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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 1 - Verse 5

Verse 5. Now the end of the commandment. See Barnes "Ro 10:4".

In order that Timothy might fulfil the design of his appointment, it was necessary that he should have a correct view of the design of the law. The teachers, to whom he refers, insisted much on its obligation and importance; and Paul designs to say that he did not intend to teach that the law was of no consequence, and was not, when properly understood, obligatory. Its nature and use, however, was not correctly understood by them, and hence it was of great importance for Timothy to inculcate correct views of the purpose for which it was given. The word "commandment" here, some have understood of the gospel, (Doddridge;) others of the particular command which the apostle here gives to Timothy, (Benson, Clarke, and Macknight;) but it seems more naturally to refer to all that God had commanded—his whole law. As the error of these teachers arose from improper views of the nature and design of law, Paul says that that design should be understood. It was not to produce distinctions and angry contentions, and was not to fetter the minds of Christians with minute and burdensome observances, but it was to produce love.

Is charity. On the meaning of this word, See Barnes "1 Co 13:1".

 

Out of a pure heart. The love which is genuine must proceed from a holy heart. The commandment was not designed to secure merely the outward expressions of love, but that which had its seat in the heart.

And of a good conscience. A conscience free from guilt. Of course there can be no genuine love to God where the dictates of conscience are constantly violated, or where a man knows that he is continually doing wrong. If a man wishes to have the evidence of love to God, he must keep a good conscience. All pretended love, where a man knows that he is living in sin, is mere hypocrisy.

And of faith unfeigned. Undissembled confidence in God. This does seem to be intended specifically of faith in the Lord Jesus, but it means that all true love to God, such as this law would produce, must be based on confidence in him. How can any one have love to him who has no confidence in him? Can we exercise love to a professed friend in whom we have no confidence? Faith, then, is as necessary under the law as it is under the gospel.

{a} "of the commandment" Ro 13:8,10; Ga 5:14

{*} "charity" "Love" {b} "pure heart" 2 Ti 2:22

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