The Goal of Our Instruction

Text: 1 Timothy 1:5

Why do we preach and teach the gospel? It is about more than just fulfilling a command or following the New Testament pattern. We are to preach and teach with a purpose. Paul told Timothy about “the goal of our instruction.”


  • Agape – active love; putting the interests of others ahead of our own
  • This type of love involves humility (Philippians 2:3-4) and a willingness to sacrifice (Philippians 2:5-8; John 15:13)
  • Many like to talk about love, but God expects us to do more than just talk about it (1 John 3:18)
  • Love for God (1 John 4:19) – results in obedience (1 John 5:3)
  • Love for truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10) – results in believing the truth, even when wickedness is desirable to us (2 Thessalonians 2:12)
  • Love for brethren (1 John 4:11) – results in submitting (Ephesians 5:21) and serving (Galatians 5:13)
  • Love for enemies (Matthew 5:43-45) – do good to them as you can (Romans 12:18-21)

A Pure Heart

  • Part of our instruction involves what we must do (Matthew 28:20; Titus 2:11-12) – this is part of love (1 John 5:3)
  • But right actions alone are not enough, our hearts must be right – it is possible to do right things for wrong reasons
  • One may do good in order to bring glory to himself (Matthew 6:1-6)
  • One may live godly in order to gain something for himself (1 Timothy 6:5)
  • One may teach truth in order to cause trouble for others (Philippians 1:15-17)
  • Our hearts must be right if we hope to please God (Matthew 5:8)

A Good Conscience

  • A good conscience is important, but it must be trained properly – Paul persecuted the church in good conscience (Acts 23:1)
  • Our conscience must be trained by the word of God (Hebrews 5:14)
  • In this context, a good conscience involves knowing that we are doing God’s will – not just that we think we are doing God’s will
  • Our teaching must show people the way that is right, not the way that seems right (Proverbs 14:12)
  • A good conscience begins at baptism (1 Peter 3:21) – knowledge of forgiveness (Acts 22:16)
  • After obeying the gospel, maintain a good conscience (1 Peter 3:16) – through obedience (1 Peter 2:12); do not let your conscience become seared by sin/error (1 Timothy 4:2)

A Sincere Faith

  • Faith is not mere belief – it is demonstrated in every area of our lives (James 2:17-18; 2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • Faith must be sincere/unfeigned/genuine – hypocrisy is condemned (Matthew 23:2-3, 13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29)
  • We must cultivate a sincere faith by our teaching
  • Teach of our accountability to God (2 Corinthians 5:10) – nothing is hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:12-13)
  • Show that faith is reasonable, not just “wishful thinking” (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Remind others that faith is to be active (James 2:26)

The Wrong Way to Accomplish Our Goal

  • Teaching strange doctrines (1 Timothy 1:3)
  • Paying attention to myths, genealogies, and matters of speculation (1 Timothy 1:4)
  • Engaging in fruitless discussions (1 Timothy 1:6)
  • Mishandling the Scriptures (1 Timothy 1:7-8)
  • Teaching what is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10)

The Right Way to Accomplish Our Goal

  • Speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)
  • Preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27)
  • Preach in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2)

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