Every preacher ought to have a pastoral heart
1:5 points to what ties together:
The pastoral epistles may not be epistles to pastors, yet they do reveal that every preacher should have a pastors heart.
- The Conclusion of Love – 'the end' : 'telos' : end, conclusion, termination, completion
- The Commandment of Love
- The Condition of Love
- 'pure heart'
- 'good conscience'
- 'faith unfeigned'
The Conclusion of Love – 'the end' : 'telos' : end, conclusion, termination, completion
What does that actually mean? 'love'?
It is a Divine Attribute
God is Love (1 John 4:8)
God is Light (1 John 1:5)
God is True (John 3:33)
God is Spirit (John 4:24)
It is the nature of God: 'God is Love'
As the nature of God we cannot define it
Because we cannot define it
We cannot construct it
Because we cannot construct it, we cannot imitate it / impersonate it!
We cannot counterfeit it!
Genuine love cannot be counterfeited by men
Genuine love is only ever extended out from its original source – God
The presence of such love is therefore definitive of / synonymous with regeneration (1 John 4:7).
Love – Divine attribute:
We cannot Define it
The chemists of a previous century broke down the compounds they found in nature, until they could break them down no further:
Constructed the Periodic Table of Elements
Chemicals brought to their simplest
They get no simpler
H20 – H2 + O2
Salt – Na + Cl
Sugar – C + H + O
Once you reach these elements you could break them down no further chemically
So too with love
As a Divine attribute, it can be broken down no further
cf. 1 Corinthians chp 13 – love is eternal and abiding
cf. John 15:13 – Love is a power greater than self interest, self preservation, most clearly seen in giving and sacrifice, the motive to disrupt the greatest joys and closest bonds (cf. Roms5:8).
Love is seen in the sacrifice of relationships (Rom 5:9)
Love is seen in the strength of relationships (Rom 8:35ff)
Love is the product of the Spirits work in us (Gal 5:22)
Perhaps the most succinct description of love in the New Testament is Colossians 3:14:
'sundesmos' of perfectness
'sundesmos' – 'together glue of perfection'
Here is the essential agent of spiritual cohesion
We live in God's universe
We observe daily that God is the Master of holding things together
He is the Master of cohesion!
You will perhaps have noticed that when you go out the front door in the morning that you don't drift off into space!
Planets held together by gravity
Tissues held together by cellular adhesion molecules
Water held together by hydrogen bonds
Atoms held together by electromagnetic forces
Here is God's means of cohesion in the spiritual realm: 'love'
'the together glue of perfection'
cannot define it
cannot construct it
cannot counterfeit it
If the end of the commandment is love
What then is the end of love?
To what does love bring us into?
The 'together glue' with what?
The moral qualifications of 1 Tim 1:5 would seem to indicate that 'love' here is the 'together glue' of our relationship with God.
- 'pure heart' – Ps 24:4 – spirituality
- 'good conscience' – 1 Peter 3:21 – morality
- 'faith unfeigned' – Heb 11:6 – reality
Love brings us into a relationship with God
The truth brings me into love
This is the purpose of our election (Ephesians 1:4)
This is the destiny of our election – love relationship with God through Christ!
The end of the commandment then is to bring me to 1 Timothy 3:16 – a relationship with Christ
Interestingly the first mention of 'agape' in the NT (Matt 24:12), speaks of the necessity of love in our relationship with God
Righteousness is necessary to maintain the correct environment for love
We cannot synthesis love
We can only maintain the right environment in our lives of Gods love to flow!
The Commandment of Love
Is it the 10 commandments of 1:7ff?
The 10 commandments
Do not cause love, love brings about obedience to the commandments (Deut 6:1-6; 10:12ff)
Love is a fruit of the Spirit, not of the commandments nor the law (Gal 6)
Love is the product of the new birth (1 John 4:7)
The law brings the knowledge of sin and thus the fear of judgement, which is the opposite of love (Rom 3:20)
'commandment' : 'paraggelia' – found in 1:3,5,18 – 'charge'
This is the charge of Paul to Timothy
Which is the charge of Timothy to Ephesus
Which is the content of 1 Timothy
The Condition of Love