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Read Introduction to 1 Timothy


19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.


In the following verses, Paul shows Timothy how to fight for the faith (v. 18). He is to be a man of faith with a good conscience.

19 having [holding] faith

To address the difficult situation in the Ephesian church, Timothy must have “faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 1:5; 3:9). There are two ways to fight a spiritual war. Should the young pastor lack one, it will affect the other. Timothy was to be faithful to the gospel and the Word of God without wavering (1 Tim 6:20).

The word “faith” has a definite article preceding it, indicating the body of faith or doctrine God revealed. It is possible to grow our faith (Lu 17:5; Ro 10:17; Ju 20). However, it is possible to be weak in faith (Lu 22:31, 32; Ro 14:1).


Faith is our estimation of God.


Faith is crucial to fighting a spiritual war. The exercise of faith indicates our estimation of God. It calculates how much we believe He is trustworthy and that what He says in the Word of God is true.

Faith in the body of revelation that God has given is foundational to spiritual growth and stability. We need faith in both what we believe and how we believe. To exercise faith is to rest on God’s promises; it is to believe God has spoken and He has something to say about every aspect of our lives.