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SERVICE WITH A SMILE
Our text mentions some that were under a yoke. The yoke has been a common tool for controlling work animals for many centuries.
Encyclopedia Britannica (CDROM version) mentions: "wooden bar or frame used to join draft animals at the heads or necks so that they pull together.
"Control of a team of yoked beasts was difficult. Furthermore, ancient yokes pressed against a hard-pulling animal’s windpipe, choking it. The invention of the horse collar solved this problem and led to the replacement of oxen by horses. In some areas of the world, however, oxen still are yoked together much as they were in medieval Europe."
Frontier School of the Bible for many years used the yoke as a symbol for the school. Not only did it depict the setting of the school, in ranch country, but it also symbolized the thought of being in a yoke with God in living our Christian lives.
We will be looking at BEING A WORKING SERVANT in verse one and BEING A LOVING SERVANT in verse two.
Leviticus 26:13 pictures what we see in our text. "I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright." The Israelites were in servatude for many years - now god had freed them.
I. BE A WORKING SERVANT
1 Timothy 6:1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.
The first point to be made is that this passage is not to be used to validate slavery, nor is it to be used to validate abolition of slavery. The verse is simply teaching how to act if you are a slave. It assumes that some are slaves - since Paul knew there were slaves in the society around him, he desires to give them teaching on how they should behave as Christians.
The Roman empire sported more than sixty million slaves, so if anyone reading Paul’s letter had thought he was attempting to abolish slavery they are very mistaken - if Paul wanted to preach slavery was wrong he would have died much sooner than he did. The Roman empire would not have stood for that sort of language very long. Furthermore God was not leading Paul in making a statement for or against slavery - only for servants living honorably.
Some suggest that close to half the Roman Empire were slaves of one sort or another. Many were removed from their countries to Rome and other centers of control to serve the empire. Others were just enslaved within their own country.
Stedman points out an important fact: "But the truth is that, though Scripture does not denounce slavery, neither does it approve of it. There is no defense of slavery in Scripture; there is no attempt made to perpetuate it in any degree. In fact, although there were sixty million slaves in the Roman Empire at the time this letter was written, by the end of the second century slavery had widely disappeared, largely because of the impact of Christian teaching and influence of Christians throughout the Empire."
He goes on to say "The process was never to be one of armed revolt, even of strikes or boycotts or riots. Rather, it was by obedience to words such as these in Paul’s letter to Timothy, where it was laid upon both Christian slaves and Christian masters to look at each other in a different way and to treat each other with honor and respect even though the institution of slavery continued. Slaves were to look to God to change the practice." I might add, as did the Israelites
There are a couple of very prominent Old Testament accounts that show again that God wants us to live within the status that we find ourselves in. Joseph was sold into slavery, and served well all those years.
Daniel and thousands of others were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. Daniel also served his captures well and was rewarded for his good service.
The obvious application would be to the employees of our day - those that feel that they are treated as slaves - which is probably most of us! JOKE! We as employees are destined to have opportunity to treat our employers correctly or incorrectly - this is one of the passages that can give us guidance.
GIVE YOUR EMPLOYER ALL HONOR. Now, that doesn’t mean only when you are one on one with them in their office, IT IS WHEN YOU ARE HAVING COFFEE AND EVERYONE IN THE BREAK ROOM IS DISHING HIM DIRT - give them honor ALL the time.
Why? The verse is very clear - so that God’s teaching or doctrine is not blasphemed.
This word translated "honor" is the same term we studied in chapter five where we are told to honor the elder that ruleth well. US POOR SLAVES HAVE TO HONOR EVERYONE AND NOBODY GIVES A HOOT ABOUT US!!!!!! LARGE SMILEY FACE IMPLIED! God asks that we honor! This we should do.
In the area of how to honor, you might give due consideration to how you speak to them, how you react to them, how you talk behind their back about them, and how well you perform in the work place for them.
Just what Paul had in mind when he mentioned the doctrine of God being blasphemed would be of great interest to me. I have to think it related to the possibility of witnessing to the master. If we are slothful workers, or if we have an attitude toward them, I am sure that they will feel our incorrect feelings and relate it directly to how they feel toward our belief system. If they see that you are a goof off, they will wonder what moral/ethical teaching there can be within your belief system.
Sad to say, this is a passage that needs to be adopted by many believers. Many I see today are just like the lost when it comes to work ethic and attitude.
We might consider the reverse of blaspheme. If we are to work so that the name of God and His doctrine is not blasphemed, then we should be working so that they are being glorified!
WOW! When you go to work, you go in such a manner that you are attempting to glorify God! No, it isn’t easy, but that should be our attitude!
This attitude basically goes back to love thy neighbor - put them before yourself. In the rights movements of the 70’s there was total concentration on the individual and what they wanted - at all cost - at anyone else’s cost.
One might want to relate this passage to the union movement in our country as well. I will allow you to work through that one on your own. Concentrate on how you can honor someone when you are demanding that they give of their material gain for your benefit. You might add a side light of allegiance - who are you following when called on to strike - the union or Christ. How do you honor the employer if you are acting against his desire and betterment?
Let’s add just a little emphasis to what we have said. One of the usages Thayer puts to this Greek word translated slave is "devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests." Now, put a little personal application to that as you go to work tomorrow!
Another little emphasis: The term translated master is the word that our English word despot comes from. A despot is a tyrant - a dictator. GIVE HONOR EVEN IF THEY ARE A TOTALLY LOUSY BOSS might well be the thought of the text!
Give the honor due them, so that God’s NAME AND DOCTRINE will not be spoken of in a demeaning manner.
If you would like to read a clear view of how God feels about His good name, read Ezek. 20 and notice how many times He speaks of His name and His not wanting it to be polluted.
II. BE A LOVING SERVANT
1 Timothy 6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise [them], because they are brethren; but rather do [them] service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
Oh wow, Paul had to add a little salt to the wounds. Not only do we have to be nice to our lost masters, but we have to be nice to the ones we go to church with too!
Notice that there are BELIEVERS which had slaves in Bible times. This is made quite clear in the book of Philemon as well. Again we see that Paul is not preaching against slavery - only giving guidelines for believers as they continue on in their present situation.
Now, to understand this passage, we might try to place ourselves into this situation. Being a slave, you know your master (owner) is a Christian. It would be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that they should free you just because he is a believer. Despise is a good word to describe the feeling that would arise if you weren’t set free.
The word translated despise is used in Matthew 6:24 and depicts hate. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
A possible translation of the word would be “disesteem” or the opposite of esteem.
This is not to say that the believing slave owner should free his slaves, nor is it to say that they should keep their slaves. I am told that during our countries early days many believers kept slaves knowing that their lot would be much worse if they were owned by nonbelieiver.
It is to say that the slave should keep a proper attitude. On the other hand the reason to give them a proper attitude is because they are on the same level spiritually as the owner. Both slave and master are born again, both slave and master are bound for eternity, both slave and master are indwelt by Almighty God. This common bond should make it easier to keep proper attitudes - from both sides.
Paul adds "these things teach and exhort." It must be that the church at Ephesus had some slaves with an attitude, and possibly some owners that were not handling their own business properly. Paul wants the church to encourage the proper attitude. In our world of employee/employer, we ought also to teach these things - that we keep our attitudes straight and proper and give honor to the higher up.
The term master here is the same word as is used in verse one - a tyrant.
"Do them service" is of interest. Service, is actually the term used of a slave - be in bondage to the master that is a believer. Not only are you owned, but you are to live your life as if you are owned.
There is a double benefit to this. If a slave is a good worker with a pleasant attitude, his master/employer will be very pleased with the slave - this often relates to good being aimed toward the slave/employee.
The last part of the verse seems to uplift the believing master. Paul via the Holy Spirit says of them, "they are faithful and beloved," - faithful would be the Master’s response to God while it seems to me that beloved would be God’s response to the master.
There is some discussion as to what the benefit relates to. Is it the benefits of salvation, or is it the benefit of the servant doing well?
Barnes held that it was benefit of salvation. "That is, the benefit which the gospel imparts--for so the connection requires us to understand it. It cannot mean, as many have supposed, that they were "partakers of the benefit of the labours of the servant," or enjoyed the fruits of their labours,--for how could this be a reason for their treating them with the more respect? . . . . But the true reason assigned is, that the master had been, by the grace of God, permitted to participate in the same benefits of salvation as the servant; he had received, like him, the pardon of sin, and he was to be regarded as a fellow-heir of the grace of life"
Wesley and Burkitt also viewed it as relating to salvation.
Adam Clarke on the other hand held that it was not the Gospel. "Joint partakers of the benefit. This is generally understood as referring to the master’s participation in the services of his slaves. Because those who are partakers of the benefit of your services are faithful and beloved; or it may apply to the servants who are partakers of many benefits from their Christian masters."
I would follow Barne’s thought I think specifically, however all are true by application.
In over thirty years of working I have never asked for a raise, or change in working conditions. God has always supplied in all areas of our life. I have been with employers that have been able to bless in a material way - and have, and I have been with employers that have not been able to bless. When material needs were needed, the Lord either moved the employers to raise the level of pay or God just did it on His own. Our responsibility is to treat our masters/employers correctly and allow God to care for the rest.
I worked with two different men that found their businesses in decline. As things deteriorated, I worked with them as best I could and as long as I could to work less hours to cut overhead.
There are two applications I would like to make.
1. The joy that ought to arise from having a Christian employer. I have had both and find working for a believer is very nice. The atmosphere of the work place is much less tense. You don’t have to worry about off colored conversations and quite often you don’t have to worry about being asked to do things that are against your belief.
2. The joy of an employer over having believers working for them. I worked for two Jewish men in Denver for a number of years. They went out of their way to hire believers. I’d guess that most of the time, there was at least 80% of the work force that was Christians.
The owners found the work ethic of the Christian was one that was profitable and less cumbersome to them.
I trust that we as employees and employers are living this passage each and every day.
I would like to finish these points of application with a comment by Ray Stedman that reflects how we should live. "Everything is going to rest upon how you feel about them. If you think they are ding-a-lings who are unworthy of your respect, then no matter how polite you may be when they are watching, your attitude toward them will be one of bitterness and resentment; you will be constantly trying to find ways to goof off and justify it, because of their attitude toward you. But Scripture says, "regard them as worthy of respect" -- no matter what they are like, no matter how they treat you. Why? Because they are made in the image of God. Just like you, when God’s grace touches them, they are capable of reflecting his glory and beauty; they are the potential bearers of God himself, so they are to be treated with respect."
I mentioned in the beginning that the yoke tends to also symbolize our relationship to God. I would like to share just one man’s walk in the yoke of the Lord.
He preached three messages a day average for over fifty-four years (about 44,000 sermons) while traveling 200,000 miles by horseback and carriage.
He did a four-volume commentary on the Bible, a dictionary, a large work on church history plus some grammars and medical books. Then there were the books on church music, his seven volumes of sermons and other misc. papers. Well then there was the fifty volume Christian Library that he edited.
He worked from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and broke only for meals. He was quoted during this time as saying "I have more hours of private retirement than any man in England."
At 83 he was upset with himself for not being able to write more than 15 hours a day without his eyes bothering him. At 86 he was disappointed in himself because he could only preach twice a day. He was traveling up to fifty miles a day to preach all over England and Wales.
(Here are some other passages that speak to the slave/master relationship for the Christian for further study. Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 7:21-24; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-25; Colossians 4:1; Titus 2:9; Philemon 1:8-21; 1 Peter 2:18.)
If you have the attitude that all you do is to assist God in the yoke with Him, then your attitude to your employer or employee will be proper.
If on the other hand you feel trapped in a yoke - having to serve with God, then your attitude will stink in every area.
God sent His Son to die for us. He owns us. We were bought with a price. Indeed, this passage relates directly to our relationship to God. We are slaves.
May we live like it.
This passage speaks to one of the taboos of our society, that of separation. I offer the following account as an example of "extreme separation" which I would totally reject, but it will get our minds thinking in the right direction.
I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said, ’Stop! Don’t do it!’
He said, ’Why shouldn’t I?’
I said, ’Well, there’s so much to live for.’
He said, ’Like what?’
I said, ’Well, are you religious or atheist?’
He said, ’Religious.’
I said, ’Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?’
He said, ’Christian.’
I said, ’Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?’
He said, ’Protestant.’
I said, ’Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’
He said, ’Baptist!’
I said, ’ Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?’
He said, ’Baptist Church of God!’
I said, ’Me too! Are you original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?’
He said, ’Reformed Baptist Church of God!’
I said, ’Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?’
He said, ’Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!’
I said, ’Die, heretic!’, and I pushed him off.
We will see in our study that withdrawal or retreat is a valid option to the believer when it comes to Christian living. Some call this separation - a not very popular word in our day within the church.
We want to look at THE SYMPTOM OF THE DISEASE in verse three, THE CAUSE OF THE DISEASE in verse four and 5a, and THE TREATMENT OF THE DISEASE in verse 5b.
I. THE SYMPTOM OF THE DISEASE
1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
Now, we have a tongue lashing for anyone that would teach other than what Paul has laid out in the first two verses. In short, if someone comes telling you that you should not honor your master/employer, if someone comes telling you that you should not do a good days work for your master/employer, if someone comes telling you that you should not honor your master/employer, THEN that person is a proud person that knows nothing - words of Paul not of me!
We might take a moment and wonder who would come telling you to do these evil things. Can you think of anyone, or any group?
Consent has the idea of rejecting what is offered. Now, If someone were to offer me a piece of chocolate cake with fudge frosting, and I say no, I consent not to the cake - NOW don’t ever think that situation will ever happen - JUST an illustration.
There is an application here to other areas of life. The principle here is someone that is rejecting proper doctrine. Verse five says to withdraw from these. If you have taught or shared good doctrine and it has been rejected it is Biblical to withdraw. Some would say that you are running from a fight - not so - withdrawal is an effective life principle in this situation.
As one that frequents the Bible boards on the internet, I often get sidewise with all the wise folks that know I am totally ignorant of the Word - they know their position is correct because it is theirs - right? I attempt to share the Word and my thoughts on it, and if they reject it, then I try to let it go. Those few times that I have attempted to convince, the attempt has been met with fierce opposition. This opposition is why I believe Paul counsels to withdraw - it relates to what he says of these folks - proud.
There are three areas of truth mentioned. We have Paul’s teaching, the teachings of Christ and any doctrine which is according to godliness.
Doctrine which is according to godliness would include all the writings and teachings of the church’s leadership over the centuries. Anything that concurs with the Word and leads toward godliness.
I suspect this passage is the basis for some of the overemphasis on the "tradition" of the church that the Roman church and the Orthodox church teach. I would agree that writers of the past are important, but they are not equivalent with Scripture. If indeed it is consistent with Scripture it will lead to godliness, but it is not Scripture nor equal to it.
II. THE CAUSE OF THE DISEASE
1 Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
Pride in that he knows better how to deal with masters/employers than God.
Knowing nothing seems to be rather self-explanatory. Reject truth and you know nothing - wow that has application in our society today! Those that would make us think they know truth in fact know nothing.
Doting is listed as "to be taken with such an interest in a thing as amounts to a disease, to have a morbid fondness for" by Thayer. Actually the Greek term used here is the predecessor of our term nausea. The New International Version translates it this way - "has an unhealthy interest in." You may have heard the term in-nausium. That fits well.
This passage sums up the result of many of the Bible related boards on the internet. The result of those that reject truth cause all these things - indeed the result is often very distasteful.
The sad part is that they have rejected the truth, and continue to do so when someone presents it further. There have been times when I have asked a number of questions that show up their falsehood and no answer is forthcoming - only strife and railings. If you can’t beat them - call them names seems to be their watch-word.
Robertson ties all these terms together and mentions they are "all products of an ignorant and conceited mind." I think that about sums it all up.
1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
Perverse disputings is the Greek term from which our word diatribe comes from. Diatribe means "biting or abusive speech or writing" (from © 1995 Zane Publishing, Inc. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary © 1994 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated). Notice that this can mean speech OR writing. If you run into this type of writing, be sure to give it the same action as speech. Withdraw from it - or in current language - put it in the circular file.
These are corrupt minds - destitute of truth! Not the kind of thing you as a believer should be filling your mind with - don’t give it a chance to take up your time.
This term “corrupt” is a perfect tense which would indicate that the corruptness is complete and something that occurred in the past - something that is done - which I might add, probably won’t be changed - indeed the tense has the thought of once and for all. Application - don’t bother taking your time and effort to change what will not change.
The term “destitute” is also a perfect tense - truth is not something that is going to come into this mind, nor will it change this mind.
The thought of gain is of interest. Just what type of gain is being mentioned in this context. Is it material gain, is it moral gain, or is it academic gain? Since material items are not involved, it clearly relates not to material or monetary gain. Moral gain has some possibility in the context, but academic gain seems to fit the context best.
The American Standard Version mentions it this way "supposing that godliness is a way of gain."
The New International Version ties gain to monetary value "who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."
Young translates it this way "supposing the piety to be gain;" This would tie it to moral change to be gained. Moral change is gain but this seems to be a false piety brought about by their disputings etc. and this certainly is not gain, nor true moral change.
III. THE TREATMENT OF DISEASE
"...from such withdraw thyself."
The truth to be found here is to withdraw from this type of person - back away, loose them!
I am sad to say this but this is the state that many Bible college students pass through. Most do pass through but it is a hard hard time spiritually and mentally. They question everything and everyone. They disagree and dispute everything - not that we aren’t to question what we are taught, but they question way past this - they find little truth, they don’t have the truth, they can’t function properly spiritually, they become proud, they find envy, they cause strife, and they argue constantly. A phase of growth to be passed through. Only God brings them through it!
To a very real point a pastor has the responsibility to maintain his distance from these people in the community and also has a responsibility to warn his flock of the same.
It seems to me that verse one and two are directly connected to verse three and verse six through five is a side warning about anyone trying to detract from Paul’s teaching.
The term is withdraw. This is not a complicated word to understand, yet so many Christians today equate it with incorrect behavior, yet Paul tells us to withdraw from people Christians that sin.
This phrase is not in all translations, but it certainly is not against the norm of Scripture. Romans 16:17 is a very similar passage. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
I would like to just recap some criteria for separation within the Christian life.
1. Anyone that teaches other than the doctrine of Paul, and by application other writers of Scripture.
2. Anyone that believes other than the teachings of Christ.
3. Anyone that believes doctrine that is other than teaching that brings Godliness.
Titus 3:10 also mentions the heretic "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;"
Many believers in our area years ago were listening to the local Christian radio station. Many praised the station as their resource for their spiritual life, yet almost every time I tuned in, I would hear blatant false teaching. These folks were flooding their minds with things that were openly against Scripture.
4. Anyone that occupies themselves with doting of questions and strife of word.
5. Anyone that produces envy, strife, or railings of evil surmisings.
6. Anyone that is destructive of truth.
7. Anyone that believes that gain is Godliness.
Stedman related this in a sermon to those that are spiritual or are members of churches for the social and business gain that it provides.
My brother before he was saved joined a mainline denominational church in our hometown and I asked him why. His reply was "Well that is were most of the business people go to church and I thought it would be good for the business." Had nothing to do with belief, truth or God.
8. Immorality in I Corinthians five was grounds for separating a person from the assembly. Verse eleven "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."
9. Matthew 18 gives the sequence to be followed to gain reconciliation between believers. If a person refuses to resolve the conflict then separation is the end.
10. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 admonishes us to withdraw from any that walketh disorderly. "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
The Christian’s testimony is very important, thus withdrawal may be the better option. We need to exhort those living wrongly, but keeping a close association with them will open us to their falsehood as well as improper testimony due to public scrutiny.
I would like to read a quote from a document from church history. It was a question answer format produced by Meno Simons and followers when they attempted to live the admonition of Scripture when they were told to withdraw from wrongdoers.
The document sets forth questions as to how they would implement what they called the ban, or the exclusion of erring believers from the assembly.
" O my sincerely beloved brethren, let us sincerely pray for understanding and wisdom that all misunderstanding, error, jealously, offense, division, and untimely reports may be utterly exterminated, root and branch; that a wholesome understanding, doctrine, friendship, love, edification, and a sound judgment may get under, way and prevail. Let everyone look with pure eyes and impartial hearts to the example to which Christ points, and to the wholesome, natural meaning of the holy apostles, and let true, Christian love take precedence; and everyone will know, by the grace of God, how he should act and proceed concerning this matter."
We are to withdraw, but we are to do it in love and with the thought of restoration to the assembly of the one banned.
If the church had been practicing this teaching the church would not have the problems it has today. There would not be openly sinning believers in the church, there would not be unsaved people in the church and Christ would indeed have a holy church rather than what exists today.
Just prior to the winning of the 300 million plus lottery in May of 2000 I heard a radio evangelist that was really condemning people for their involvement in the lottery.
Some of his comments went along the line of the following:
I don’t know why all those people spend all that money on something that they won’t win. Only one or two people can possibly win, yet millions of people purchase millions of tickets.
These people are motivated only by one thing - covetousness. That is all it is, plain and simple it is covetousness - their desire for more money. Nothing but Greed. Nothing but desiring something they don’t have.
They just want more money to buy more things. They just want more and more.
They desire more and more money. They covet other people’s money. They want that free money, they want all those millions so they can spend it on themselves.
Covetousness is wrong, covetousness is not from God, covetousness is of the devil. We should not covet money. We should be satisfied with what God has given us!
Those people that spend money on the lottery are seeking more and more money. Money is nice - in fact I wouldn’t mind having some more of it myself! HUMMMMMM!
I have mentioned prosperity gospel before in these studies. This teaching tells us that if we are not rich we are not really spiritual. This teaching seems to fall into the area of false teaching if I understand this passage correctly. I might add that this passage is one of the plainest and most concise of Paul’s teachings. It is really quite plain and it is really quite obvious what he is saying.
We want to look at the GOAL OF LIFE in verse six, the REALITY OF LIFE in verse seven, and the CONTENTMENT OF LIFE in verse eight.
I. GOAL OF LIFE
1 Timothy 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Paul now STRONGLY contrasts the thought of "gain is godliness" in our previous study (false godliness in the case of those rejecting truth) which is error, with "contentment being gain." Interesting contrast - take some time to contemplate this one!
Content to many is having all you want when you want it. This is not the natural Biblical thought of contentment.
The term content is defined by Thayer as "1) a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed 2) sufficiency of the necessities of life 3) a mind contented with its lot"
Content with no aid or support desired. Now that is a good definition of content. Happy as you are with nothing added.
The word Paul uses to convey great gain, is "megas" - MEGA gain if you are content!
Let us consider what are some of the benefits of being content.
1. Peace: Not many believers really have the peace of being content with where they are, with what they have, and with who they are. Many are always stretching for things that they are not and things that they do not have. Peace is being what God has made you and no more. When He leads you to seek further then you should act.
2. Due to peace you may find better health. If you have no peace you will be full of worry and stress. They are finding more and more health problems that are related to stress or the opposite of commitment.
3. You will be a better witness for your Lord. If people see that you are satisfied where you are, and who you are they will know that there is something special in your life - they know they don’t have that peace and contentment.
4. You will be happier. Due to the lack of worry and stress you will find you enjoy life more. You most likely will find things to do that bring joy to your life.
II. REALITY OF LIFE
1 Timothy 6:7 "For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out."
Job 1:21 is a similar passage. "And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
NOW, we have one of the more profound statements of the apostle Paul - no one can argue with this statement - it is near a universal principle. I doubt that anyone would be foolish enough to argue with this statement. It is kind of hard to bring anything with you when you are born for you have nothing that belongs to you!
The next statement is also a universal principle. There is nothing that can be done to change the fact that when you die you can’t take anything with you. Oh yes, you can wear a nice suit and all sorts of jewelry, but that is on the old body that is going to rot as will the clothes and jewelry. You aren’t there so you don’t even take that with you.
Many have attempted to take it with them, but none have been able to. The Pharaohs filled their vaults with treasure and servants, yet rotted in their mummy clothes. I read once of a man that was so in love with his 1931 Chevy that he requested he be buried in it - his relatives did it.
Faith had a rich uncle that always joked that he was taking his money with him - he was going to get an asbestos coffin - not too smart now that we know asbestos can kill you.
The soul/spirit are separated from the body and they can’t even take their body with them - nothing at all will accompany us to our time before the Lord. This is why our decision about Christ is so important. If we go before God without the finished work of the Lord Jesus, we will not enjoy our time before God in judgment.
On the other hand if we have accepted the work of Christ we will be clothed by Almighty God Himself and will be given all that we will need.
One must wonder about Paul’s recipients. Just who did he have to explain this one to? He must have wondered about some of those he was writing to - REALLY WONDERED! There must have been some that were way over the edge into intellectualism and away from truth and reality.
When my wife and I moved from Wyoming we had a truck full of belongings and the car on a tow dolly. I told her that one of the GREAT joys of death was that you didn’t have to take it with you!
Barnes put it well. "Of the truth of what is here said, there can be nothing more obvious. It is apparent to all. We bring no property with us into the world; no clothing, no jewels, no gold; and it is equally clear that we can take nothing with us when we leave the earth. Our coming into the world introduces no additional property to that which the race before possessed, and our going from the world removes none that we may have helped the race to accumulate. This is said by the apostle as an obvious reason why we should be contented if our actual wants are supplied; for this is really all that we need, and all that the world is toiling for."
Psalms 49:17 also relates the same truth. "For when he [the rich man] dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him." You can’t even take your degrees and social gains with you!
One must consider just how godliness is gain to us today. If you live a godly life, you will most likely be persecuted for it - you will be made fun of, you may be the brunt of jokes, and possibly even open ridicule - so how is godliness gain?
How is Godliness gain?
I have noticed over the years that an honest upright walk before the Lord is often noticed by employers. I have mentioned that I worked for two Jewish men in Denver years ago. They had seen the work and walk of Christians and they often hired them if they were qualified. They treated us very well, and we seldom had any complaints toward them. Basically we worked in a Christian surrounding. The bosses were working their way to heaven and the rest of us enjoyed the fellowship of believers. The bosses never accepted the Lord to my knowledge, but it was their clear choice to reject Christ - they had many walking examples of the Lord’s converting power and were witnessed to by several of the believers.
In our own personal lives we can and will have a much more peaceful existence not only personally, but within our families if we walk with the Lord. As we walk with Him, we naturally come into a closer relationship with Him and that certainly is gain.
We might take a moment and consider contentment and complacency. The two are very close, yet so far apart. Complacency is self-satisfaction or smugness. Contentment is satisfaction - interesting, one is satisfaction and the other is satisfaction in self - NOW that has to tell us something!
Complacency is aside from God, while contentment is with God.
Complacency is sin, while contentment is godly.
Complacency pleases self, while contentment pleases God.
Complacency is derived from the Devil, while contentment is derived from God.
Complacency has no goal, while contentment has a goal.
Complacency is indifference, while contentment is satisfaction.
Complacency is noninvolvement, while contentment is involvement.
Complacency is carnal, while contentment is spiritual.
You can’t take it with you is the opposite of you don’t have to take it with you, just to give you one more contrast.
III. CONTENTMENT OF LIFE
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Paul had many counterparts in secular life that taught this same simple philosophy of life. That we should be content with that which is necessary. Seneca mentions "No man is born rich; every one that comes into the world is commanded to be content with food and raiment."
This may be why Paul indicated that this is an obvious truth! ("it is certain" vs. 7)
Matthew 6:33 was in my Bible reading when I was just starting Bible college and the verse so impacted my life that I have attempted to live by it all my life since. "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added unto you." The context was one of the first things that I read - being in debt and having many bills and few things I wanted to know what all these things meant - it was food and covering and little more.
Here Paul reminds the believers of this principle of living - and I might add quite appropriately - slaves be content where you are and be content with what you have. THIS IS WHAT GOD WANTS OF US!
I might draw your attention to the fact that housing is not among those "needs" that are promised in Matthew. Only food and covering. Paul was content to live this life, as we should be.
Clarke indicates that the term translated raiment was general enough to possibly include not only clothes, but housing. He suggests that it means covering which could well indicate a roof or home. Few of the other commentators mentioned this nor did I find indication of it in the Lexicons. If true, certainly a roof is as far as it could be stretched. A roof does not mean four bedrooms and three baths and a three-car garage.
There are some that condemn ministers for working in secular jobs. Beware - this verse does not tell the minister not to work - it says be content with food and raiment. There are pastors that need to work to provide those two items for their families - this is not wrong. Paul himself worked for a living at times. (Acts 20:33-34; Acts 18:1-3) Paul contrasts this concept with those that love the world or material things to the point of leaving the ministry (2 Timothy 4:10).
One more item from Paul is found in Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, in this to be content." There are two truths to be seen in this passage.
First be content in either state - IT ISN’T WRONG TO BE CONTENT AND RICH though I can’t speak to that truth personally. Rich is probably exaggeration - Paul was not rich but at times he evidently had more than he needed.
Secondly, Paul says he "learned" to be content in all states. It is a learned process, thus if you struggle in this area of being content - LEARN IT and don’t feel guilty if you struggle while learning.
I have suggested to many gatherings that there are a lot of levels of giving. There is giving a buck a week, there is giving of a tenth, there is giving lots more than a tenth, and there is the giving of the widow in the Gospels - she gave everything she had and trusted the Lord to provide her needs.
I suspect that the widow is not only an example of giving, but of trust and contentment as well.
Giving is an area where many of us are way too complacent - remember - self satisfied.
There are some items I want to make clear.
1. You can be godly and not content. To be godly and content is gain. Quite a difference and the gain proves there is a difference.
2. The reward or gain is being steadfast in what we have, it isn’t suffering through hard times - it is being content through hard times.
Barnes relates the thought that food and clothing is only symbolic of other things needed for life. I think he might be correct, but the following paragraph given to most believers today would require all to have three cars, a primary house and a secondary house both of which would be filled with toys beyond number.
""Food and raiment," here, seem to be used to denote supplies for our wants in general. It is not uncommon to denote the whole by a part, and as these are the principal things which we really need, and without which life could not be sustained, the apostle uses the phrase to denote all that is really necessary for us. We cannot suppose that he would forbid a desire of a comfortable habitation, or of the means of knowledge, or of conveniences for worshiping God, etc. The idea is, that having those things which meet the actual necessities of our nature, and save us from distress, we should not strive after "uncertain riches," or make wealth the object of our anxious pursuit."
In light of what I shared in the last study concerning Wesley I was interested in his comments on this passage. They were indeed short and to the point.
His comments on verse seven "Neither can we carry anything out-To what purpose, then, do we heap together so many things? O, give me one thing,-a safe and ready passage to my own country!"
His comments on verse eight "Covering-That is, raiment and an house to cover us. This is all that a Christian needs, and all that his religion allows him to desire."
I trust that you will consider seriously before the Lord just what is that which is NEEDED to sustain your life and live accordingly from this point forward.
I would like to close with a short comment that Wiersbe included in his commentary.
I am reminded of the simple-living Quaker who was watching his new neighbor move in, with all of the furnishings and expensive "toys" that "successful people" collect. The Quaker finally went over to his new neighbor and said, "Neighbor, if ever thou dost need anything, come to see me, and I will tell thee how to get along without it."" (THE BIBLE EXPOSITION COMMENTARY; Warren Wiersbe; Victor Books; Wheaton; 1989; p. 235.)
When we were teaching in Wyoming, we were also interim pastor for a while at a little Bible church. The church was in another town about sixty miles from our home. Most Sundays we would drive home or to another town for lunch and enjoy some time alone.
One Sunday one of the couples that we had met but not gotten to know very well invited us to dinner the following Sunday. We accepted and looked forward to the meal and getting to know the folks.
We followed them home from the church. When we drove into the driveway, we were totally shocked by the size of the home. When we walked into the front door, we were even more shocked as the home was much larger than it appeared. We were seated in the informal dinning room just off the kitchen. The table and chair set was most beautiful. The room was decorated in the richest of trappings.
We could see the gorgeous formal dinning room from where we ate dinner. The living room was yet beyond the formal dinning room. After dinner we were given the tour of the basement bedrooms and offices, but did not make it upstairs.
The point being these folks were nothing out of the ordinary in what we had observed of them at the church. Their riches seemingly had no outward effect on them as they related to other people. They were enjoying the riches God had allowed them to acquire but had not allowed the riches to enjoy them.
We will look at the SNARE OF DESIRING RICHES in verse nine, the ERROR OF DESIRING RICHES in verse ten, and the CURE OF DESIRING RICHES in verse eleven.
I. SNARE OF DESIRING RICHES
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
This passage seems to need little explanation. It is negative to the end. Anyone wanting to be rich and acting on that desire, will fall into temptation, snares, lusts and these items will end in destruction and perdition. Not up for light discussion - FACT.
“Snare” is simply the snare used to capture animals or birds. The snare is something which acts totally unexpectedly. The prey is certainly startled and shocked at the snare because they did not know it was there, nor were they expecting it.
The desire for riches will turn around and bite you very hard and very unexpectedly.
The thought of destruction and perdition does not necessarily, but can mean eternal damnation. Personally I would assume that this is speaking of eternal damnation because most true believers would not fall into the downward spiral that is described here, but it certainly is an awesome warning for the believer - don’t commit yourself to becoming rich.
Is it wrong to be rich? No, definitely not, but to commit yourself toward that goal is shutting the door to God - remember - you can’t serve God and mammon? If you are to be rich, God is fully capable of making you so! You commit to Him and allow Him to do His work.
That really takes the pressure off - we commit our lives to God and allow Him to create what He wants and we don’t have to do all the straining and laboring of making something of ourselves.
He can zap us rich if that is what He wants for us or He can lead us into activities which can result in riches - but we needn’t seek riches nor strain for them.
When I read this passage I often recall a very good friend from Bible College days. He was called by God to prepare for the mission field. He arrived at the college fully planning to take the Gospel to a particular tribe in South America.
We were able to get to know one another and became good friends. At some point in time he became sidetracked with the thought of going into business to make enough money to get through school and probably help others through school as well.
He ultimately purchased a business so that he could make big bucks. As time went by he dropped out of school because he was spending more and more time at the business. Finally he was totally sidetracked from God’s will for his life.
We lost track of one another, and I do not know if he ever got back on track or not. He certainly was well on the way to total destruction spiritually.
II. ERROR OF DESIRING RICHES
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
How might we pierce ourselves with riches?
1. Others constantly wanting your money and causing you turmoil. Quite a number of the lottery winners of recent days have been plagued by people wanting them to give them some of their winnings.
2. Taking care of your money. We have known older people that have had to plan their weeks activities around getting to the bank to take care of investments. Others constantly worry about their investments and whether they are being profitable or whether they are loosing money.
3. Worry about their money. Will they have enough to carry them through to their death. Will the stock market fall and leave them in financial trouble.
4. Trying to spend their money. After a point there is nothing to spend money on. You buy all you think you need, and then you have to go looking for things to buy. After a point you have bought so much that you need more room to store all of it.
I am told that Jackie Onasis had large warehouses to store the clothes and shoes that she no longer used.
5. Finding you can’t take it with you. What in the world will I do with all of it if I can’t take it with me. Who do I like enough to GIVE them all my money.
6. Worry about running out of money. Will all these millions be gone some day. Will I spend too much so that when I get old there won’t be any left for taking care of me?
7. Taking care of what you buy. Even in our little two bedroom house and small garage we have so much stuff that requires maintenance that I find I spend more and more time just taking care of what we have assembled. Of course if you have millions you could hire it done, but then calling repairmen would probably become a problem at some point in time.
8. Protecting your money and purchases. Where do I keep it? Where will it be safe? Will the bank really be a good place to keep it?
9. And last but not least how can I make all those payments to Uncle Sam, after all, we have to get that forty-five million in so they can advertize the new dollar coin!
I am sure if I were rich I would be able to find more ways in which I was piercing myself, but this will have to do from my present limited perspective.
III. CURE OF DESIRING RICHES
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
"O man of God:" Wow, this is the apostle Paul’s estimation of Timothy! Can you imagine how Timothy felt at this point in reading this letter? He must have been tremendously encouraged by Paul’s comment.
The importance of Paul’s use of the term is emphasized in that the phrase "man of God" is used for only the prophets in the Old Testament and Timothy himself in the New Testament.
Flee - get away from - find safety from these things. Isolate yourselves from all this stuff!
The term righteousness seems to have the thought of finding a right or correct walk before God - not sinning would do.
The term godliness seems to be the mental side of righteousness. Righteousness is the walk and godliness is the attitude that allows us to walk righteously.
Faith on the other hand seems to be that belief or trust in God and His word that allows us to have the attitude of godliness which allows us to walk righteously.
Love, patience, and meekness are the kind of characteristics that make a believer what they should be before God and man.
We might observe that if a person is seeking after this list of items, there will be little time for seeking after material things.
Paul mentions Timothy as a man of God, while looking surely past Timothy to all those Timothy would minister too as well as you and me. 2 Timothy 3:17 states "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Perfect has the thought of completeness - the mature man is a man of God - you don’t have to be a preacher, missionary or in any other position to be a man of God - just complete before the Lord.
Verse nine’s "will be rich" and verse tens "love of money" seem to indicate the conscious desire for riches and deciding to go after them. This might be going after riches instead of godliness. Actually the first will most likely produce the latter.
Being rich is not likely if you are following after those traits of godliness!
Paul asks Timothy to follow after:
Now, you might relate these items to your own life.
Do you portray all of these at work with your employees/employer/coworkers?
Do you portray all of these at the store when you are in a hurry?
Do you portray all of these at the stop light when someone comes buzzing through on a red?
Do you portray all of these at home with your family?
In 1923, a very important meeting was held at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. Attending that meeting were nine of the world’s most successful financiers. Those who were present were:
1. The president of the largest independent steel company
2. The president of the largest utility company
3. The president of the largest gas company
4. The greatest wheat speculator of the era
5. The president of the New York Stock Exchange
6. A member of the President’s cabinet
7. The greatest "bear" on Wall Street
8. Head of the world’s greatest monopoly
9. President of the Bank of International Settlements
Admittedly the group gathered was impressive and represented well some of the world’s most successful men or at least those who had found the secret of making money. Surly they must have been very happy in their success. (25 years later)
1. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, died bankrupt and lived on borrowed money for five years before his death.
2. The president of the largest utility company, Samuel Insull, died a fugitive from justice in a foreign land, and penniless.
3. The president of the largest gas company, Howard Hopson went insane.
4. The greatest wheat speculator of the era, Arthur Cutton, died abroad insolvent.
5. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, had just been recently released from Sing Sing Penitentiary.
6. The member of the President’s cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home.
7. The greatest "bear" on Wall Street who was Jesse Livermore, died of suicide.
8. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivan Krueger, died of suicide.
9. President of the Bank of International Settlements Leon Fraser, died of suicide.
The men listed above learned the art of making money and achieving great power and status but not one of them learned how to "Live." Happiness is contentment. Even some of the poorest people on earth have learned this.
Remember godliness with contentment is gain from our last study.
As I was preparing this study I was on the internet and ran across an item that stood out in stark contrast to the listing above. It was a listing of accomplishments of a man of God that had recently gone to be with the Lord. The man had been a successful pastor for thirty plus years, he was on boards of Christian organizations and he was author/editor of many books.
He was a man of God that had focused on "willing to be godly" rather than "willing to be rich" - a decision to follow God and seek godliness rather than follow money and seek wealth. He died doing what he had focused his life on, while the men in the list died doing what they attempted to avoid all their life - lack of money.
I trust you don’t miss the obvious contrast. He who wills to be rich will be caught in a snare and his riches will bring him down. On the other hand he who wills to be godly will be a man of God and his godliness will bring him riches in glory.
DOING THE DEW JUST WON’T DO IT!
We will be looking at DO IT in verse twelve, HOW TO DO IT in verses thirteen and fourteen, and WHY DO IT in verses fifteen and sixteen.
I. DO IT
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
This is one verse that some believers do not know is in the Bible. Many today tell the lost that they need to accept the Lord so that they can find true peace - HOGWASH! Becoming a Christian places you between the Devil and Christ and they are at war! You do not enter into a life of peace when you become a Christian. In America today we have it very good, but not all believers have it this easy. Today we have believers being killed for their faith in the world.
Fight the good fight - keep at it even when it is ruff - FIGHT - don’t surrender!
Lay hold on eternal life because you are called to it and it is the only flight in town going up! Not that you have to hold on so you don’t loose it, but hold on as it is your life - there is nothing else. Paul reminds them of their faithful witness before many - of their relationship with God.
Just what does it mean to fight the good fight?
1. Within the context we find that it includes Godliness and a godly walk as well as the close companion of these, having heavenly goals not earthly.
That kind of sets the parameters in my mind. If you are aimed toward heavenly goals and godliness then all Satan’s forces will be aimed at you! We can expect nothing less than temptation, troubles, trials, discouragement and all those other items the Devil likes to throw in front of us.
2. Paul mentions this phrase also in 2 Timothy 2:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:" To Paul fighting the good fight was keeping the faith. In one of the following verses Paul relates this to loving Christ’s appearing. This seems to relate to number one. Keeping our goals on high with our Lord.
What is keeping the faith? Walking according to what the Bible teaches us. Following after the Lord’s leading and Word. Being obedient to God’s commands and seeking His promises.
3. Paul in Ephesians 6:11-13 mentions "11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."
This pictures the fight or battle that we are in as believers. We are to put on the armor of God and fight the battle. Note, God supplies the armor for us but we need to put it on and use it. Note also it is a standing battle - don’t advance - just hold the line.
4. The word translated “fight” is the word we gain our word “agonize” from. It is also translated “strive” and “labor fervently.” This is the thought of working up a terribly big perspiration!
This relates to something that the faint hearted are not going to enjoy very much. STRIVE, LABOR FERVENTLY FOR GOD!
The second term translated “fight” is akin to the other word, but is actually used of the arena that the Olympic games were played in. The thought is of a struggle for a prize.
Lay hold has the thought of take to one self - to take in addition to or take for one’s own use.
There is a lot of controversy about just what this means. Those that do not believe in eternal security naturally suggest that we have to HANG ONTO ETERNAL LIFE, GRASP IT, GET YOUR HOOKS INTO IT LEST IT BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU! However, I see noting about taking away in the passage.
It seems to MacArthur that Paul is telling Timothy to "get a grip" on what salvation is, learn of it so you can live your life as you should. I think that is a good approach to the phrase.
II. HOW TO DO IT
1 Timothy 6:13. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and [before] Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
Put yourself in Timothy’s place at this point. Paul says, I CHARGE YOU BEFORE GOD AND CHRIST JESUS - capital letters are mine, but the words must have jumped out at Timothy - this must be important - especially in light of the fact that Paul used the same terminology in the previous chapter verse twenty one.
Paul uses the attribute of God’s being the fountain of life. Barnes suggests " Perhaps he means to say, that God is the source of life, and that as he had given life to Timothy--natural and spiritual--he had a right to require that it should be employed in his service; and that, if, in obedience to this charge and in the performance of his duties, he should be required to lay down his life, he should bear in remembrance, that God had power to raise him up again."
Paul adds in the phrase "who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession" to his charge. Christ when facing DEATH was able to witness a good confession - so you Timothy, get with and keep with the program and do the same! (Christ’s confession is found in John 18:33-38; John 19:8-11)
Barnes suggests that Paul may have been referring to the fact that Christ stood before Pilate and refused to detract from the truth - and the implication being to Timothy - if you face death, give no quarter to truth.
Pontius Pilate is well known to most anyone that has lived through an Easter service in most any church. He was the sixth procurator of Judah - the man that found no guilt in Christ, but allowed the Jews to crucify Him anyway.
Could we say that Paul is totally putting the pressure on here? He did it for you, now the least you can do for Him is the same!
1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Just what commandment?
1. Some commentaries suggest the Gospel, though it is an invitation not a commandment, thus I would opt to the verse referring back to verse eleven and twelve.
2. Stedman suggests that it is the commandment to love one another in the upper room that was given to the apostles. I tend to think that the apostle Paul could have made it a little more clear if that were the commandment he had in mind.
3. Adam Clarke states that it is "That the commandment itself-the whole doctrine of Christ, should be kept entire. 2. That his life should be agreeable to that doctrine. Keep it without spot-let there be no blot on the sacred book;"
He goes on to state that this was a command for Timothy to hand down that same doctrine and lifestyle to others until the coming of the Lord. I don’t see that in the passage, though it is quite in keeping with 2 Timothy 2:2 which mentions "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
4. I would assume it probably refers back to the phrase "fight the good fight of faith” just mentioned in verse twelve. Of course my favorite commentator agrees with me - Barnes notes.
Do it without spot and so completely that no one can rebuke you about how you keep it. In short DO IT RIGHT! DON’T DEVIATE FROM IT EVER - do well till the Lord comes.
This thought of perfection is used of our Lord in 1 Peter 1:19 where it speaks of Christ the perfect Lamb and His shed blood. "But with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
The same word is used to encourage believers to have pure lives in James 1:21 and 2 Peter 3:14 as well.
The term translated “appearing” is the word we gain our word “epiphany” from. Epiphany relates to a glorious manifesting or appearing. The Greek word is used in Greek mythology of a god coming in visible form and usually to help or assist someone.
III. WHY DO IT
These two verses seem to be just a little introduction to the Savior we serve - just kind of a thumbnail sketch if you will.
1 Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
"only potentate" is of interest. Only sets this one above all other potentates, indeed, declares Him to be the only true potentate. Potentate refers to one with great authority. We are not speaking here of a city councilman, or a state senator, or even a president of a country. We are speaking of the only real authority JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.
We are talking the king over all other kings, we are talking about the Lord over all lords, we are talking the big one, we are talking the biggest - nobody above this authority - I trust you are getting the picture.
This passage overflows with the respect and awe which Paul seems to have for his Lord and Master. Christ moves in these short verses from the criminal before Pilate to the King of kings and Lord of lords. An awesome Person that we have the opportunity of serving.
Consider this as you rethink the chapter. We serve a master, and Paul has set forth some very important principles in how we should do this. (for further on this declaration see Deuteronomy 10:17; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16)
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.
It almost seems to me that Paul just spouts off about his Lord and Savior - he just doesn’t seem to be able to contain himself.
This verse speaks to the glory of God that is mentioned in the Old Testament. Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock while God passed by and was affected physically by viewing just what he could see when hidden - in fact the idea of the passage seems to be that he saw what was left after God passed by. (See also Psalms 104:2; James 1:17; 1 John 1:5; John 1:18; Exodus 33:20-23; John 6:46; Colossians 1:15; 1 John 4:12; Genesis 32:30; Revelation 22:3-4)
The glory of God cannot be viewed by pre-resurrection man. We cannot stand the glory.
Within the eternal state we find that God is the light by which we will do whatever we will be doing. He is the light! Revelation 21:5 tells us " And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light : and they shall reign for ever and ever."
Immortality relates to not being subject to death.
Barnes states concerning immortality "Creatures have immortality only as they derive it from him, and of course are dependent on him for it. He has it by his very nature, and it is in his case underived, and he cannot be deprived of it. It is one of the essential attributes of his being, that he will always exist, and that death cannot reach him."
Since we have such a marvelous God, we ought to do marvelous things for Him.
Tozer rightly mentions "The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of god....For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like....Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, "What comes into your mind when you think about God?" we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man." (THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY I TIMOTHY; John MacArthur; Moody Press; Chicago; 1995; p 270 Quoting P 9 of Tozar’s THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY.)
I trust we think very highly of our God!
I would like to think a little while about the phrase "to whom be honour and power everlasting."
Just what is meant here? As I read the text I have the feeling that the honor and power are items that man is to give forth to God. Not that God needs any power - He is all powerful, but that we give Him further power in some manner.
Just how in the world can puny man give the all powerful, completely honorable God honor and power?
Might I suggest some items for you to consider?
1. Acknowledging Him as The King of kings and Lord of lords.
2. Living a life which reflects well upon Him and His Word.
3. Sharing our faith with those that we meet. This shows that we really believe in the salvation that we have been given.
4. Giving of our life, mind, and material realm to Him and His service.
1. Power to rule in our lives - giving Him free reign in our lives to improve us, to use us, and to mature us.
2. Working within the church to improve the work of the Lord so that the ministry of the church can spread into the community and other people’s lives.
I think that the truth of the above two (giving God power and honor) items is viewable in our own country. In years past, this was a relatively godly nation. Today godliness is on the radical decline.
God used to have power in this nation. His morals were held widely, His Word was read widely, His church was strong. Today we see little in the way of morals, we see little in the area of using His Word, and the church is weak to the point of being near irrelevant in our society.
Might I chase a rabbit a moment? I was looking for a book online and found a disturbing trend.
Fundamentalism in years past was a proud and honorable belief system. It produced men like Tozer, Torrey and Chafer - men that did great things for God.
Today fundamentalism has been demonized and totally confused. Christians are condemning it in books and the media when they get the chance.
They have tied fundamentalism to the radical element of the charismatic movement and their politics and antics and are condemning fundamentalism for it when most of these men were not true fundamentalists in the first place. Most of them would reject the writings of the early fundamentalists.
Fundamentalist is not a four-letter word. If you don’t know what it means get a book on it from Torrey or Tozer and learn of it.
In closing I would like to share some thoughts concerning William Carey.
Carey, the father of modern missions.
In Carey’s many years of missionary service he was faced with many many trials and problems yet he was able to continue. He himself defined his secret. "I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything."
As I talk to believers I find plodding is what the Christian life is about. Plodding day after day in His steps.
He had many problems with allergies so could not become the gardener that he desired to be.
He was apprenticed as a cobbler from age 16 to 28. Carey married his Master’s sister-in-law in 1781 and when his master died he supported the widow and family as well as his own family.
His wife could not read and this became a problem in their marriage as he expanded his life.
There was great poverty in the family.
In 1785 he accepted a call to pastor a Particular Baptist Church and later moved onto a larger church in Leicester. He worked to support his family.
He became convinced that it was the churches responsibility to reach the lost with the Good News. Most of his day felt that the great commission was given to the apostles and not incumbent upon the Christian community.
He presented some of his ideas before some fellow ministers and one of the comments came, "Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine." He went on to call Carey a "Young miserable enthusiast".
He later addressed a gathering of ministers and spoke from Isaiah 54:2-3 and used his now famous words, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God."
From this meeting grew the Particular Baptist Society For Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen.
He later was part of starting a mission to the lost.
Carey’s decision to go to India was a rousing success at home.
His church was upset over losing their pastor.
His father judged him "mad."
And last but not least his wife refused to go.
She is not the mother of modern missions.
Carey made plans to leave which included his 8-year old son Felix.
In March 1793, after much deputation, Carey, Felix, and another missionary, named Thomas and his family set sail. The voyage ended at Portsmouth, England when they were put off the ship. They had not obtained a proper license and Thomas had many upset creditors desiring to see him stay around awhile.
The delay worked out for the better due to the fact that Dorothy, his wife, had delivered the baby and had begrudgingly agreed to join her husband if she could take a little sister with her.
Carey raised the additional funds and set sail in June of 1793.
The East India Co. was in total control of the country and disliked missionaries for they feared they would upset their economic windfall.
Carey fearing they would be sent home moved the family interior and soon the family was down with Malaria.
His problems were increased due to the nagging of his wife and her sister. What’s more the Thomas family was living in Calcutta in great style while they were living in poverty and disease.
A Mr. Short of the East India Co. opened his home to the Carey’s until they were well and they moved 300 miles north to Malda where Carey became a foreman in an indigo factory.
Dorothy’s sister married Mr. Short and this left Dorothy alone many miles away. She was very unstable mentally and when their son Peter died in 1794 she went insane. Co-workers described her as "wholly deranged".
In spite of all the family problems Carey used the job not only to support himself but to learn the language and to evangelize. He did much work on translation.
There was a time when the family lived in a compound with others where they learned to get along by overlooking the faults of one another. Of course it was Carey that did most of the overlooking.
Carey translated three entire Bibles. (Bengali, Sanskrit, and Marathi). Portions of Scripture and New Testaments were translated into other languages as well.
The quality of his work did not match the quantity however. He sent one of his works to England and he was admonished to do much better. He reviewed it himself and judged it ununderstandable.
He did not give up but returned to go over his work and rework it until he felt that it could be understood.
In 1807 Dorothy Carey died. He had done much of his translation work with his wife in the next room raving and screaming.
In 1808, just six months after Dorothy’s burial he married Lady Charlotte Rumohr of Danish royalty. This marriage was naturally opposed by all his coworkers.
She died in 1821.
Carey again married two years later at the age of 62 and his bride was 17 years younger. Her name was Grace.
Carey sustained what to most would have been the twig that broke the camel’s back. He had several manuscripts in a warehouse and it burned along with all his work. This did not stop him, but he continued on and began the work over again.
I cannot imagine how Carey must have felt over losing a Polyglot dictionary, Two grammar books, and whole versions of the Bible that were one of a kind. He returned to work to replace them.
The final trial the poor man faced was that his original mission basically broke ties with him.
Carey died in 1834.
"His influence in India went beyond his massive linguistic accomplishments, his educational institutions, and the Christian following he shepherded. He also made a notable impact on harmful Indian practices through his long struggle against widow burning and infanticide. But otherwise, he sought to leave the culture intact." p. 121 from Jerusalem to Irian Jaya
He wrote just after his father died in 1825, "I, however, never intended to return to England when I left it, and unless something very unexpected were to take place, I certainly shall not do it....My heart is wedded to India; and though I am of little use, I feel a pleasure in doing the little I can." p 251 WILLIAM CAREY MISSIONARY PIONEER AND STATESMAN by F. Deaville Walker.
A man that laid "hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
"Though I am of little use, I feel a pleasure in doing the little I can." The man that started the modern missions movement. A man that fought the good fight.
How are you going to live the rest of your life?
THERE IS A SURE THING!
You might want to read 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
This is supposedly a true story, though I don’t know the family personally.
Aunt "Emma" was married to a tightwad who was also a little strange. He made a good salary, but they lived frugally because he insisted on putting 20 percent of his paycheck under the mattress. (The man didn’t trust banks.) The money, he said, was going to come in handy in their old age.
When "Uncle Ollie" was 60, he was stricken with cancer. Toward the end, he made Aunt Em promise, in the presence of his brothers, that she would put the money he had stashed away in his coffin so he could buy his way into heaven if he had to.
They all knew he was a little odd, but this was clearly a crazy request. Aunt Em did promise, however, and assured Uncle Ollie’s brothers that she was a woman of her word and would do as he asked.
The following morning she took the money (about $26,000) to the bank and deposited it. She then wrote a check and put it in the casket four days later.
When preparing this study I tried to think of a rich Christian person that lived this life. Actually I thought of several that trusted God, but only a few that were rich in good works and none that were ready to distribute or willing to communicate.
I assume that the last two items might be done on a personal and private basis and these works might not be known to the public.
I know a number of unsaved people that don’t know God, but follow His principles. They have some sense of a higher power and realize their riches are because of their being blessed by a higher power. A couple come to mind - now I realize these folks are not believers but they give and use their riches as if they knew this passage. Paul Neuman has given millions away over the years. He has companies which turn all profits over to charity. Oprah Winfrey also contributes liberally.
I used to know a rich man personally that also was constantly giving of his blessings. He was my employer in Denver years ago. He would give me car loads of stereos and televisions that did not work so that I could fix them, sell them and make a little money on the side. When he found we were having our last son he offered us a crib and baby clothing. When our car broke down he loaned us one of the company trucks. He worked with me on my schedule so that I could continue in college. He instituted a profit-sharing program for the employees. I told him I would not be there for more than a year so didn’t need to sign it - he told me to sign it anyway - just in case. As it turned out I was there several years and when we moved it resulted in a couple thousand dollars for us to resettle with.
He was most kind to his workers. One time the tube company he purchased television tubes from had a special - buy so many tubes and get a free battery operated soldering iron. He liked the soldering iron and ordered enough tubes so that everyone in the shop - about eight of us - could have a free soldering iron. We had tubes stored all over the place for weeks.
We will look at TRUST IN GOD in verse seventeen, GIVE TO GOD in verse eighteen, and BUILD FOR GOD in verse nineteen.
It is of interest to me that many in the lost world live their lives as if they knew this portion of Scripture.
I. TRUST IN GOD
1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
The thought of high-mindedness reminds me of a small farming community in mid Nebraska. The community was poor but close knit and friendly. In the fifties a large corporation built a factory in town. The coming of this boon to town, made many of the townsfolks became quite rich.
It was easy for newcomers to town to notice the snobbery and unkindness of many of the towns folks. It was not a pleasant town to live in if you were an outsider. The riches had changed the people drastically.
The term high-minded is used in Romans 11:20-21. "Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, [take heed] lest he also spare not thee."
High-minded seems possibly to speak to pride and self assurance. Don’t be rich and proud and don’t be rich and confident in self.
Barnes said "The idea is, that they should not value themselves on account of their wealth, or look down with pride and arrogance on their inferiors. They should not suppose that they are any better men, or any nearer heaven, because they are wealthy. Property really makes no distinction in the great things that pertain to character and salvation. It does not necessarily make one wise, or learned, or great, or good. In all these things the man who has not wealth may be vastly the superior of him who has; and for so slight and unimportant a distinction as gold can confer, no man should be proud."
What a contrast - trust in uncertain riches or trust in the living God! No contest in any thinking persons mind! However, since Paul made the statement there must be some that have a problem in that area.
I think the most profound illustration of this business of riches being uncertain, is to be seen in Bill Gates the head of Microsoft. In the early part of 2000 when the stock market took its little stumbles, Bill Gates literally lost Billions of dollars in one day. THAT IS UNCERTAINTY OF RICHES!
Paul returns to his previous thought. Charge them - the rich in the world that they have a duty before God to use His riches that He has given them to do good with the material blessings.
Not only do good with their riches, but don’t get a big head about the riches, nor their good works, AND certainly don’t trust in those riches.
Some might get the idea that the rich are really getting it here, but the poor ought to be very careful as they can be high-minded of their poorness and need to be on guard as well.
(See also James 5:1-3; Proverbs 23:4-5; Matthew 6:19-20)
"Giveth us richly all things to enjoy;" Enjoy it. That which He gives - don’t feel guilty about having things. Enjoy them, use them and share them!
This thought of enjoy is of interest. There have been times that I have not enjoyed things that God has given, but rather felt guilty about.
We at one time while in Bible college needed a car. We had eight hundred dollars and no more. We took a bus to a car lot and looked at the total junk that they offered for that price. As we were leaving the lot we stopped to admire a very nice looking Plymouth Sport Fury convertible. We were dreaming about what it would be like to own something like that. The salesman came up to us and asked if we would be interested in the car. I laughed and told him all we had was the eight hundred. He said he would speak to his boss. He returned and offered the car to us for the money we had. It was November and they knew they wouldn’t sell the car over the winter and did not want it in their inventory so were offering it to us.
We drove it home hardly believing that God had given us this fabulous car for so little. The problem came when we would have missionaries over for lunch and have to explain how poor Bible college students could afford a Sport Fury.
Many were blessed as we always were quick to share the account of what God had done.
II. GIVE TO GOD
1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
There is a man in Indiana that started in construction. He trusted God and served Him to the best of his ability. God started moving the man up in riches and the man remained as he had been - rich in good works. Ultimately the Lord allowed this man to be the financing behind a large Christian college.
In short if you see a need, fill it. Actually the rich are to be taught to do this, but we can do the same thing in whatever situation we are in. We were in very meager financial shape when a missionary and his wife came to the church where we attended. The wife was carrying an old tattered Bible. The replacement cardboard cover was held in place with masking tape. We had just purchased some Bibles that were only $5. apiece. We really stretched the budget to buy them, but knew the kids needed them and we had two extra. We invited the folks to lunch and gave her a Bible - nothing the rich can do that we can’t do - they can just do it in a much bigger way.
Being rich in good works in this context is aimed at the rich, but it is a good principle for all to live by. We should all be rich in good works.
There are four items of concern in this verse.
1. "do good" This is not an option, if you are rich you should do good. This is the reasonable service with what God has given.
2. "be rich in good works" To be rich in good works has a double meaning. Be rich or liberal in the amount of your good works, and also you will be rich in reward and blessing as you involve yourself in good works.
3. "ready to distribute" You don’t have to wait with baited breath, but be ready - when opportunity knocks answer the door with your check book open.
4. "willing to communicate" The thought of this word has a double meaning. It relates to willing to socialize as well as distribute of your belongings according to Thayer.
Barnes and Clarke both indicate this is a giving of material items/money to make the others comfortable with the rich. I would assume this might relate to the rich mans giving to the church as well as possibly giving to a poor man’s needs. Both would bring the aspect of fellowship automatically. Being willing to be a part of the church - not set apart.
Now, to the question that is hanging over us - how much must I have to be rich? If I am worth half a million am I rich or must I have a million - well I think we get the picture. Give as God has prospered you is the principle.
The Word does not suggest a level of wealth, indeed, the level will vary from time to time.
I recently (in 2000) saw a news report of a grandfather that thought he had the world by the tail when he took a job in the 50’s that would progress to the point where he might earn $10,000 a year. The report was comparing the grandfather with his graduating grandson that was receiving $10,000 in sign up bonuses for his $40,000 a year job.
I think we all can go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help us determine if we are rich or not. I personally feel rich at times and try to give accordingly even though we are mid to low income. In the past when we were solidly rooted in the low income area, God still allowed us opportunity to share with others in need.
III. BUILD FOR GOD
"Laying up in store" -- ALL RIGHT the Christmas lay away plan at Target is Biblical! Well not quite!
1 Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Lay up a good foundation in the time to come. I am reminded of the passage in the Gospel when the Lord said, (Matthew 6:19-21) "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Using the Lord’s material blessings wisely is the prudent thing to do not only for the rich, but for all of us.
That they may lay hold on eternal life is misconstrued to indicate we have to do good works to keep our salvation sure. Now, if you want to work like mad because you fear God withdrawing His free gift then go for it - you will certainly do many great things for Him, but this passage does not teach this. Works are a thing to be done because of our love for Him and His creation, not out of fear of not making it to heaven.
The thought to me seems to be that the rich man is to do good works so that he will be laying reward for himself in heaven so that he can really enjoy the eternal life that is yet to come. The American Standard Version indicates this when it translates the verse as follows: "laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is [life] indeed" Robertson’s Word pictures mentions: "This life is merely the shadow of the eternal reality to come."
There is absolutely no investment on earth that will give a better return on your money than to use your funds for good works - God will bless you more than you can earn on the most prime of investments!
So, why don’t more Christians invest more in eternal matters? I personally believe it is the fact that most of us are totally self-centered. We are into doing for ourselves, so doing for God or others doesn’t fit our mind set.
There is one aspect of maturing in the human that may be at play. When a child is offered a quarter now or a dollar tomorrow they will always take the quarter now - until at some point they mature and realize the dollar delayed is best.
Today we have a society of "we want it now" people that are totally disinterested in the future.
They aren’t called the "NOW" generation for nothing.
Robertson also mentions a paradox in this verse - "’laying up in store’ by giving it away" A truth to consider very carefully.
I trust that all of us are living this passage, and I especially trust that all that are or will be rich will give special attention to the admonitions of this passage.
Some other references relating to riches:
Proverbs 13:1-11 cf. Revelation 3:17
2 Kings 4:8-17
1 Timothy 6:20-21 a (20b-21a) avoiding profane [and] vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.
Man tends to think himself to be very smart.
1. Cosmology seeks to explain creation.
2. Philosophy seeks to explain life.
3. Theology seeks to explain God.
4. Psychology seeks to explain the mind.
Recently a new ology has shown up in stores. It is "frameology" - it is a picture frame company. Not sure what it seeks to explain other than how your money transfers from your pocket to theirs though.
Anyway, the Hubble telescope has been finding things that are shattering many of the old beliefs of science. Scientists are rehashing their beliefs and theories to reflect the reality that they are finding of late. Many know they were wrong for years.
That must be disheartening to know "truth" and find out it was false!
The question is, are they going to have to continue this process with each new invention. Science or science so called, has given us the theory of evolution. By the way do you know how many evolutionists does it take to change a light bulb? A: None. They just sit and wait for the old bulb to change into a laser beam.
Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree, Discussing things that are said to be; Said one to the other, "Now listen you two, There’s a certain rumor that can’t be true: That man descended from our noble race, The very idea is a disgrace!
"No monkey ever deserted his wife, Starved her babies, and ruined her life; And you’ve never known a mother monk, To leave her babies with others to bunk, Or pass them on from one to the other, Till they scarcely know who is their mother.
"And another thing you’ll never see, A monk build a fence round a coconut tree, And let the coconuts go to waste, Forbidding all other monks to taste; Why, if I put a fence around a tree, Starvation will force you to steal from me!
"Here’s another thing a monk won’t do: Go out at night and get in a stew, Or use a gun, a club or a knife, To take some other monkey’s life! Yes, man descended, the wicked cuss, But, brother, he didn’t descend from us!"
Christian leaders basically put evolution to rest in the sixties. Few could stand against the thinking of believers on the subject. There were many evolutionists that had made comments showing their own doubt in their own system.
Then in the 80-90’s area Carl Sagan exploded onto the scene with his BIIILLLIIIOOONNNSSS AND BIILLLLLIIIOOONNSSS OOOFF YEEEAARRSS AGO. What a great communicator he was! PBS hurled his message far and wide as did the publishing world, and again evolution was in the forefront as "the" truth of science for our day.
Paul told Timothy to avoid oppositions of science falsely so called! Don’t waste your time with this crazy stuff was Paul’s evaluation. It is just going to come around again and again as often as lost man’s imagination runs wild.
The point? The Bible has always - through all time been the source of truth on all of these subjects, and man has thumbed his nose at it!
III. GRACE WILL HELP AVOID
1 Timothy 6:21 b: "Grace [be] with thee. Amen."
Just what does "grace be with thee" mean? By grace we are saved. By grace we continue to live, but what does this closing mean?
The term grace has many shades of meaning. Thayer mentions the following.
"that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech 2) good will, loving-kindness, favour 2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues 3) what is due to grace 3a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace 3b) the token or proof of grace, benefit 3b1) a gift of grace 3b2) benefit, bounty 4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward"
Some possible meanings:
1. Paul is just giving a greeting of the day - saying that he wills a favorable life for Timothy - have a good day - if you will. This may be.
2. Paul had some ability to offer grace as an apostle. I see no indication of this in the Word, nor would it make sense, since grace extends from God.
3. Actually the term “thee” is plural, so Paul is most likely addressing the other elders or leaders if not the entire church at Ephesus. This might assist us in determining the meaning. Grace is an item that is needed in any church.
We need to treat one another as if we realize we are all products of grace.
We need to treat our leaders as if we hold them in favor.
Leaders need to treat the congregation as if they hold them in favor.
We all need to be gracious to one another at all times.
There needs to be a mutual respect by all. Leaders must respect the members. The members must respect the leaders. Both must realize that Christ is the head of the church and not them.
I would think this is a prayer of sorts or benediction on the church leaders and the people at Ephesus.
A very nice have a good day request to the Father might be the thought of it.
There is nothing exceptionally special about the phrase. Paul uses it in Titus in his closing (Titus 3:15). Indeed, Paul mentions "all" in his closing to Titus.
SOME THINGS TO FLEE FROM THAT ARE MENTIONED IN I Timothy:
1 Timothy 1:3 other doctrine or false doctrine
1 Timothy 1:4 fables and endless genealogies - fiction
1 Timothy 1:6 vain jangling
1 Timothy 1:9-10 whole list of wrong doers
1 Timothy 2:8 wrath and doubting
1 Timothy 2:12 women leaders in the church
1 Timothy 3:2 multiple marriages
1 Timothy 3:3 wine, violence, greed, brawling, covetousness
1 Timothy 3:4-5, unruly children
1 Timothy 3:6 pride
1 Timothy 3:8-12 repeat some of the above
1 Timothy 3:11 slanderousness
1 Timothy 4:1 seducing spirits, doctrines of demons, lies
1 Timothy 4:7 profane and old wives fables
1 Timothy 4:14 idleness of gift
1 Timothy 5:8 ignoring needs of a widow in family
1 Timothy 5:12 don’t leave first love
1 Timothy 5:13 gossiping
1 Timothy 5:22 sudden approval of Christian workers
1 Timothy 6:4 questions and disputes on wrong or false teaching
1 Timothy 6:10 love of money
1 Timothy 6:17 high-mindedness, trust in riches
1 Timothy 6:20 profane and vain babblings, false knowledge
COMMANDS FROM I TIMOTHY
1 Timothy 1:3 no other doctrine
1 Timothy 1:4 don’t heed fables and genealogies
1 Timothy 1:18 war a good warfare.
1 Timothy 1:19 holding faith and good conscience
1 Timothy 2:1 pray for all men
1 Timothy 2:2 pray for leaders
1 Timothy 2:8 pray
1 Timothy 2:9 women dress properly (modestly)
1 Timothy 2:11 women to learn silently
1 Timothy 2:12 no women usurping authority.
3. qualifications for leadership
husband of one wife
not given to wine
not greedy of filthy lucre
not a brawler
rulers at home
not a novice
have good report with unsaved
not double tongued
not given to wine
not greedy of filthy lucre
holding mystery of faith
wives - grave, not slanderers, soberminded, faithful in all things
1 Timothy 4:4 all creation is good and to be received with thanksgiving
1 Timothy 4:7 refuse wives fables - exercise unto godliness
1 Timothy 4:12 let no man despise thy youth - be an example
1 Timothy 4:13 give attendance to reading, exhortation, doctrine
1 Timothy 4:14 don’t neglect gift
1 Timothy 4:15 meditate on these things
1 Timothy 4:16 continue in doctrine
1 Timothy 5:1 exhort, don’t rebuke church members
1 Timothy 5:3 honor widows
1 Timothy 5:14 young widows remarry
1 Timothy 5:16 support your family’s widows.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 support elders
1 Timothy 5:19 receive accusation only before 2 or 3 witnesses
1 Timothy 5:20 rebuke elders before all if in sin
1 Timothy 5:21 don’t be partial in discipline in church
1 Timothy 5:22 lay hands quickly on no man
1 Timothy 6:1 honor masters
1 Timothy 6:11 follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness
1 Timothy 6:12 fight the good fight
1 Timothy 6:17 charge the rich not to be high-minded not trust uncertain riches, trust God, do good works, ready to distribute, willing to share
1 Timothy 6:20 avoid vain babblings
If we took only the things we are told not to do and begin work on these in our lives we would be busy for some time. Then we have all of the commandments. Only six chapters and we have at least 30 condemnations and at least 56 commands.
DARE ANY CHRISTIAN SAY I HAVE NOTHING TO DO IN MY SPIRITUAL LIFE?
"Keep that which is committed" - this list has been committed to each of us. God is trusting that we keep these truths. Read through this list and see if you can’t improve your spiritual life in some manner!
Read through the list and see how your church stands up to the standard set forth.
Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13