Summary: The true disciple seeks to produce in the church that which God requires, love toward Him and those who are His.
Know The Goal
Text: 1 Timothy 1:5
To protect Timothy (and the saints) from the error of the false teachers, Paul contrasts the goal of his instruction with that of the false teachers. The false teachers were motivated by mere curiosity and a desire to gain prestige as intellectuals. The true disciple seeks to produce in the church that which God requires, love toward Him and those who are His. It is essential that believers “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39). Love, indeed, is the mark of the Christian. Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John added, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7–8).
Agapē (love) is the love of choice, of will. It involves self-denial and self-sacrifice to benefit others. This kind of love flows from three sources.
I. From a pure heart
A. "Blessed are the Pure in Heart." Matthew 5:8
1. "Pure" sugar or gold
a. James 4:7-9 NASB Submit therefore to God Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
b. Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
2. Singularity of devotion
a. Joshua 24:13-15 "Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
b. Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.
c. Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
3. The goal of the command is a heart purely focused on the will of God.
II. From a Good Conscience
A. A conscience free from guilt. (John 8:9)
1. In order to love properly, our conscience must be clear.
a. First, it must be clean from unconfessed sin so that guilt doesn’t hinder us.
b. Second, our motives must be free from pride and personal gain.
2. A good conscience is joined with sound faith; a bad conscience with unsoundness in the faith.
a. Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
3. There can be no genuine love to God where the dictates of conscience are constantly violated (whether a man knows that he is continually doing wrong or not doing right.)
a. James 4:17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
4. To maintain a blameless conscience, one free of offense against either God or man, was Paulfs goal
a. Acts 24:16 In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.
b. A good conscience requires effort, practice.
c. If a man wishes to have the evidence of love to God, he must keep a good conscience. All pretended love, where a man knows that he is living in sin, is mere hypocrisy.
III. From a sincere faith
A. Faithful and True
1. The false teachers drew men off from such a loving, working, real faith, to profitless, speculative questions (1 Timothy 1:4 g...which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.h).
2. Not a hypocritical, dead, and unfruitful faith, but faith working by love.
B. Our faith cannot be a mask, a charade in our lives.
1. We are no longer what we were.