What does 1 Timothy 1:5 mean?
ESV: The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
NIV: The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
NASB: But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith.
CSB: Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
NLT: The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
KJV: Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
NKJV: Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
Verse Commentary:
In this verse, Paul explains why these false teachers must be opposed. Their actions are motivated by pointless obsession (1 Timothy 1:4), but a true leader should be motivated by pure Christian love. The goal of the Christian life is not hate or controversy, but a particular kind of love, from the Greek word agapē. This specifically means a selfless, sacrificial, sincere love.

According to Paul, this love should come from "a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." These traits underscore the idea that agapē love is not sensual or selfish, but rather seeks to help others. A "pure heart" connects with Psalm 24:4 and is also mentioned in the New Testament in 2 Timothy 2:22 and 1 Peter 1:22. A "good conscience" is mentioned again in 1 Timothy 1:19 as a necessity for Timothy to be successful against false teachers. The other mention of a "sincere faith" in the New Testament is in 2 Timothy 1:5, where Paul describes Timothy's trust in Christ.
Verse Context:
First Timothy 1:3–11 explains the difference between a correct application of the law versus an ''illegal'' use of it. Paul's point is that the law is meant to make us aware of our sin, not to drive us into legalism. The false teachers of Ephesus are bickering over the law and missing the point. This is driven by their desire for prestige, even though they lack knowledge. Paul gives a list of sins parallel to the Ten Commandments showing how the law is meant to convict such people of sin as a means to explain the gospel of Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Paul introduces himself and emphasizes the positive relationship he has with Timothy. The specific mission Timothy has in Ephesus is to oppose false teaching. Some of the Ephesians have rejected the importance of conscience and attempt to teach without having the required knowledge. As a result, they bicker over pointless issues and misuse the law given by God. Paul recognizes his own need for forgiveness and salvation, and encourages Timothy with a reminder that they share a common savior.
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of 1 Timothy frames the situation Paul is concerned about. In particular, he is worried about the false teachers plaguing the Ephesian church. These men are misusing the law, teaching false doctrines, and rejecting the importance of a clear conscience. Paul points out his own past sins and need for forgiveness, however. By anchoring his arguments in truth and in humility, Paul sets up the importance of the letter's instructions. These are not merely suggestions, they are vital strategies Timothy needs to understand.
Book Summary:
First Timothy is one of Paul's three ''Pastoral Epistles.'' Paul's other letters, such as Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians, are meant for a broader audience. First Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are written to specific people whom Paul is advising on how to best lead their local churches. These three letters present a close look at the form and function of church leadership. First Timothy, like 2 Timothy and Titus, is less formal and systematic, and more personal. This gives great insight into the way pastors, deacons, and elders ought to prioritize their time and energy.
Accessed 5/20/2024 9:24:51 PM
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