel like they were constantly being "commanded" to do things? 2. Yet keeping the commandments of God should not be looked upon by Christians in this way... "Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, [from] a good conscience, and from] sincere faith," (1Ti 1:5) 3. What is the purpose or goal of any commandment from God...? a. Is it only to enjoin blind obedience? b. Or is there a noble purpose behind the commands? [Our text (1Ti 1:5) suggests the latter, so let's examine what Paul reveals about "The Purpose Of The Commandment"...] I. THE PURPOSE IS TO PRODUCE LOVE A. NOT FOR 'DISPUTES'... 1. Which is as far as some go with the Word of God! a. They study it, discuss it, debate it, defend it b. In Bible class, conversations, publications, etc. 2. Unless they obey it, all is in vain! a. They fail to fulfill its ultimate purpose: to produce love! b. Their religion is a vain religion, not a pure religion - Ja 1:22-27 c. "The purpose of all revelation and the test of all religion is character and conduct." - MacLaren B. THE GOAL OF GOD'S COMMANDS IS LOVE... 1. Both love for God and love for man - cf. Mt 22:35-40 2. Concerning our love for God a. It begins with, but goes beyond adoration, praise and devotion b. True love for God is realized when we keep His commands - 1Jn 5:3; Jn 14:15,21 3. Concerning our love for man a. It begins with, but goes beyond any active good will or affection we might have b. True love for man is also realized when we keep God's commands - 1Jn 5:2 [So the goal of any command of God is love. Not just any love, but a love that springs forth from a good source...] II. FROM A PURE HEART, A GOOD CONSCIENCE, AND SINCERE FAITH A. FROM A PURE HEART... 1. 'Pure' can also be translated 'clean', suggesting that which is from impurities 2. To love with such a heart requires purification, which comes obedience to the truth - 1Pe 1:22-23 3. Have our souls been purified by obeying the truth? If not... a. We will be plagued by spiritual impurities (e.g., greed, covetousness, envy, pride) b. We will be unable to love God and man as we should 4. Those with 'pure hearts' are the ones who will be truly blessed - Mt 5:8 B. FROM A GOOD CONSCIENCE... 1. 'Conscience' is defined as "that process of thought which distinguishes what it considers morally good or bad, commending the good, condemning the bad, and so prompting to do the former, and to avoid the latter." - Vine 2. The love God desires is that which comes from a person with a 'good conscience' a. To have a 'good' conscience, it must be properly set 1) Like a clock, it is accurate only when properly set 2) Otherwise it might lead us astray - e.g., Ac 23:1; cf. 26:9-11 3) A good conscience is one that is set according to God's standard b. To have a 'good' conscience, it must be properly cleansed 1) For no matter who we are, we are sinners! a) God says so - Ro 3:23 b) So does our conscience - Ro 2:14-15 c) Any who deny this have 'rejected' or 'seared' their conscience - cf. 1Ti 1:19; 4:2 2) What can 'cleanse' our conscience? a) Not any OT sacrifice or worship - He 9:9-10 b) Rather, the blood of Christ - He 9:14 3. Only with a conscience 'cleansed' from dead works can we really: a. Love both God and man b. Love with a pure heart and good conscience! C. FROM A SINCERE FAITH... 1. Some translations use 'unfeigned' instead of 'sincere' (ASV, KJV) 2. It is translated elsewhere as 'without hypocrisy' (Ro 12:9) or 'genuine' (2Ti 1:5) 3. The word 'faith' involves two interrelated concepts: a. A strong conviction in that which is believed b. A strong trust in the object believed 4. A 'sincere faith' would be: a. A true, honest to God, conviction b. A true-hearted trust in God and Jesus 5. This kind of faith comes only from the Word of God
- cf. Ro 10:17; Jn 20:30-31 6. Without such faith, the love God desires is not possible! CONCLUSION 1. What kind of religion do you have...? a. One that consists in little more than religious talk? b. Or one that produces genuine love for God and man, manifested in deeds? 2. If you desire the religion that pleases God, it must be the kind that expresses itself in love: "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." (Ga 5:6) 3. Yet that kind of love comes "from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith"... a. Which is the goal of every command of God b. Who dare says that keeping the commandments of God are not important? Are you willing to let the commands of God create in you "love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith"...?