This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on December 6th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here . To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
1 Timothy 1:5- The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith
The aim of preaching and teaching is to transform lives. Paul taught because he wanted to see lives being changed. The question to ask ourselves is not have we been informed, but how can we be transformed?
Love is the goal. If we don’t have love, we gain nothing. Love, which comes from a:
· Pure heart
· Good conscience
· Sincere faith
We will look at each of these.
1. Pure heart:
Q. What is the condition of man’s heart?
Jeremiah 17:9-“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” it can fool others and itself. In Genesis 6:5 this was the judgement of God on our hearts- “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time”.
There is nothing man can do about this. But the good news is, when we are born again and put our faith in Jesus, a miracle takes place. In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” In Jesus, we have a new heart which wants the things of God. The heart is what we think about in the secrecy of our thoughts.
However, Paul says, there is a matter of persisting in the purity of the heart. God is interested in the condition of our hearts. Pharisees obeyed the law meticulously but in Matt 6 Jesus says that their hearts are far from me.
Matthew 22: 37 Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. In 1 Samuel 16:7- “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”. We can keep most of the 10 commandments but the last one, ‘Do not covet’ deals with the heart. How do you tell your heart not to want something? Jesus had no problem hating evil and loving good.
But how do we do it? There are a couple of indications of a pure heart:
i. What do we speak about? Matthew 12:34- For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Jesus has given us a clean heart and it needs to be reflected in our speech. In 1 Peter 1:22 Peter says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart”. The word is tied up with love.
ii. Contemplating on Jesus- 2 Corinthians 3:18- “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” To change what we like, spend time meditating, in God’s presence, in his word, worship and thanksgiving we will be transformed. Whatever area you are struggling with, allow God to change your heart in that area.
2. Good Conscience:
All of us have a conscience which helps us distinguish between right and wrong. There are three kinds of consciences:
i. Weak conscience which is overly sensitive and needs to be calibrated with the word of God. These people repent of what is not sinful.
ii. Seared conscience which is like a burn on your skin. There is no sensitivity in that area. This is a dangerous place to be in.
iii. Good conscience which indicates at the right time when something is right or wrong.
Q. How can we have a good conscience?
Our conscience is a warning signal. We don’t argue with it. When we step into areas that are sinful, our conscience tells us to stop and we listen.
a. Firstly, we need to educate our conscience
b. Once we sin in an area, our conscience gets seared.
Q. How does Paul keep a clear conscience?
When we come close to sinning, 2 things may happen as our conscience warns us- we resist and run away or we step in and sin. And when we sin, we feel guilty. So we go before God and confess our sin. God then cleanses us.
Hebrews 9:14- “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
The blood of God can cleanse the pain of a seared conscience. This is available to us today. We, like Paul can have a clear conscience.
3. Sincere Faith:
Timothy had an amazing heritage with regard to this. 2 Timothy 1:5- “am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”
Following Jesus is a matter of faith. Abraham, called as the father of faith, at 99 years believed that God will give him a son.
There are only two religions in the world:
i. One says, “Do”
ii. The other says, “Done” and we have to believe.
The faith starts with Salvation. But after that we continue in our faith. It also involves obeying. That is holding on to the promises of God even when things look grim. Peter starts walking on water when there were storms all around.
Without faith it is impossible to please God. We believe in Jesus and God is pleased with that. We need to stand in God’s promises in sincere faith. We want to see lives change. Let’s pray!
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.