Summary: All Christians are called to lead and teach for the Lord with the goal of agape love!
We continue our study of the Letters to Timothy. Please open your Bibles to 1st Timothy 1. We have noted that Paul was called to be an Apostle, an ambassador, for Jesus Christ. Timothy, discipled by Paul, was left in Ephesus to minister. Ephesus, 2000 years ago was a metropolis with a pagan society. Timothy’s main calling in Ephesus was to prevent controversies but to promote God’s work by faith! Read along with me now 1 Timothy 1:5-11….
Again, Timothy’s main calling in Ephesus was to prevent controversies but to promote God’s work by faith! Timothy was given a command to lead and teach in Ephesus. What does v5 mean for that command?
V5: original Greek word for love here is agape - thinking of the betterment (spiritual growth) of the other person; when you agape love, you’re doing your best for the other person to be closer to God!
And this agape love… Must come from a:
a. pure heart = an unstained and guiltless heart; how does one have a pure heart?
1 John 3:2-3…Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
1 John 1:9 also tells us 9 If we confess our sins, he (Jesus Christ) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 3:23 – All people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And so, along with many more Scriptures, Only with belief and trust in Jesus Christ can one have a “pure” heart! And so, agape love can only be given as one yields to Jesus Christ!
The command Timothy was to do was also to be done with a “good conscience”. What does this mean?
b. Good conscience = there is confidence in what was being said because it is from God = there is confidence of God’s approval; and so, agape love can only be given as approved by God Himself! A Christian should question themselves always, “Does God approve of what I am saying?”
The command Timothy was to do was also to be done with a “sincere faith”. What does this mean?
c. sincere faith = faith is belief, trust, confidence, fidelity and faith comes by hearing the Word of God; sincerity means no hypocrisy; and so, a sincere faith has to mean the Word of God; and so, agape love can only be given with full trust in God’s Word; our leading and teaching in love must always be BIBLICAL!
In v6-11, God gives Timothy, and all Christians, the opposite of teaching and leading in agape love!
v6-7: Some professed to be Christians at one time (likely not genuine, but only God knows a person’s heart), but, they went back either to their pagan ways or Jewish ways. Some lured people to be taught again the old ways of The Law!
What is “the law”? – The Law was basically the Old Testament Laws; and what was the problem with those “teachers”? – Those False Teachers were forcing the rules of the Old Testament laws for salvation, when Christians were now called to live in faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
V8-11: The law is good if one uses it properly. What is the purpose of The Law? – The Law shows how sinful people are! Again, as alluded to in Romans 3:23 – No person can meet the Law; Only Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law and only faith in Jesus Christ can a person be found righteous from the Law!
What Biblical Principles can we apply from this passage?
Timothy was called to lead and teach, to minister, about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! If we claim to be Believers and followers of Jesus Christ, like Timothy, we are also called to lead and teach about the Gospel!
A. Speak the truth in love! This is so easy to say but are we really applying it in our daily conversations? We must always keep this in mind - Speak the truth in love! How do we do it?
1. Are we actually speaking truths? The only truth we can have confidence in is God’s Word! Are we ourselves learning from God’s Word on a daily basis? What do we really pout in our minds on a daily basis? There is so much information available to us today through technology! Remember – G-I-G-O (Garbage In Garbage Out)! We must daily focus on T-I-T-O (Put truth in your mind daily so truth will come out!)
2. Do we really think about agape love when we speak? Most of the time, we speak to get our points across. Getting our points across are great if those points are God’s Word; but if we are really not thinking of the betterment of the other person, our words will either just create conflict or fall on deaf ears!