Three Motives for God’s Requirements
Anyone who ever reared children has been asked the "why" question innumerable times. Frankly, older folks are often found asking the same thing. At First Timothy chapter one, Paul offers at verse five three of God’s motives for requiring certain things of us.
The first of these is charity out of a pure heart. Unless a person’s heart is characterized by purity, he isn’t likely to express charity anyway. One of the manifestations of the spiritually impure is a lack of concern for fellow man. Therefore, charity is not a part of his character. He may possess love for certain people or things, but this love may be motivated by selfishness because of his expectations of profit. While love is the emotion, charity is the proper expression of love in action.
Only the pure in heart will possess the proper combination. A good conscience is the second item Paul mentioned in the passage. Some people have a good conscience because they don’t know they’re guilty of anything. An ignorance of God’s will leaves man without a knowledge of what the Lord expects of him. The conscience can never alert one concerning error of the way unless there is knowledge of God’s will regarding the matter. Spiritual education may turn alarmed sinners out of millions who are comfortable in their ignorance.
Others, though, have a good conscience because they have learned God’s will and obeyed it. For these, the experience of conscience is the sweetest of all, and it is into this state that the apostle calls us all.
His third admonition is to faith unfeigned. This is the genuine article; not a pretended faith hiding concerns about both the present and the future. Remember that Paul is showing us three reasons for God’s ordinances. A person with no genuine faith must realize he has failed to comply with God’s wishes, and therefore is uncomfortable about his soul. The faith of the obedient Christian is characterized by love for God expressed by obedience, and love for man expressed by charity, both of a pure heart.
The conscience is at ease when the soul is secured by a God who has kept His promises to those of unfeigned faith.