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1 Timothy 1:5

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

I love the “North Star” statements of Scripture. The North Star is clear and unmoving and—no matter what else may be happening—if you follow that star, you will be heading North…Similarly, “North Star” statements sweep away the complexities and uncertainties with which we live so much of our lives and give us simple, clear, ever-true realities to which we can anchor our lives. 1 Timothy 1:5 is one such statement.

The aim, the goal, the purpose, the completion and the perfection of Christian teaching (and all Christians teach in one way or another) is love. The act of teaching itself ought to be love, and the goal of the teaching ought to be the creation of love in the hearts of those who hear. In fact, Paul goes so far as to say that any Christian teaching that does not flow from and seek to engender love is vain, empty, worthless (1:6).

Now, since everyone you meet has their own definition of “love,” what exactly this “love” is that Paul says is the aim of Christian teaching needs to be clarified. Can we clarify it from this text? I think so. The love that Paul speaks of here issues from a pure heart and good conscience (both of which come by acceptance of Christ’s crucifixion as our purification, Heb.10:22) and a sincere faith (i.e., faith in Christ)….in other words, it is the love that flows from a heart pierced with and enraptured by the crucified and risen Jesus, and thus it is a love that images Christ’s love.

And what is Christ’s love? One summary would be to say that it is a satisfaction in God that overflows in the total giving of the self to the beloved so that the beloved might also be satisfied in God. That is what happens on Calvary. For us, then, imaging this love looks like knowing and enjoying God in Christ with all that we are, and reflecting the self-giving of God in Christ in all that we do unto the end that those around us might also know and enjoy God in Christ….Love gives God to the beloved.