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1 Timothy 1:19 – When does faith suffer shipwreck?

08-11-2023 - Posted by Hans

Having faith and a good conscience, which some, thrusting away have made shipwreck as to the faith

Resolute action against everything that deviates from sound doctrine (1:3) means struggle in practice. This battle can only be fought ideally “having faith and a good conscience.” “having faith” means: trusting in “sound words” from God Himself (1 Tim. 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13). That is not subjective or vague, but extremely concrete. In my struggle, do I rely on human reasoning and thoughts or is what “ is written” sufficient? In other words, do I believe God or do I believe people?

The second criterion for an “ideal warfare” is related to the first criterion: “a good conscience”. Conscience (Gr. suneidesis) is literally a ‘co-knowledge’. It indicates an ‘built-in’ knowledge that man shares with his Creator. Every person knows about good and evil. Our conscience is not infallible because it can be weakened (1Cor.8:12), contaminated (Tit.1:15) or even seared (1Tim.4:2). But that does not alter the fact that every person is expected to act in accordance with the testimony of his conscience (Rom.2:15). If he does not do this, he gives up his “good conscience”, so that his faith will inevitably suffer shipwreck.