A note from our Pastor:
”Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”1 Timothy 1:5
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
In our study verse this week, the Apostle Paul continues his instructions for mentoring the pastors and teachers at Ephesus. Previously, he has instructed Timothy to instruct these pastors and teachers to preach no other doctrine and to focus on the truth of Jesus Christ. Now in verses five through seven he is going to add to the guidelines given to Timothy.
While these instructions were given to Timothy for the benefit of the church at Ephesus — churches today would do well to pay attention to this message. If the Apostle Paul left it for a roadmap for Timothy at Ephesus and it has been preserved by the Holy Spirit for us, then the message is still quite applicable to how we teach and preach today.
The Apostle begins by saying “now the end of the commandment” which is a peculiar phrase. In translation it means but the end of the commandment. In other words, the Apostle is telling Timothy, God has given his people many commandments over the years, but the end of them is what I am going to tell you now. The importance being, this is the commandment left with the New Testament church. This is the lesson plan to follow.
What is this commandment? Charity. Matthew records the commandment the Lord gives telling us to love God with all our might and to love our neighbors in the same fashion. The Apostle is pointing Timothy here back to this commandment.
First, charity of a pure heart. This is not to imply any person could have a pure heart of their own nor does it mean one must be without sin. Rather, it points back to the Lord’s questions recorded in the gospel — if you only love those who love you back, what gain have you? Loving out of a pure heart is an instruction to love all those around you.
Second, charity of a good conscience. The only true foundation for love in action with a good conscience is to know the work is performed for the glory and honor of God and not men. When charity is used to boost oneself, to improve social standing, or to gain attention it ends up being hollow. But when charity is done for the glory of God and truly for the benefit of others it is affirming and rewarding.
Finally, charity of faith unfeigned. Christ had many harsh words for the Pharisees and scribes in the gospels because they were hypocrites. They were pretending to have faith when really they only had the law and their own power in mind. The Apostle is reminding Timothy to teach in humility. Charity based in true faith recognizes our own lowly state and gladly gives of what we have for the benefit of others.
May the Lord bless us to live in this model in the New Testament church.
Our Prayers are with you daily,