Keeping a Clear Conscience
1 Timothy 1:5-20 (NLT)
The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. But some teachers have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time arguing and talking foolishness. They want to be known as teachers of the Law of Moses, but they don't know what they are talking about, even though they seem so confident. We know these laws are good when they are used as God intended. But they were not made for people who do what is right. They are for people who are disobedient and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who murder their father or mother or other people. These laws are for people who are sexually immoral, for homosexuals and slave traders, for liars and oath breakers, and for those who do anything else that contradicts the right teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.
How thankful I am to Christ Jesus our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve him, even though I used to scoff at the name of Christ. I hunted down his people, harming them in every way I could. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how kind and gracious the Lord was! He filled me completely with faith and the love of Christ Jesus.
This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they give you the confidence to fight well in the Lord's battles. Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear.– For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples of this.– I turned them over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme God.
- What do you think is the importance of having a clear conscience when it comes to "loving one another," as mentioned in verse five?
- You've heard the cliché, "Let your conscience be your guide." In light of this passage and Titus 1:15, how accurate is this statement?
- Read 1 Corinthians 4:4. What do you think Paul is trying to get across here?
- Re-read 1 Timothy 1:5, 19 and meditate on it over the next week, thinking about how you can better apply it to your life.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189 USA. All rights reserved.
Equip God's People
"Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ" Ephesians 4:12 (NLT)