1. A pure conscience (1:1-7). Paul served the Lord with a pure (good) conscience, though he was instrumental in persecuting the Lord’s church in its earliest days. Can one have a good conscience when such evil has been done? Consider that with Paul’s approach, even when he was persecuting the Lord’s church, he understood what and why he was doing what he did. Because of this he was able to say that in good conscience he served. Note, moreover, that a good conscience does not always mean one is right.
2. A valley of decision (1:8-12). There comes a time when each of us must decide what it is that we are going to do. It could be as Joshua said it, or it could be something as mundane as what form of entertainment I will enjoy for the moment. Paul called on Timothy, encouraged him actually, to also make a decision, and Paul’s request of Timothy was that he would share with him in the affliction experienced.
3. Sound words (1:13-18). Paul called upon Timothy to share with him in this affliction, and Timothy could do so when he preached the same message Paul preached. The affliction they endured actually was healed by the sound (healthy) words preached. Paul encouraged Timothy in this because two had already “jumped ship” to save their own necks (1:15), only to not realize that the weight they carried took them into the depths.