The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 88 of 181
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1: 5 - 17.
pp. 66 - 71
Paul had left Timothy at Ephesus to deal with false teachers who were straying from
the Truth committed to him and made known through his witness. The best antidote to
error is always the truth of God and here the Apostle calls it a `dispensation (stewardship)
of God' which had been the subject of the Ephesian and Colossian epistles (I Tim. 1: 4,
R.V.) and the goal of it all was love:
"But the end of the commandment is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience
and faith unfeigned" (1: 5).
The word parangelia, `commandment' (a military term) is cognate with the verb in
verse 3. Telos is the aim or goal; surely the goal of all truth is divine love in all its
sacrificial giving and unselfishness. Its source is made clear by the preposition ek (out of)
which clearly draws attention to its origin in three ways:
(1) A pure heart. The heart stands for the totality of a man's moral affections and
outlook, and without purity there, Christian love is impossible. The Lord Jesus had a
special promise for the pure in heart (Matt. 5: 8).
(2) A good conscience. The word suneidesis (conscience) implies self-judgment and
moral consciousness, a constant awareness of God and His truth. In this very epistle we
find the opposers of the truth have a seared or branded conscience (I Tim. 4: 2), one that
cannot act because it has been quenched and ignored so many times and finally put out of
action by the system known in Scripture as `the lie', whose author is Satan.
(3) Faith unfeigned. True faith or trust is where we start in our dealings with God.
"He that cometh to God must believe (have faith) that He exists . . . . ." (Heb. 11: 6).
Pretence here ruins the whole approach and in fact all our relationship with Him. The
Apostle links love and faith together in his great hymn recorded in I Cor. 13: and such
faith leads to the greatest of all graces--love.
This trinity of graces was conspicuously absent from the opposers of the truth in our
"From which things some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talking;
desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor
whereof they confidently affirm" (1: 6, 7, R.V.).
These false teachers, instead of keeping to the race track of truth, had swerved off it
into a barren waste, their words being nothing more than meaningless chatter (vain
jangling). The desire to be `teachers of the law' shows their Jewish character and their
ambition seemed to be to rival contemporary Rabbinical exposition, rather than to
minister the truth.