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5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 

 Timothy was a young pastor with a big job. He was the pastor of the church at Ephesus. The church was big in size and encountering challenges, just as churches do today. Leadership issues, wrong teaching, and the pressures that come with a public ministry were staring Timothy in the face. And his young age was not an asset in this situation.  

Keep in mind as you read 1 Timothy that this young man was very close to Paul and near and dear to his heart. Paul wants to see Timothy do well, so personal instruction is laced throughout this letter.   

This verse today is one of those verses directed to Timothy but applicable to us.   

The purpose of the commandment is the following three things that will help Timothy and us stay on the right track. Love from a pure heart. Paul wrote this letter in his latter years, and he well knew the importance of obeying God's commandment to walk in love. The God kind of unselfish, giving love.   

A good conscience. Not being at odds with our own hearts. Our conscience is what bothers us when we know we have done wrong. But a good conscience means that our outer life and inner life are congruent. We are doing what we know to do, and that makes our conscience clear. The apostle John would later write that if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. (1 John 3:21) A good conscience helps keep us on the right track. 

 And from sincere faith. This is a genuine unhypocritical faith. Paul knew the importance of walking by faith. He spoke about faith a great deal. At the end of his letter to Timothy, he encourages this young man to fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12) The fight of faith is the fight to keep believing when nothing visible or tangible is present. When people stray away from faith, they derail their walk with the Lord. Paul so wanted his son in the faith, Timothy, to stay on the right track.   


As with so many verses, the application of the verse involves a process. But this verse gives us another valuable checklist to help us ensure that we are moving in the right direction.   

Am I walking in love toward those around me? Is my conscience clear before God? Am I in faith? Honestly answering these three questions is a great way to stay on track.   


Lord, help me grow and increase in these three areas. My heart is to stay on the right track.