a good conscience

“…that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.” 1 Timothy 1:18b, 19a (ESV)

What does Paul mean by a good conscience?

I suppose, in the context of what has been entrusted to Timothy, it would involve him “holding faith”.

Not departing from the original doctrine taught to him by Paul.

And having that assurance deep inside that he had “kept the faith”. (2 Timothy 4:7)

It’s obviously important as Paul used the same phrase, “a good conscience“, earlier in verse 5.

But holding firm is not an easy thing to do when we’re constantly assailed by forces trying to distract us, sway us, even break us.

But with God’s help, with God’s grace, we can remain steadfast and true.

Kim+

prayer : help me Lord to be honest with myself and with you, confessing my sins with a truly repentant heart

action : seek to understand God’s will and purpose for my life

the law is good

“Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully,” 1 Timothy 1:8 (ESV)

That’s the crux of it: if the law is used lawfully. Thus it’s first necessary to know what it means to use the law “lawfully”.

John Piper, in his sermon “How to Use the Law Lawfully to Bear Fruit for God“, does an excellent job of explaining this.

It’s well worth listening to or reading.

What I took away from his talk is that rules and regulations help us to know and understand what sin is.

But, having been transformed by the grace of God, it’s love that should dictate our every thought, word, and deed.

Love for God. Love for our neighbour. Love for His creation.

As believers, we’re called to “meditate on the law in order to know the justice and mercy of God in Christ, our righteousness and our life.”

What a great privilege it is to be able to “meditate on His word day and night”. (Psalm 1:2)

Kim+

prayer : thank you God that we have the law to point us towards Jesus

action : live as a child of God, forgiven and “set free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2)

a pure heart

“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)

What a challenge. To be so changed by Christ that we love others the way He loves us.

It’s important to note that love does not come from performing good works or observing the law.

It comes from an internal transformation brought about by the gospel of Christ.

It is a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith that that produces love.

Kim+

prayer : that God will purify my heart, convict and forgive me of my sin, and strengthen my faith so that my “love may abound more and more” (Philippians 1:9)

action : confess my self-centredness and seek God’s forgiveness