Faith and a Good Conscience – 1 Timothy 1:19

Holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. – 1 Timothy 1:19 NIV

Part of Paul’s charge to Timothy in this letter is to hold onto faith and a good conscience. The importance of this command is hard to over-emphasize in the life of the believer. We are saved by faith, and we stand by faith (Rom. 11:20). I would guess that doubt comes to every believer from time to time. But what do you do with that doubt? Rather than drown in that doubt, use it as an opportunity to seek God anew. Hold on to your faith; it is an anchor for your soul (Heb. 6:19).

And hold on to a good conscience. How many times have you seen a prominent preacher fall because they surrendered to human passion. And that is not limited to those in the public eye. All too many believers allow themselves to fall into sin because little by little they let go of a good conscience. The appeal of worldly things is great, and probably never more so than now. So Paul’s command to hold on to a good conscience is more relevant today than ever. Abstain from sinful desires that war against your soul (1 Pet. 2:11). Be holy, as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16).

The consequences of letting go of faith and of surrendering a good conscience are great. Paul describes those who do as having shipwrecked their faith. Shipwrecks are devastating but in this case can easily be avoided. Keep your hearts and minds focused on things above (Col. 3:1-4) and keep yourself from becoming entangled in the things of this world (2 Pet. 2:20).

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