The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Those were Paul’s words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:5. Timothy was Paul’s “true child in the faith” who was tasked with doing ministerial and evangelical work in Ephesus. Paul’s own experience in Ephesus was not without its grave difficulties (e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:32), so it is reasonable to conclude that Timothy’s work in Ephesus would also be difficult. In fact, in writing to his “true child,” Paul continually warns Timothy to expect violent opposition to the truth. Paul urges Timothy to share with others the great faith he learned as a child. It is truth that must be taught, and it is truth that must be defended. There would be many, many rivals to the truth, some of whom would put up a tremendous fight for their own philosophy and understanding. Even so, Paul encourages Timothy all the more to be constant. Yet it is noteworthy that at the very beginning of his first letter to Timothy, Paul instructs him about the ultimate “aim” (or “end” or “goal”) of the work in Ephesus—the ultimate goal is love. Teaching truth is necessary. In fact, it is essential. Defending against that which is false is also critical. But it is love that is over all. It is love “that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” that is the goal.