Summary: From a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith will flow the love God expects in His children.
To Love My Neighbor
Text: 1 Timothy 1:5
Read Matthew 22:36-40
We really have no problem approaching the concept of loving our Holy Father with every part of our being but it is not so easy to love our neighbor as ourselves.
In his first letter to Timothy, Paul gives us the source of this love:
1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
#1 Love from a pure heart
A. God has always desired the pure in heart
1. The concept of a pure heart is a rich Old Testament theme.
a. The psalmist asks, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?” (Psalm 24:3). He then answers his question, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:4).
b. And ”Psalm 73:1 exclaims, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!”
B. "Blessed are the Pure in Heart." Matthew 5:8
1. Singularity of heart
a. Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth."
b. Matthew 6:21 "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
c. Colossians 3:1 - 3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
3. "Pure" gold or sugar, refined to remove impurities.
a. Hebrews 10:19 - 22 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
B. A Heart of Pure What?
1. Colossians 3:12-13 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
2. Love flows from a pure heart of righteousness.
#2 Love from a good conscience
A. A Good Conscience is heard and felt?
1. Agathos (good) is that which is perfect, producing pleasure, satisfaction, and a sense of well-being.
a. The conscience is the God-created self-judging faculty of man. It either affirms or accuses a person
Romans 2:14-15 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
b. When you know something is wrong and do it, do you feel guilty?
c. When you know to do good and don't do it, do you feel guilty?
2. The mind knows the standard of right and wrong, and when that standard is violated, the good conscience reacts to accuse, producing guilt, shame, doubt, fear, remorse, or despair.
B. Can you blush?
"Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
At the time that I punish them,
They shall be cast down," says the LORD.
1. 1 Timothy 4:2 Paul wrote of the false teachers that they were seared in their own conscience (Dead conscience)
2. 1 Corinthians 8:7 Weak conscience in eating meat sacrificed to idols (linked to knowledge.)
3. John 8:9 Working consciences in the accusers of a woman caught in adultery (from the oldest to the youngest)
4. In his defense before Felix, the Roman Governor, Paul said:
Acts 24:14-16 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.