Three Little Words

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart . . .”—1 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV)


There are three key words in this passage we need to define to fully understand what it’s saying: love, pure, and heart. Instead of taking them in chronological order, let’s work through them back to front.


Heart: The original Greek word used here is the word kardia. It’s obvious we’ve carried this word over to represent the organ in our body responsible for pumping 750 gallons of blood through our body every nine hours.


But the biblical use of this word goes beyond a physical organ. It refers to the core of a person; that immaterial thing inside that makes us what we truly are.  When you strip everything away, what’s left? That’s what this verse is really referring to here. It’s our irreducible minimum.


We all have a heart, but they aren’t all the same. A lot of complex variables add up to make our heart what it is. This isn’t something we can measure with microscopes or magnifying glasses. To complicate things, sin has infected each and every heart in its own particular way, leading Jeremiah to conclude that the heart is like a minefield of deceit and wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9).


Pure: However, Paul puts the word pure in front of heart. In this sense, pure speaks of being free and clear of the effects of guilt and sin. It’s like a filter has been put over the heart so it becomes peaceful instead of hostile. What was wrong with the heart before has been made right by virtue of God’s influence upon it. Just as Jesus touched and purified the leper, He purifies our heart when He touches our lives.


Love: It’s out of this good soil of a cleansed core that love is meant to grow. The original word here for love is agape, which is the unconditional and impartial love of God. It’s selfless, not selfish, always acting on behalf of others despite how it’s treated in return. We can’t create this love on our own. It can only come to us from the outside as God’s Spirit bestows it on us (Romans 5:5).


Add it all up and we see that God gives us a pure heart to serve as a channel for His love to flow out to others. This is what He wants to do with our lives . . . so let’s let Him! 


DIG: What are the three little words?

DISCOVER: What’s the connection between them?

DISPLAY: Intentionally live this out today!

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.