Love Goals (Good Conscience)

In the last article of this series, we looked at the phrase “pure heart” to determine what it could mean in light of a Christians life. We are currently looking at 1 Timothy 1:5 which says, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Paul mentions three things here that lead to love. A pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. This time, we are going to look at what having a good conscience means, and why it’s important to our faith. 

When we think of having a good conscience, we probably think along the lines of our minds being clear and we have no worries about anything we’ve done. If we haven’t done anything wrong, then there’s no reason to have a guilty conscience because we did no wrong to render such a conscience. Those convicted of a crime they didn’t do, have a clear conscience because they know they did no wrong. Romans tells us that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). So if this is the case, how are we to ever have a good conscience? We sin all the time and as ling as we are flesh and blood, we always will. So what are we to do? Is this just a fantasy never to be lived out? Well let’s look at some examples. 

David is known as a man after God’s own heart. He was a shepherd, a king, and was the start of a royal line of descendants. Despite these qualities, he had a very strong conscience that weighed on him heavily. In 1 Samuel 24:4-5 it says, “Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.” David was running and hiding from Saul. Saul wanted to kill him, and David was right behind him and Saul didn’t even know it. David was so close, he cut off a corner of the kings robe. Then the Scriptures say that David was conscience stricken. In other words, he felt guilty because Saul was anointed by God even though Saul wanted his life. This shows how even we think we do the right thing, our conscience says otherwise. 

Another time David disobeyed God, and then he felt horrible about it afterwards. David took a census against the Lord’s orders. When David heard the final count, his conscience set in and he felt guilty. In 1 Samuel 24:10, he begs God to take the guilt away from him. He realized what he had done and he didn’t want it on his mind. So how do we do that today? How can we remove our guilt?

When Jesus died on the cross, his sacrifice meant freedom for everyone (Romans 6:18). We have been set free from the bondage of sin and from death (Romans 8:2). The result of sin is death and that is the guiltiness that weighs on our conscience when we sin. However, because of Jesus, we have been set free meaning also that the guiltiness has been lifted from our minds. We don’t have to think about it because of Jesus. Jesus removes our guilty conscience. Hebrews 10:22 says that our hearts are sprinkled to cleanse us from that guilty conscience. We no longer have to be weighed down by guilt. We have been set free from all of that, thanks to Jesus. 

Since we have been set free and can have a good, clear conscience, it helps us live a life like Christ. In other words, it helps us love others because the burden of guilt is gone. We have a clean heart and clear conscience in order to serve others and Jesus.  

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