The purpose of the commandment
Yesterday we saw briefly that the Apostle Paul was given a commandment(epitage)from Jesus Himself to turn Gentiles from darkness to light through the preaching of the Gospel of grace.
We saw that he goes on to tell Timothy, “to charge(paraggellō)
some to preach no other doctrine”, and then says that “the purpose of the commandment(paraggelia) is love from a pure heart , from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,..” (1Ti 1:1,3,5) None of these three Greek words speak about the old testament commandments at all but are related to the personal charge given to Paul.
Today I want to have a look at verse 5 – The purpose of the Commandment.
1Ti 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, nkjv
It is quite laughable to me that we could think that Paul is referring here to the old testament commandments producing these things in verse five. But so many in the church of Jesus Christ teach exactly that. They take this one verse out of it’s context because they see the word “commandment” and link it back to old testament law. As I have said already, Paul is speaking about the commandment he received from Jesus to preach the Good News not the Old news of the Law.
Paul himself could testify that he followed the old testament law of Moses before conversion and it did not produce in him love from a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith. There is nothing wrong with the Law, but with man. The law perfects no one.
The purpose of the Law of Moses
Paul tells us that the Law was added because of transgression, not just to keep Israel from sinning in the gross ways that the surrounding nations were, but to show them their sinfulness.
Gal 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
The Law points out our failures so that we will try harder to keep it, yet in doing this we do not become more like Jesus.
If Paul tells us that the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart then how is that true of the old testament commandments? It is not. For if the old law was able to produce in us love from a pure heart then there would be no need to send Jesus.
Jesus’ commandment to Saul of Tarsus
Act 26:17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
This commandment or mandate our Lord Jesus gave to Paul is the gospel of God’s incredible grace towards us. The Gospel of grace has as its end goal our transformation into the image of Jesus. For love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith describe the Saviour Himself.
Love from a pure heart
We know that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, for God tells us so in Romans 5:5. Notice that it is the love OF God, not love for God. The Law of Moses commands us to love God with all our heart and soul and strength. But we find no strength to do that properly. We try to love Him but fail everyday by the way we treat others and the way we think and speak. So, we run to the confessional to repent of our weakness and sin and ask for strength to love God more the next time. This is not New Covenant living!!
The love OF /from God is shed abroad in our hearts by the internal One – the Spirit of Jesus. God saw that man could not love Him properly by trying to. God knew man in his fallen condition did not have what it takes to love Him, even though God commanded man to do so. The Law condemns man as not being good enough or loving enough. God knew that it would condemn us. He also knew that many would be deceived by their seeming success to keep the Law. They become boastful and proud about their law keeping. Yet the One who knows all things is not fooled by the show of self righteousness.
The New Covenant does away COMPLETELY with the OLD COVENANT LAW. It is not commanding us to love God as if we have some ability in and of ourselves to do so. The Old man that we were born as has been put to death on the Cross. That old man of sin tried hard to be a good person but could not satisfy God’s requirements for holiness. The answer was to put him to death in the body of Jesus Who took all our ‘old men’ into Himself on the Cross.
Now we are raised up by faith in Jesus, NOT AS THE OLD MAN, but as the NEW MAN. The new man is Christ Jesus and you joined together as one person. This is astounding!!
The new man is Christ in you. His perfect love is now your love shed abroad in your heart. In and of yourself you have NO LOVE FOR GOD. But the One joined with your born again spirit HAS ALL GOD’S LOVE. When you love it is He loving and vice versa. 1Cor 6:17; Gal 2:20
This love we have in us is God’s love. It is in us only because Jesus Himself is in us. Of course when Jesus comes into the Temple He cleanses it. This has been done the moment we first believed in Jesus. He cleansed us of the Old sin nature and He Himself became our new nature. He is our pure heart full of love.
But the Accuser of the brethren, the Devil and Satan, accuses us all the time. He suggests to us that we do not have a pure heart, we do not love like Jesus loves, we are not one spirit with Jesus etc etc If we were one with Jesus we would love more, serve more, be more like Him. By these accusations Satan tries to force us to live by self effort always looking at our performance and judging ourselves by some standard of the Law.
Yet Jesus says you are already clean, you are already pruned. John 15:3 You are purified and holy by faith in the blood of Jesus. This is what we must answer the Accuser with every time. You have a pure heart beloved child of God. It was given to you, not earned by you. Jesus Himself is your new pure heart. You do not have any sin nature in you anymore.
The purpose of the commandment that Paul preached is that you would come to fully accept what Jesus has done for you and accept the New creation that He has made you to be. In accepting it by faith we must begin to speak it by bold faith.
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar offwere assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Heb 11:14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
The Spirit of God in you is bringing you to see the truth of you, Christ in you. As you become assured of this, you then embrace this new you and confess and declare the truth about yourself. This forms Christ in your heart from whom all your actions flow.
Thus the end goal of the commandment to Paul is love from a pure heart. Believe it. You have a pure heart. Shout it if you have to! The accuser will remind you of all the reasons why you cannot say such a thing. But we must walk by faith and declare the truth about our heart.
Our heart is purified by faith in Jesus–not by obedience to old testament law…not by trying to be good. A pure heart is the free gift of God to the believer-YOU! We receive His gift by thanking Him for it.
“Thank you Father for giving me a pure heart of love. I declare it Abba, You have purified my heart. You have given me the heart of Jesus! I am filled with His love. I have a pure heart of love.”
An impure heart is one that refuses the new creation and continues to try to be good and not be bad. Jesus said you are clean or pure, therefore ABIDE in Me. John 15:4
We abide in Him primarily by faith, which involves speaking in agreement with the new creation truth in the Gospel of Paul.
We shall look at 1 Timothy 1:5 where Paul speaks of a good conscience next time. The purpose of the commandment is a good conscience.